Looking for advice on padlocks : Locksmith


A little bit of a change of pace question for y’all. (I did message the mods and get permission to post this.) Tl;dr: I need padlocks that can tolerate having their combinations reset a LOT.

I work in a library, and in trying to get items to patrons in a socially distant manner, we put a bunch of lockers just outside the library (think like metal gym/school lockers). We bought resettable Masterlock padlocks to lock them, and set the combination to the last 4 digits of the patron’s library card number, so when they make a reservation they don’t need our help to open the locker.

The problem is that the locks don’t seem to tolerate having their combinations reset multiple times per week. We have 12 lockers, which we reduced to 9, because we’re having a failure rate of like 1-3 locks per week and just don’t have spares. Either the reset tool will no longer turn in its slot, or the lock will stop “accepting” new combinations (you give it a combination, but then when you go to unlock it it doesn’t recognize the new combination….but it doesn’t recognize the old combination either). We’ve been doing this since October and have bought…24 locks? At least? Which is a lot for our budget.

The locks we bought are Masterlocks #176 with the supervisor key override. We also have some 175’s, which seem to hold up better, but if a combination gets lost or set incorrectly we have no way to get into those locks short of cutting them off. Basically, I’m looking for ideas of what’s going wrong (if it’s something a non-expert like me could potentially fix), or alternate recommendations of locks, or ideas for some entire other system. We don’t have the budget for something that would require bluetooth/electronics/an app. I have been told that pneumatic tubes, like they have at bank driveups, are impractical.

Thank you, lock experts!



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