If your Kwikset smart lock is on the fritz, I’ve got you covered! From my own experience with a Kwikset lock along with researching a wide array of other model types, I’ve collated 10 troubleshooting steps to help solve a Kwikset smart lock that isn’t working.
This comprehensive guide covers scenarios such as dead batteries, unresponsive keypads, solid red LED indicators, devices that won’t pair with Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave networks and more. Read on!
1. Battery is Dead or Too Low
The most common issue you’ll encounter with your Kwikset smart lock is a dead or low battery.
When the battery is too low to operate the lock effectively, the keypad will flash red three times and emit three beeps.
In the event that the battery is completely dead, there will be no lights or beeping sounds.
A weak or dead battery can prevent you from locking or unlocking the door, so it's important to monitor the lock's indicators and replace the batteries as needed.
If you find yourself locked out due to a dead or low battery, don't panic. You can still gain access to your home using a fallback option, such as the physical key that comes with the lock, or using a 9V battery in the emergency power port. Check out my article here on this.
Once inside, you can remove the old batteries and replace them with a fresh set to restore proper operation. To avoid future lockouts, make sure to consistently check for low battery warnings and replace batteries as necessary.
2. Making Noises But Doesn't Lock
When a Kwikset smart lock makes noises but doesn't lock, the issue can be due to a warped door or problems with the door handling mechanism.
Over time, doors can warp, or components like the latch or strike might become jammed. This added tension in the lock system can hinder the deadbolt from extending and retracting correctly, causing the lock to malfunction.
To resolve this issue, you’ll need to repeat the door handling process specific to your lock model.
Door Handling Process
For example, the Aura, Premis, and Kevo models initiate automatic door handling when the battery is installed. However, if this doesn't work, you can carry out the manual door handling process by pressing and holding the program button while inserting the battery pack, then releasing it after three seconds and pressing the program button again. This prompts the latch to extend and retract.
For the Powerbolt 2 model, you'll need to enter the master code followed by the unlock button, and then press 0 and lock for the latch to extend and retract.
For the SmartCode 910 model, hold the lock button on the exterior assembly while sliding in the battery pack, allowing the latch to extend and retract accordingly.
Other things to look out for
Over-tightening the mounting plate screws can also cause the Kwikset smart lock to malfunction. When the mounting plate places excessive tension on the torque blade, latch, or strike, this can affect the lock's performance.
Also, ensure the hole in the door frame behind the strike is drilled at least 1 inch (25 mm) deep and that the strike plate is properly aligned with the latch bolt.
3. Solid Red LED is Showing
If a solid red LED is showing on your Kwikset smart lock, there might be a few reasons behind it, and the meaning varies based on the model of your lock.
In most cases, it indicates that the door-handing process discussed above was unsuccessful. Some possible causes and fixes for this issue include: the lock interior not being mounted perpendicular to the ground, the hole in the door being misaligned, the battery level being too low, or the latch and strike being misaligned, which causes the latch to bind.
For Kwikset model 910, the red LED might suggest that the latch is installed upside down.
On the other hand, if you're using a Kevo smart lock, the solid red LED indicators have different meanings. If the top two LEDs are solid red, it's a signal that the AA batteries in the Kevo interior are low and need to be replaced. Whereas, if the bottom LED is solid red, it means that the fob battery is running low and requires replacement.
4. User Code Not Set
Kwikset smart locks like the Aura, 264, and Powerbolt 2 usually will not function correctly if a user code has not been set or programming was unsuccessful.
For some models (like the SmartCode 913) this is communicated by flashing red three times and emitting three beeps if there is no user code. However, these models have the same indicator for when an incorrect code is entered, which can be confusing.
Other models like the SmartCode 914 and 888, provide one beep and one flash is a user code is not set.
User codes must be enabled for the Kwikset smart locks to function correctly, and it's important to remember that the master code is required for programming but not for unlocking the door.
How to Add a User Code
To add a user code to your smart lock, follow these steps (This is based on the Powerbolt 2 model):
- Keep the door open and unlocked during programming
- Enter the master code
- Press the lock button
- Then press button 1
- Press the lock button again
- Next, input the new user code
- Press the lock button once more
Ensure that the user code is between 4 and 10 digits and that it doesn't duplicate an existing code or the master code. Make sure the lock has space for an additional code; if all user code positions are full, you will need to delete one.
Enable (and Disable) User Codes
To disable and enable user codes, follow these steps (Again based on the Powerbolt 2 model):
Press the master code, lock button, button 1, button 7, and lock button.
Performing this sequence once disables all user codes, and repeating it re-enables the codes.
The lock button and auto-lock function will be disabled until user codes are reactivated, so the lock can only be operated with a key and turn piece.
Model Specific Process
Above I was using the Powerbolt 2 as an example, so you’ll need to consult your specific model's instruction manual for how to do it on yours. A lot of the other models require pressing the Program button for a time.
5. Incorrect Access Code Used
If you encounter an issue with your Kwikset smart lock not working, it could be due to using an incorrect user code.
To resolve this, double-check the user code you're entering and ensure you press the lock button after keying in the code.
Attempt using a different user code if the issue persists.
As alluded to above, keep in mind that different models of Kwikset locks display various indicators for incorrect codes.
For example, SmartCode 913 flashes red three times accompanied by three beeps, while SmartCode 914 and 888 locks signal one beep and one flash. The Obsidian model, on the other hand, shows an “X” pattern accompanied by one beep.
Some Kwikset models, like the SmartCode 910, have a useful feature where you can press the lock button before entering your user code to illuminate the keypad at night.
If the problem still occurs after trying the above steps, you might need to change the access codes using the Mastercode. (See section above)
This could potentially resolve any issues stemming from incorrect codes that are causing the smart lock to not open.
6. Lock Not Working after a Battery Change
If your Kwikset smart lock is not working after changing the batteries, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the issue. I’ve written a full guide on this which you can find here.
Firstly, double-check that the batteries are oriented correctly and that the battery pack is securely inserted. If the problem persists, try using a different set of batteries, and test their charge level with a battery tester or through the Kwikset app. For Z-Wave and Zigbee model smart locks, ensure you've waited at least 30 seconds between removing the old batteries and inserting the new ones to avoid any power-related issues.
For Powerbolt locks, remember to locate the reset button on the lock before reinstalling the battery cover. Press and hold this button for 5 seconds or until you hear three distinct beeps to reset the lock.
When changing batteries, it's also crucial to carry out the door handling process to ensure the lock recognizes the correct orientation of the door. Lastly, confirm that the interior cover is securely reconnected to the exterior body of the lock.
By following these steps, you should be able to resolve any issues encountered after a battery change in your Kwikset smart lock.
7. Lock not working through a Connected Zigbee or Z-Wave System
If you have a Z-Wave or Zigbee model smart lock, there are a few reasons why your lock may not be working via remote control.
Wait during battery changes
Firstly, it's advised to wait at least 30 seconds after removing the old batteries before inserting new ones. This ensures a clean power cycle of the lock's internal system.
Manually Reconnect to Hub
Next, I recommend reconnecting your lock to your smart home controller.
For this, you'll need to remove the device and add it back using the specific instructions for your hub.
In the case of the Z-Wave SmartCode 910, you start by initiating the process to add the lock from your smart home controller. When prompted, press button “A” on the lock's interior once, and the red LED should light up as it enters Add Mode.
If it's successful, rename the lock within your system. If not, follow the instructions provided by your smart home system to remove the lock from the controller completely, and then try adding the lock again by pressing button “A” once.
It’s possible that your smart lock is having trouble connecting to your mesh network. Perhaps there was a repeater close by that is no longer working, and as a result, the smart lock is struggling to connect.
While mesh networks tend to automatically heal, you could try to manually repair the network which may improve communications to the smart lock.
8. Keypad Unresponsive
If the keypad is unresponsive, there are various reasons and potential fixes to consider.
One possible issue is a keypad lockout, which is a security feature that activates after multiple unsuccessful attempts to input the correct code. During this time, you'll need to wait 30 seconds before trying again.
Dead batteries can also cause an unresponsive keypad, in which case it's essential to replace them promptly, ensuring they're correctly oriented. High-quality, new alkaline batteries are recommended.
Sometimes, activating the screen on touchscreen lock models like the Obsidian can resolve unresponsiveness. There are several techniques, such as pressing the checkmark area gently or using multiple fingers placed simultaneously on the screen.
If none of these work, checking the cable connecting the exterior keypad to the interior assembly might be necessary. A loose or misaligned cable can lead to a loss of signal.
Additionally, running a keypad error test and performing the door handling process can help identify any hardware troubles or alignment problems that might be interfering with normal function.
9. Bluetooth refusing to pair or can't connect after pairing?
When experiencing issues with your Kwikset smart lock, such as difficulty pairing or maintaining a Bluetooth connection, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take.
- First, check if the lock is listed on your smartphone's Bluetooth device list and remove it if present.
- Next, turn your phone's Bluetooth off and back on before attempting to reconnect to the lock.
- If the problem persists, power cycle the lock by removing the battery pack, pressing and holding the program button for 5 seconds, then pressing and holding button A for 5 seconds before replacing the battery pack.
- Finally, you may want to reboot your phone and try reconnecting once more.
If none of these solutions work, consider performing a network reset or factory reset on your Kwikset smart lock. In the case of the Aura model, this involves pressing the Program for 30 seconds while reinserting the battery pack until the lock flashes red and makes a sound. Then pressing the Program button again for 20 seconds until the LED flashes green and you hear a single beep.
After the reset, you'll need to perform the door-handling process again, which involves pressing the lock button continuously while inserting the battery pack, as well as adding user codes.
10. Factory Reset
A factory reset might be your best bet when dealing with a malfunctioning Kwikset smart lock.
This process restores the lock to its default settings, wiping any paired smartphones, systems, user codes, and fobs from its memory. It can be useful in cases where a firmware update went bad, bricking the device.
Be prepared to re-enroll your owner's phone, resend eKeys, repair systems, and restore fobs as needed after the reset.
It is important to note that the reset procedure may differ slightly for various Kwikset models, such as Kevo Convert & Kevo, SmartCode 913, SmartCode 914 & 888, Obsidian, Powerbolt, Halo Touch, and Premis.
Regardless of the model, resetting a Kwikset smart lock typically involves pressing and holding a specific button (usually “Program” or “Reset”) for a set duration until the lock beeps and flashes red.
Next, you'll need to execute the door-handling process, which learns the door's orientation by extending and retracting the latch bolt.
If you have a SmartCode 914 or 888 model, you'll also need to press an additional button (button “A”) to enter “Add Mode” and connect the lock back to your smart home hub.
Always consult your lock's instruction manual for the exact reset steps for your specific model.
I hope these steps help in solving your Kwikset smart lock problem. While these instructions cover a wide range of model types, I recommend you consult your Kwikset smart lock user manual for the most accurate troubleshooting information.