While smart locks are an increasingly popular way to make your home more secure, they’re also a relatively new technology.
As such, there are a few common issues you might encounter when setting up your new lock and trying to get it to work, or if it worked before and now suddenly doesn’t.
We’ll troubleshoot the most common problems, which can be divided into hardware and software and technology issues, such as the app, your smartphone, batteries, or your internet connection. These are generic solutions that will work on your iPhone, Android, or Google Phone.
Step 1. Check if your lock has been tampered with or is damaged
If you’ve not already done so, carefully check all screws if they’ve been removed from their original position, and carefully examine the lock itself. It may be damaged or tampered with by possible burglars (or careless visitors to your Airbnb!).
Also, check if the rear cover has been opened or broken off. If it’s, this is a red flag signal, and you should replace it immediately and take action.
Make sure that the sensors inside the lock aren’t blocked. Also, make sure that the hinge doesn’t obstruct the motion sensor.
Step 2: Batteries are the most common problem you’ll encounter with smart locks
Very important: Check the battery level of your Smart Lock. Low battery level will cause connection problems with the internet, your app, and of course, your lock will stop working.
Normally you get a notification from the lock to your app beforehand, but maybe you missed it, or the battery died so fast that it could not notify you anymore.
The average battery life of electronic locks depends on several factors, such as:
- The battery type of the device manufacturer uses (Alkaline vs. Lithium-Ion)
- The connectivity technology the lock uses: Bluetooth, WiFi, or Z-Wave
- your usage patterns
- weather conditions
In general, Z-Wave technology is much more efficient and will not drain batteries as quickly. So this is one thing you should also consider when buying a smart lock.
Some indicative facts from manufacturers:
|Connection||Projected Battery Life||Quality||Brands|
|Bluetooth||12 to 20 months||Very good||Danalock, August|
|Wi-Fi||2 to 6 months||Mediocre||Nuki, Wyze, August|
|Z-Wave||12 to18 months||Very good||Schlage, Yale, August, Kwikset|
If you are looking for the longest battery life possible, use a smart lock that has Lithium-Ion batteries and uses either Bluetooth or Z-Wave. Most good smart locks support multiple connection types, be smart and choose Bluetooth or Z-Wave as your connection.
You will also see Wi-Fi-only models that are often cheaper for this reason. However, if you do not mind the hassle of frequent battery changes and they are within your budget range, they can still be very efficient locks.
With Lithium-Ion batteries and Bluetooth / Z-Wave connectivity, you can expect twice the battery life of the average lock and still get all the features you need. In addition, some numbers say that your battery will last 400% longer than a normal battery.
Step 2: Is your smart lock actually paired with your phone?
Checking if your smart lock is connected to your phone can be done in the app itself.
To do so, open your smartphone app and tap “Settings.” Then scroll down until you find something like ‘Device Settings.’ Here you should see all the devices that are currently connected to your system.
If you have multiple locks, you may need to turn off all other locks before further investigating the smart lock with the issues.
Step 3: Check your internet connection status and get a decent router
Check your internet connection. The next point is generally good advice for your home security setup: do you have a quality, up-to-date router? Or are you using the 8-year-old $20 router “that still works”?
Often the internet connection is not adequate or stable enough.
The Deco series mesh routers from TP-Link are a solid and reliable solution, ensuring that your locks always have “full bars” and are very easy to set up.
Step 5: Reinstall the latest version of the app.
Reinstalling the latest version of the smartphone application on your mobile device is the last resort option. Instead of trying to update the app, rather uninstall it completely first. This makes sure some “leftover data” will be wiped as well.
Next, open the App Store for your Apple device or the Google Play Store for your Android device, search for your smart lock’s app, and do a full re-install of the app.
Step 6: Reboot and Reset your Smart Lock
As with many electronics, often, a simple reboot can get everything back on track. The way to do this is to dismantle the device and remove its batteries if you’re unable or unsure how to turn it off.
Remove them for several minutes, then reinsert the batteries and attach the lock’s power source once again. After that, it’ll go through the start-up process and hopefully regain functionality as normal.
If none of this works, we recommend resetting the Smart Lock to the factory setting from within the app. Resetting will erase all data stored in the lock, which may have caused some problems.
So you’ll have to re-enter your credentials, do the pairing, and basically set it up as a new smart lock. We know this is not the most fun task in the world, but it might be a quick fix after all.
If none of the above steps work, it’s time to contact customer support. Prepare your mail or call well to them, with pictures and stating everything you have tried to solve the issue.