Trouble with Yale Locks

The Yale deadbolts have been nothing but trouble, and I would like to return them. Specific issues include:

  1. “Back Door” key failed after 2 days and no longer works; the key simply spins without extending or retracting the bolt. The inside and electronic locks work fine.
  2. Frequently report “Failure” in Z-Wave status, regardless of distance for IQ Panel
  3. “Lock” and “Unlock” sometimes fail on both deadbolts
  4. Locks do not appear to synchronize their locked/unlocked state with the IQ Panel.

The latter three of these issues may all be Z-Wave signal quality issues, but the Back Door deadbolt (which fails more often) is only 10 feet from the IQ Panel, in the same room. The Front Door deadbolt is only 20-25 feet away, with only a single wall (with an open doorway) in between them.

Do you have a list of supported alternative hardware for the IQ Panel? I found a release saying there are a few Kwikset (912, 914 series) and Schlage (BE468) that are supported, and I’m interested in getting one of these instead.

As far as the communication goes, I wanted to confirm that you have run a network rediscovery post physical installation of the locks.

On Qolsys, press the settings button, enter your installer code, choose Installation, Home Control Devices, then Rediscover Network.

(Obviously this has no connection to the physical key-lock failure, but is a common missed step with Zwave networks in general when devices are added.)

I tried rediscover, and even completely deleting and re-adding the lock. Re-adding works maybe one out of three attempts (this is true even with the lock sitting on the counter, one foot from the panel). Even after re-adding, both locks still intermittently report “Failure” on the panel (not necessarily at the same time). When the locks do respond to lock/unlock commands from the panel it often takes 20-30 seconds to do so. Overall their Z-Wave behavior seems inconsistent and flaky at best.

I did manage to fix the hardware failure on the broken lock (a small silver ring on the keyway had shifted out of place) but I’m worried its just going to break again in the future.

Here’s a quick question, are there any cordless phones or baby monitors at the location? Some devices operate on the 900Mhz and can disrupt the communication from the lock to the panel. Additionally, 20ft. may be just a touch too far for Zwave devices without any repeating devices between the lock and the panel.

Nothing like that anywhere in the house, as we haven’t actually moved in yet. Distance wise, there is an IQ Thermostat about 10 feet from the door, almost within line of sight. I don’t know if it repeats the signal or not. Since my last reply the front door lock is now consistently in Failure mode on the panel. I’m going to try to re-pair it, but I’m quickly losing patience with these locks. Every other piece of hardware we received has been performing flawlessly while both of the Yale devices are having issues.

One new feature of Qolsys is our ability to upload the error log files from your panel directly to their engineer team for review if an issue may be software related. Those have been sent over and we are awaiting word on whether they have found an issue. Qolsys has been tested and proven functional with the Yale locks, but that’s not to say an error couldn’t have happened.

Also, are you running the latest 1.4.1 firmware? This can be found by accessing settings, then the “About” button.

Yes, panel is running 1.4.1 as of a day or two ago.

I just got word that Qolsys is going to be looking at your log files today and we should hear something by the end of the day or early tomorrow if they found anything.

The front door lock is still reporting failure intermittently, despite showing 2 neighbors (the IQ thermostat and an Aeotec z-wave repeater). If I had to guess, I’d say the Yale locks have a poorly implemented sleep mode (to save battery I’d assume), based on the following observation:

  1. After not interacting with the locks for some time, go to the Door Locks section of the Panel.
  2. Select both doors and choose Unlock.
  3. After 20-30 seconds the Back Door unlocks.
  4. A the same time, the Front Door reports Failure.
  5. 5-10 seconds later the Front Door unlocks and the Failure goes away.
  6. Both locks are now almost instantly responsive to further commands until another long period without interaction.

Additionally, the Front Door lock has simply failed to lock itself (I have auto-lock enabled) twice. After the 30 second delay, instead of hearing the motor attempt to turn the bolt, I heard the two tone failure beep. When I check it out, the door was still unlocked. I have no idea what caused it, as everything seemed fine; door was fully closed, lock was manually operable without obstruction, etc… I tried to reproduce the behavior a few times, but was unable to do do.

Based on the thorough testing you’ve done, it sounds like the Front door lock may be defective. However, the Back Door Lock appears to be functioning correctly and does not need to be replaced. Particularly, if the auto-lock function failing may be a symptom of a larger issue. Could you please email and we can get the RMA process started for that lock.

Qolsys got back to me regarding the log files from your panel and their suggestion was to send a command to the lock and that should clear the malfunction. While it appears that technique was successful in your testing, it was only a temporary fix. Can you tell me how long after the failure clears before it comes back again?