Schlage Keypad Door Locks Suffer From a Surprising Design Flaw

Schlage, a division of Allegion, is a leading manufacturer of the latest trend of door security hardware, specifically the keypad door lever and keypad deadbolt, that use programmable codes, instead of keys, to access the property. These products deliver simplified security, especially valuable to people who lose keys or cannot be at a location to let someone in. With the door locks now having the ability to use multiple codes and the newer versions allowing remote programming and wireless connectivity to other smart home devices, door security is finally entering the Internet age.
The one wrinkle in this otherwise promising technology is the fact that someone at Schlage forget to tell their engineers to actually test their products in a real world setting. One recent revelation is that it appears that Schlage had forgotten that some residential consumers may actually want to use keypad technology on both a door lever and on a deadbolt on the same door, at the same time. In an ideal setting, it would be an integrated keypad, controlling both devices,  but with the latest lineup of Schlage products that solution is currently missing from their arsenal. Consumers are forced to buy two separate products from the available Schlage door lock lines, one lever with a keypad and one deadbolt with a keypad. Both products come in two different attractive finishes that essentially have the same electronic guts inside them, the choices are the Camelot or Plymouth finishes. This would all be fine if this solution actually worked, but buyers will soon discover that when they try to install the two products in the door, things are not so good after all. It appears that the design engineers at Schlage failed to provide adequate clearance in each unit for the other unit to be installed, making it impossible for both devices to be fitted to the same door at the same time. Who is responsible for such an oversight? Apparently no one is taking the blame at Allegion, but David D. Petratis has to be looking at Todd Graves for this mis-step that adversely affects consumers looking for viable door security solutions.

Schlage keypad door lever and deadbolt from the Plymouth and Camelot lineWhy Use Both A Keypad Lever and A Keypad Deadbolt?

Some may ask why you would need both devices on the same door at the same time, but with so many YouTube examples of how to break into a Schlage keypad door lever in ten seconds or less, its clear that homeowners now want to choose “layered” security. This approach will provide homeowners with the convenience and light security of the keypad door lever and the reliability and heavy security of the keypad deadbolt.

Schlage Official Solution To The Problem:

Schlage has responded that they do have some solutions to the problem, but both ideas are somewhat ridiculous in nature.  Although both the keypad lever and keypad deadbolt will not fit on any any standard two hole door (which has the holes set 5.5 inches apart), they will work if the holes are further apart,  at 7.5 inches apart to be exact. This new measurement is somewhat arbitrary and no new door comes pre-drilled to this specification. Schlage  suggests two possible solutions. The first is that a new blank door is purchased (and new door frame fitted) and door lock holes are drilled in these new positions. The second solution is to install metal wrap-around plate on an existing door with 5.5 inch holes, to blank the hole.  New holes should then be cut in the door and the door frame, to their new arbitrary standard of 7.5 inches apart. This solution will actually have overlapping holes, which is a security flaw in itself, making the door weaker and prone to brute force attack.  These solutions are not only expensive and unwieldy, but ultimately insecure as a wrap-around plate can actually reduce the level of security on a door and the purchase of a new uncut door is an expense the homeowner would not have to incur if the design engineers had been a little smarter about the layout and footprint of their keypad devices.

Discover The Schlage Door Lock Problem During Installation:

The Schlage Design Fault May Not Be On The Next Set Of Products

As both the official solutions are somewhat ridiculous ways to counter the reality that is that the Schlage engineers failed in their design and are now trying to set a new standard in door lock holes, for no apparent reason other than to make up for their design mistake and still sell a boatload of what is essentially a great door lock and deadbolt, with a significant design flaw. It’s unclear if the next round of Schlage door products will still have this limitation, but consumers will face expensive, or somewhat ugly solutions, until they do. Homeowners are forced to decide whether they want a keypad door lock or a keypad door bolt, but they cannot have both. With this design flaw, they must give up convenience or security to be able to use the Schlage keypad door technology.

Now back to YouTube. Is there a way for me to stop forgetting my entry codes and getting myself locked out? Probably not. Maybe I should reverse the keypad door lock and force myself to enter a code to get OUT of the house.

Michael Rogers

Having never been a member of the 657 crew and still a frequent guest at the Jolly Sailor, Mike likes to travel back to his old stomping grounds once in a while. Rogers has been writing for twenty years about things that really don't matter for such publications as Good Housekeeping and The Radio Times. Married with two dogs and a cat, he will often be found at his desk looking for writing inspiration in the most random places, often in the waste paper basket for something he wrote last week.