Bolt Binding

a. This is the second most common cause of opening issues. Bold binding occurs when the locking mechanism (boltwork) presses on the locking bolt of the lock inside the door. The ESL20XL relies on a solenoid to actuate this bolt. That solenoid can only overcome so much resistance, and if that resistance is too great, the bolt does not retract.

To resolve this problem, you must find a handle position that does not push the locking system up against the lock’s bolt. To find that place, it helps to know which way the handle turns when you open the door.

  • If your handle turns clockwise to open, turn the handle all the way counterclockwise before attempting to open the lock.
  • If your handle turns counterclockwise to open, turn the handle all the way clockwise before attempting to open the lock.
  • If you don’t remember which way your handle turns, you can find the center of the free-play. Move the handle clockwise and counterclockwise to the stopping points to find the range of motion. Then, move the handle to the center of that range before actuating the lock.

If the bolt pressure is causing the problem you are experiencing, this should solve that problem. Once you figure this out, make it a habit to position the handle in the best position when you leave the safe so it’s ready for the next time you open it.

b. If you have persisting intermittent opening success, and changing the batteries seems to make it better for a while, there may be a bolt binding condition in the Boltwork that should be corrected. Many assume the Batteries are getting drained at an abnormal rate, but in reality it is taking all the power of fresh batteries to reliably overcome the binding. This would be evident because you can’t find a sweet-spot to position the handle to allow the lock bolt complete freedom to operate, and replacing the batteries seems to resolve the issue temporarily

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