Auto lock with door sensor regardless of closed/open door

I have the U-Bolt Pro Z-Wave.

The auto lock feature with the door sensor is great. The door would lock either immediately or on a timer when it’s closed. However, every so often, the door sensor would not work (when the kids closes the doors too fast or too slowly). There has been a few mornings where I wake up finding the door unlocked, and the door sensor did not work properly as the kids went in and out of our home, and the auto lock did not initiate.

Can we add a feature where the door would function as is with the door sensor auto lock, but also add another timer component without the door sensor trigger? This is basically combining the original auto lock (timer) without the sensor and the auto lock (timer) with the sensor. This way if the door sensor did not detect the door closing correctly, the door would still be locked after a set timer.

James714, if you followed the instructions carefully, and I’m sure you did, then you have a tiny plastic cover over the magnetic door sensor on your door frame. If that’s the case, REMOVE THE COVER. I had this same problem, removed the small plastic cover, and wala, the door sensor has NEVER failed to read. I wouldn’t rely on a timer. The minute you do that, someone will need to leave the door open longer than the timer (i.e. moving something through the door) and the deadbolt will engage only to end up damaging the door frame.

Like you, I’ve had a few instances where the auto lock did not engage door and the door was CLOSED, but the deadbolt was UNLOCKED. In these instances, the app status indicated the door was OPEN and the deadbolt UNLOCKED. So it seems to me that the auto lock did not engage because the door sensor misread the door to be OPEN.

More often, I’ve had several instances where the door was OPEN, and the deadbolt was LOCKED (protuding from the open door), even though the app indicated the door was CLOSED and deadbolt LOCKED. Which seems to me the auto lock engaged because it thought the door was closed.

In both instances it seems like the door sensor was incorrectly reading the door status and triggering the autolock based on that incorrect status.

I have been able to replicate the error in the door sensor by opening/closing the door slowly to about a 1/4" from its closed position, then pausing the motion for a few seconds, then completing the open/close. I was able to replicate this with and without the cap on the door sensor.

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Berger - Thanks. I have not tried to remove the cover to see if it increase the sensitivity, but can give it a try.

Carl - You are correct, the door would be closed, but the app would still read that the door the door was open. I have NOT had any false closed reading (i.e., door is open but the deadbolt locked w/ app saying the door is closed). This just happened again yesterday when I went out. Upon returning 30 minutes later, I thought the fingerprint reader didn’t work. Turned out the door was never locked.

Either way, I would still ask for the feature to to include door sensor auto lock + auto lock after certain timer. The security of making sure my door is locked (after I leave, at night time, etc.) is more important than potential damage to door frame. We already have the feature to auto-lock on timer, it’s just making the feature an AND versus an OR.

Plus if the deadbolt is engaged while i’m trying to closed the door, I would know immediately to unlock and relock the door. My family members (and kids) are more likely to forget to lock if the door sensor didn’t work correctly.

Yes this happens to me as well. Closing (or unlocking and opening) the door very slowly seems to trick the door into thinking it has remained in the state that it was previously in (open or closed). I believe there’s an accelerometer at work here where the ubolt won’t try to check for the door sensor at all unless it detects movement and wonder if utec could either increase the sensitivity of the accelerometer or periodically check the door sensor status regardless of whether or not door movement is detected. That would prevent the issues we are all occasionally having if my assumptions are correct.

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Same here, my U-Tec deadbolt will lock pretty consistently while the door is open (wide open, not just ajar) and NOT lock after the door is closed, especially if we close it softly. I’ve re-paired the sensor a couple of times and have tried with and without the door sensor cover.

I’ve also experienced a disconnection from my Home Assistant Z-Wave hub once, and the lock is usually a bit slow to respond.

I also agree that this needs to be improved. As far as I can tell, the lock uses an accelerometer to detect motion before ever checking for the door sensor. If no motion is detected (i.e. a really gentle opening or closing) there can be weird behavior from the lock, because it has not recognized the state change (from closed to open or vice versa).

What U-tec should do in my opinion is keep the same behavior utilizing the accelerometer for more immediate reaction to a door being closed, but when the door is unlocked, check for the door sensor periodically in the case that the door was closed or open very gently. Right now, if you unlock the bolt and open the door gently, that door sensor check doesn’t happen before automatically extending the bolt at the end of the “relock timing” setting, which can cause the bolt to stick out from the door and possibly strike the frame if the user doesn’t notice it before closing the door. Similarly, if the door is sensed to be unlocked and open, and then gently shut, the lock never checks to see if the door was shut after any timeout and will just remain unlocked indefinitely. This could probably be checked at the same interval as the relock timing just to be safe, and throw the bolt if the door is detected as closed, regardless if motion was detected or not. In fact, I initially thought this is what the relock timing interval would be for, but to me it appears the only time the relock timer would lock the door as it currently is would be if you unlocked the door but never opened it.

I’m fairly certain they are using an accelerometer to detect motion because if you gently shut the door such that it doesn’t autolock, and then wait a few seconds and knock on the door, you’ll see that it will lock right after the knock is detected.