How to Install Electronic Door Security Strikes

Door handle
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40-600
What You'll Need
Electrical door strike plate
Owners manual
Mounting screws
Wire nuts

Door security can be enhanced by installing an electric strike plate that replaces a traditional strike plate. Electrical strike plates allows a door to open only when the release mechanism is electronically triggered. Prisons use this type of system as do many apartments that have a secured door to the main hallway that can be opened by a person inside of an apartment building by pushing a button that is often by the intercom.

Electrical door strikes can be purchased at various home improvement and security stores. They can also be purchased online. Be sure you ask as shop around for the best electrical door strike. Also, be sure you purchase it from a reputable retailer.

Step 1 - Remove Existing Door Strike

door with knobs removed

Remove the existing door strike plate by unscrewing it with your screwdriver. Be careful not to strip the screws as this will make removal much more difficult.

Step 2 - Make a Hole

The electronic strike will often be larger than the previous strike plate. Use a roto-zip or drill to make the hole larger. You can achieve this by tracing the edges of the strike with a pencil onto the door frame to mark your drill edges. All dimensions need to be marked, including depth. You may have to accommodate any wires that may come out of either side of the electronic strike. It doesn’t have to be snug but should fit well.

Step 3 - Determine Wiring Method

One way is to have a deep hole that is drilled to the back of the door frame and into the wall space. Wires can be fished through the wall. Use a long drill bit because many frames are reinforced by additional boards that will need to be drilled through.

Another option is to run the wires inside of the door frame by making a notch out of the frame.

Step 4 - Power to the Strike

A regular wall socket transformer is the easiest way to power an electronic door strike, using a long power wire. The power wire will most often be two wires that are connected just like headphone wires. Split the negative and positive leads by cutting off the tip of the power wire and pulling them part for each other. You’ll be working with six wires in total. Two are from the control box relay, two are from the source of power, and the final two are from the electronic strike itself. Consult the owner’s manual of the electronic strike for the correct connections. Polarity isn’t observed at this point.

Step 5 - Install the Door Strike

Place the new electronic door strike inside of the newly dug hole and secure it with the given screws with your screwdriver. Open and close the door, making sure there is no obstruction and it is flush with the frame.

Step 6 - Test and Troubleshoot

You can now go and test the new door strike by having somebody try to open the door with the lock enacted, then again when you activate the release. If you have any trouble you can call customer service. The number will most likely be in the owner’s manual. Technical support will be easily reached if the strike is made from a reputable company. A good way to test this is to locate the customer service number before you actually buy the strike and call tech support to see how quickly you’re able to get ahold of a real person.