Diagnose This Gate Access Problem

Similar to Diagnose This Hotel's Access Problem, another member sent this access problem in:

"If I push hard enough on the gate, this maglock just opens. Why?"

He sent this video:

After watching it, vote on what you think is the root cause of the problem? Vote:


1. Strike plate not aligned properly (you can see below lock).

2. Probably no rubber washer so torque is multiplied by leverage of foot on bottom of gate.

3. Maybe voltage low as well.

This is my vote as well. Bad alignment, no washer to allow flex, and probably pretty loose on the hinge side so you can really build up leverage with your foot.

Also this does not appear to be an outdoor rated mag lock, so I'll add the possibility of corrosion on the electrical connections as well.

It is brown from rust!

Cassette tape is made from rust, and its still magnetic! ;) (though i voted rust myself)

Would have to look from another angle but the magnet and armature may not be aligned correctly. When pushing at the low end of the gate, a twist or torsion is applied. Also, if the voltage is low at the magnet (power supply, cable, etc.) it could also result in a similar, weakened strength condition. Rust could be a factor but I suspect that pushing hard on the gate near the top may not produce the same results. Just my 2 cents.

You know I would have said armature not aligned properly, except that would make the answer fall under the "other" category.

But it seemed unlikely that Brian had an answer in mind that was not listed. If for no other reason than the poll would not have a clear % of those who got it right.

I said rust but I am wondering if rust would degrade the hold to that degree. I honestly don't know.

The Maglock plate on the swinging gate must be moveable to accommodate/pivot with any out-of- vertical position of the Maglock itself. The foot on bottom rail of gate (while pushing at top of gate) accentuates this vertical misalignment.

So the results show a clear hunch here:

The video obviously shows the magnet and armature mating surface covered in corrosion. This is suprising to some, and the assumption is the maglock is composed of aluminum or stainless steel (not ferrous), yet rust on outdoor maglocks is fairly common.

Many maglock manufacturers warn that rusted bonding surfaces will weaken the lock strength, as noted in this Securitron FAQ:

In summary, the rust that forms on the mating surfaces weakens the pure electromagnetic bond that is possible, even if the internal components are unmarred.

The lock in the video may not be a Magnalock, but the plated construction and impact work-hardened rusting of maglock components is a general issue across many brands/models.

Like the note mentions, if maglocks are used outside, a periodic maintenance wipedown with a light oil is the only way to prevent inevitable rusting. It does not mean maglocks cannot be used outdoors, but it does mean that maglocks are not 'set and forget' devices that require no upkeep.

Interestingly, the member comments/ guesses about alignment being a potential issue are technically sound and could be correct. However, the alignment appears pretty solid and does not scream 'big problem!' like the appearance of rust.

Our next access 'diagnose this' problem is coming! If you have any questions or ideas for a future problem, feel free to email me: brian@ipvm.com.

...the maglock is composed of aluminum or stainless steel (not ferrous).

IMHO, all steel is ferrous. :)

Ouch, you're obviously correct. Stainless has iron and a corrosion inhibitor like Chromium. It may be weakly magnetic, but it still is Ferrous.

Keep it coming! I really love this series.

Interestingly, the member comments/ guesses about alignment being a potential issue are technically sound and could be correct. However, the alignment appears pretty solid and does not scream 'big problem!' like the appearance of rust.

Was the rust removed and did that fix it?