Emtek lock sets

donnar57November 16, 2007

On recommendation of folks in the GW, we purchased an Emtek lockset and had it installed in the new front door. It's a BEAUTIFUL lockset. However, I'm not sure it's been a very smooth road here, and wondering what I should do next.

When the contractor took out the lockset after hanging the new door, the FIRST thing he noticed was that Emtek sent the template for the holes, but there were NO INSTRUCTIONS. He figured, I've installed these before, I should be able to figure it out. He said it went together pretty well but was frustrated when it didn't seem to lock or unlock correctly. The thumb plate, the latch, does not work right either - it sticks.

This morning I called Emtek and talked to them. The woman was shocked that we didn't get installation instructions and said "but there were two pieces of paper." "No ma'am, my contractor said there was only one, the template." She gave me the "fix" that would supposedly solve both the sticky latch and the temperamental dead bolt.

This afternoon my contractor returned and did do what the woman had suggested. But the fact that the little thumb plate latch was totally separate from the deadbolt told us both that the flat plate being the wrong direction was not going to solve the thumb plate. He gave the thumb plate and the latch a good squirt with WD-40, but it hasn't helped yet.

Right now, the deadbolt works properly. (Thank goodness.) I'm not sure if a sticky latch is worth screaming to Emtek about after Thanksgiving.

Is there something else that we could try? Or should we continue to annoy Emtek? We paid about $158 for the lockset.


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Usually when I have had this problem in the past, with Emtek, Schlage, or any other lock set, it has not been a defective product, but a problem with proper installation. I presume that the hole was drilled with the correct setback from the door edge AND that the hole is drilled straight through (sometimes the installer does not use a jig to keep the hole at 90 degrees to the door face and being off several degrees can cause the lock to bind). You can only check this by removing the lock and putting a square at the hole edge; if it's significantly skewed, you may need to fix this if it's the cause of the problem. If the problem only occurs when the door is shut (i.e., the bolts move freely when the door is open), it means the strike plates are off and/or the weather-stripping is putting enough force on the bolts that they bind. The problem could also be with the threaded bolts on the inside face of the lockset that hold the lock together on the door: they could be too tight or unequally tight. As an experiment, back these bolts off a few turns and see if the sticking goes away; if it does, it means there is an alignment or tightness issue. You might also try slightly moving the lockset mechanism a little bit to make sure it's centered; there is usually a little play between the lockset and the hole. Then retighten the bolts equally, until they are firmly seated, but not insanely tight. Experiment with these ideas and see if it improves at all; then report back. This is one of those problems that can be caused by several things, so it's a little hard to give a guaranteed fix without being able to fiddle with it myself. Also, I hope you are somewhat handy, because it seems like this is a problem any experienced contractor should be able to solve, and I'm concerned that he's baffled.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 1:45PM
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I have 4 emtek locksts. all DIY. The "directions" consisted of an exploded picture, and the template. Nothing else was included, and nothing else was needed. The instalation was just exactly like every other lockset I have installed. I can't imagine anybody who had ever installed a lockset, having trouble with or without instruction and templates.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 3:18PM
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Donnar57- I am having what sounds like the same issue as you with 6 EMTEK multi-point locksets I purchased for my new construction. I just can't believe that 6 out of the out of the 7 locksets I bought are defective! The only door that works properly is a milled door. The other six are Jeld Wen doors. I followed both the EMTECK and the Jeld WELD Reps instructions on the appropriate door configuration (5) to order and we did have to drill new plate screw holes, but Whalla! the locks don't work. What type of doors are you dealing with or has anyone else encountered this issue.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 8:33PM
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Haven't encountered this problem with mine...and I've got seventeen outside doors in my house in which I've installed Emtek deadbolts and separate locking passage sets. I doubt the locks are defective. It sounds like an installation issue where you have something not aligned correctly or oriented correctly. It could be inside where you haven't got the metal strip that connects the inside and outside properly aligned, or it could be that you have tightened the machine screws that hold the inside and outside together more tightly at the top or the bottom, or you might not have these machine screws actually mating with the screw holes even though it feels like it (it's very common to not get them into the holes but they feel tight because they are bearing against the inside casting rather than being in the hole). If you take them apart and put them back together carefully and correctly, they should work. If that doesn't help or you don't understand everything I've described, you may need to get a locksmith or a good handyman with lock experience to help out.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:52AM
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I've installed a lot of hardware on doors, using Emteck, Schlage, and others.

In addition to the previous advice, there are two other things that may be the problem.

One, the tightness of the screws holding the two halves of the latch or deadbolt. Too tight and the units can bind. Too loose and the units slide down out of correct installation. That is particularly a problem with steel and fiberglas exterior doors. I have had to use Loctite on those screws on several doors to solve that problem.

Two, the weather seals on new doors can cause the door closing position to change with time. That means the latches and dead bolts rub during operation. The easiest way to fix that situation is to file the inside of the striker plates to get a bit more clearance for the latch/ead bolt.

I just installed two new doors on our present house, front and back.Steel entry doors from HD---doors I have used for years. Wife picked out Schlage lock sets. I have the first situation with the ornate hardware on the front door---Loctite solved that one. And the second problem with the back door, just have not filedthe striker plates yet.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:40AM
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I just got installed an Emtek handleset for entry door. The latch you press down on, on the outside of the door, is not easy to push down. It has a sort of sticky feel to it, a hard click-y sound and feel. Not smooth at all. It is that way whether the door is closed or open, so it's the handleset. The installer said the handleset gave him a bit of a problem, but he got it done properly. And it does operate properly, and everything seems to be aligned properly.

The handleset is so pretty. The finish is smooth and has a sheen, and the new door feels vacuum packed when I close it. A snug fit. The handleset looks awesome on the door, and it works very well. I figure it'll loosen up a bit with more use. But I was surprised that the deadbolt was so short! It protrudes an inch! Any burglar could kick that bolt open with no problem. I should've checked on that. Oh, well. I'm getting an extra latch inside, anyway.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Update on stickiness of my Emtek entry door handleset: It has loosened up after only a few days of minimum use. The handleset now operates smoothly and flawlessly.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:59AM
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