Striking Out

Tips on troubleshooting electric strikes PT 1 (First Things First & It’s Electric)

If you’ve been with us—or the access control industry at large—for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with electric strikes. They’re the younger, cooler cousin of fixed strike systems and are becoming a standard fixture in the industry. What may be less clear is deciding what to do when they start misbehaving.

But not to worry— we have a two-part complete list of troubleshooting tips we’re about to walk you through, that will take your faulty strike from electrical headache to minor nuisance in no time.


When you’re untangling a knot in something, the more you struggle aimlessly, the harder the knot becomes to untie. Troubleshooting electric strikes is a bit like that. A deadline (or a general feeling of frustration) may compel you to start fussing over various aspects at random, but you risk compounding the problem.

To begin, once you have located the faulty door, first make sure the door and strike(s) were initially installed correctly. If they were, check for any wear and tear that may implicate mechanical issues such as loose hinges. We’re dealing with a process of elimination here, so there’s no sense in locating a transformer when the issue only requires a hand tool.


It is possible that the voltage is the culprit. The first thing to do when troubleshooting strikes for electrical issues is to make sure that there is voltage in the first place.

Because you can’t see or feel voltage, you’ll need a multimeter/volt meter to get a beat on what—if anything—is happening. If voltage is present, you’ll next want to check if that voltage (AC or DC) is compatible with your strike. It is imperative you confirm that the transformer or power supply has the proper voltage and amperage for the strike to operate properly. This requires both the voltage and strike match whether it be 12, 16, or 24 volts. The next step is to confirm the correct AC or DC part. A fun fact is that the AC transformers buzz when they get the voltage to open whereas DC strikes do not. Be wary of assuming your strike isn’t working just because you don’t hear the buzz!

Electric strikes are a bit more daunting to repair because they entail more variables than their fixed strike counterparts. But because of this, locating the problem is 90% of the battle. Stay tuned for Part 2 of troubleshooting electric strikes where we discuss what to do if the problem with your strike is preloading!

We hope you’ll find this framework useful for just that but, as always, contact a Card Lock representative if you have any further questions.

(Proximity) RFID, Electric Strikes, Technology Trends
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