The biggest fear I have about my smart lock is the device not working when I need it most and as a result, being locked out of my home. This can easily happen when the battery dies and the problem is exacerbated for keyless locks where you can't enter the code as the touchscreen or keypad does not respond.
In this guide, I walk through the simple ways to open your Kwikset smart lock even when the battery is drained.
Option 1: Use the Physical Key!
Most Kwikset Smart and Electronic locks typically include an exposed keyway, allowing you to unlock the door using the traditional key method even when the battery has run out of power.
This ensures you have a reliable backup option when technology fails. I recommend people give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or family member, who can then assist during emergencies or when you’re locked out of your home.
This provides a safety net and offers peace of mind in cases of battery failure.
The Obsidian touchscreen smart lock and 905 electronic deadbolts are the exceptions, as they are fully keyway-less locks. Therefore, if the battery dies in this model, there will not be a physical key to fall back on. In this case, jump to the next option.
Option 2: Use the Emergency Battery Port
Some Kwikset smart locks, such as the Obsidian and 905 models have an emergency battery port. So if the battery dies you can utilize this port to gain entry.
To use it, connect a 9-volt alkaline battery to the two terminals at the bottom of the touchscreen. Make sure both terminals on the battery make contact with those on the lock.
Once connected, keep the 9-volt battery in position and enter your user code to unlock the door.
Hold the battery in place until you see the checkmark symbol light up and the door unlocks.
Remember, if you remove the battery before the checkmark lights up, you'll have to re-enter your user code.
As a precaution, I recommend storing a 9-volt alkaline battery close to your door where the lock is installed. Conceal it outside your home, so it's readily available when you need it. That way, you'll always be prepared in case the lock's battery dies unexpectedly.
Option 3: Use an Alternate Entry Point
Consider using an alternate entry point if your Kwikset smart lock's battery dies. Look for an open window or a back door that isn't locked to gain access to your home. Once indoors, you can easily replace the batteries in the lock, restoring its functionality.
However, avoid causing any damage, like breaking a window, to enter your premises. The cost of repairs will likely be higher than hiring a locksmith to assist you.
Option 4: Hire a Professional Locksmith
If your Kwikset smart lock's battery has run out and none of the other methods have worked, then I recommend hiring a locksmith.
A locksmith has the necessary tools and expertise to pick or bump the lock without causing damage, ensuring that you regain access to your home safely and quickly.
For fully keyless locks, that do not have a keyway and therefore cannot be bumped or picked, there are other ways of tackling the problem such as bypassing the electronic mechanism or disassembling the lock. These approaches may be more destructive however and could lead to damage, requiring the lock to be replaced.
A professional locksmith will prioritize non-destructive methods and only resort to invasive techniques when absolutely necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when my Kwikset smart lock battery is running out?
Identifying a low battery in your Kwikset smart lock varies by model. Typically, the Status LED will blink red 10 times, accompanied by 10 beeps, as long as the LED and Audio switches are on.
However, the Premis model is an exception as the checkmark and lock symbols flash 5 times with a long, continuous beep.
For Wi-Fi-enabled locks, you can check the battery status in the Kwikset app. Zigbee and Z-Wave compatible locks display this information in their respective hubs.
If the batteries die, will my Kwikset smart lock stay locked?
When Kwikset smart lock batteries die, the lock typically maintains its last known state. Whether it was locked or unlocked, the lock will not change positions in case of battery failure.
This feature is present across various Kwikset models, including the Premis, Aura, Obsidian, and Halo.
So you can rely on your lock to remain secure, even when dealing with dead batteries.
What batteries does my Kwikset smart lock require?
Most Kwikset smart locks require 4xAA new, non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. It is crucial to use fresh batteries to ensure optimal performance and prevent lock malfunction.
There are some exceptions to this, like the SmartCode 955 which requires one 9v non-rechargeable alkaline battery.
Avoid using expired, partially used, or other types of batteries like lithium. The reason is that these batteries may not provide the adequate power needed for the lock to function correctly. They could also cause damage to the lock's internal components, leading to potential lock failure.
How do I replace the batteries on my Kwikset smart lock?
The process for replacing batteries varies slightly depending on the model, but here is a general step-by-step guideline.
- Locate the battery compartment window on the interior cover's top section. If the security screw was initially removed, then simply slide off the cover by pulling it up. If not, unlock and remove the cover, held by three screws. Ensure the turn piece is vertical before proceeding.
- Remove the battery pack (if present) and the old batteries.
- Insert 4 new AA batteries with the correct orientation.
- For most models, you then just simply drop back in the battery pack the way it came out.
- The light on the unit will quickly blink red and then green, accompanied by a beep.
- Replace the battery window (and interior cover). Adjust the turn piece if necessary to align with the turn piece shaft when replacing the interior cover.
- That's it!
If that doesn't work you may need to go through the automatic or manual door handling process again.