Exit Devices with Electric Latch Retraction

Overview

Almost all exit device manufacturers offer the option of electric latch retraction on their touchbar-style exit devices.  Different manufactures may call it by other names such as ‘latch pull-back’ or ‘remote dogging’.  Some people refer a device with electric latch retraction as an ‘electrified exit device’, but that could also refer to electric unlocking of outside trim – a different animal altogether.  Electric latch retraction is accomplished by unsing a powerful solenoid or electric motor to actually retract the latch or latches of an exit device.

The advantages of electric latch retraction over other means of electrically unlocking exit device-equipped openings are:

  • Electric latch retraction is fail secure.  When power is supplied, the latches retract.  When power is shut off, the latches extend, securing the door.
  • Electric latch retraction works well with power operators because when the latches are retracted, the doors can swing free.
  • With electric latch retraction, pairs of doors continue to be latched top and bottom.

Cheaper alternatives, such as using an electromagnetic lock or an electric strike, would result in double doors that are only locked at the top.  If they happen to be aluminum narrow stile doors locked only at the top, a person could actually pull the bottom of the locked door open several inches with very little effort.  Such installations are at best sloppy, at worst not secure.

    Following are examples of electric latch retraction devices by different manufacturers.

    Adams Rite

    Division of Assa Abloy.

    http://www.adamsrite.com/

    Adams Rite makes hardware primarily for aluminum-and-glass storefront type doors, but also for standard hollow metal and wood doors. All of their exit devices are available with latch retraction.

    Their rim devices, the 3700, 8700 and 8800 series require no specific power supply. 12VDC models draw 1.5 amps, 24VDC models draw 600mA.

    All other devices draw an inrush current of 16 amps and require the Adams Rite PS-LR power supply. The PS-LR will power up to 2 Adams Rite exit devices with electric latch retraction.

    They make rim, concealed vertical rod, surface vertical rod, and mortise exit devices.

    They do not offer a retrofit kit for field conversion of existing devices to my knowledge.

    Doromatic

    Division of Ingersoll Rand.

    http://exits.doromatic.com/

    Doromatic makes exit devices primarily for aluminum storefront doors. All of their touchbar-style devices are available with electric latch retraction. Since purchased by Ingersoll Rand they use the Von Duprin type solendoid for latch retraction, and use the Von Duprin PS873-2 power supply to handle the 16-amp inrush current these solenoids draw.

    The PS914-2RS  will power up to 2 exit devices with electric latch retraction.

    Doromatic offers an electric latch retraction field retrofit kit for their 1490 series concealed vertical rod device and their 1590 series rim device. The EL1690 concealed vertical rod device and EL1790 rim device are in fact field retrofit kits to electrify the 1990 and 2090 series crash bar “pipe-type” exit devices for latch retraction.

    Precision

    Division of Stanley.

    http://www.precisionhardware.com/

    Precision makes exit devices for hollow metal, aluminum storefront, and wood doors, fire rated and non fire rated. All touchbar-style exit devices are available with electric latch retraction. ELR devices require an ELR150 series power supply. Use:

    • ELR151 for 1 ELR exit device
    • ELR152 for 2 exit devices
    • ELR153 for 3 exit devices
    • ELR154 for 4 exit devices

    Precision offers ELRK and NELRK series conversion kits to retrofit existing exit devices to electric latch retraction in the field.

    Sargent

    Division of Assa Abloy.

    http://www.sargentlock.com/

    Sargent offers a very wide variety of exit devices in various functions and configurations to accomodate diverse applications. All 80-series models are available with “Remote Dogging / Latch Retraction”. Sargent recommends the Securitron BPS-24-1 power supply, a simple 1-amp, 24VDC power supply, to power it electric latch retraction offerings.

    Sargent offers a retrofit kit to convert existing Sargent exit devices to electric latch retraction in the field.

    Von Duprin

    Division of Ingersoll Rand.

    http://www.vonduprin.com/

    Von Duprin offers electric latch retraction in rim, surface vertical rod, concealed vertical rod, mortise, and three-point exit devices for narrow stile aluminum storefront, standard hollow metal, and wood door applications. These would be the 33, 35, 98 and 99 series. Like the Doromatic exit devices discussed earlier, since they use almost exactly the same solenoid, Von Duprin electric latch retraction devices draw a 16-amp inrush current and therefore require the PS914-2RS to power 1 or 2 devices.

    Von Duprin offers retrofit kits to field convert existing exit devices to electric latch retraction.

    Global Considerations

    • Check door width. Electric latch retraction devices may not fit if the door is too narrow.
    • A means of getting current from the door frame into the device, such as a door cord or electric power transfer will be needed.
    • Voltage drop due to length of wire run could be an issue with high current inrush devices.

    If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at tomr@rubecom.us

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