How to get Yale 1520 exit device to work correctly – Seattle's Maple Leaf Locksmith LLC – (206)335-4559

How to get Yale 1520 exit device to work correctly

This is just what I did, I’m not recommending it because it might void the warranty and fire rating if this is 1520f and lawyers etc etc, you are the captain of your own boat in life. You have to remove any play in the top rod by adding a cotter pin or roll pin in the sliding telescoping portion with a one inch cutout.

Ok I’ve had a real runaround with Yale tech support on this (spent about an hour trying to reach relevant tech support on the phone, apparently phone system was down at Yale that day) and ultimately figured out a solution that works reliably on my own. I don’t know if it is the correct one or not but figured this may save some hair loss and extra wrinkles from forming out there. I’m not one to claim that the manufacturer screwed up design wantonly but if you’re here trying to figure this out no doubt that is one conclusion you’ve entertained!

Like most vertical rod exit devices the rod is pushed up to release the top latch and then also hold the bottom rod up inside the door until the door closes and the top latch trigger is hit, locking the top latch and dropping the bottom rod into a hole on the floor. Normally to make this work correctly you have to eliminate any play in the system. If there is any play in the rods then the small amount of travel gained from pushing an exit device or rotating a lever will not be enough to release the top latch.

Good luck figuring this out if you aren’t used to this kind of hardware.

The Yale 1520 doesn’t come with a lot of instructions, just a kind of exploded view on an 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. The carpenters on this jobsite did the rod prep but I think they did as well as can be expected of anybody. There were some issues with this hardware straight from the factory at Yale. They shipped out “yokes” that weren’t compatible with the Yale 1520, they just didn’t fit. When the site manager called and complained they sent out more of the wrong part, argued and then finally sent out the correct part when shown pictures of it not fitting. The site manager was the one who noticed that in Yale’s tech support pictures the yoke was a different color!

Once the yokes were installed the next huge problem was that the upper vertical rod for some reason has about an inch of play built into it with a roll pin that slides in a 1 inch cutout. I can’t imagine what purpose this serves. You push the exit device, the upper latch is released, and then when you release the exit device the top rod’s inner sleeve falls an inch and the bottom rod drags on the ground.

The solution to this problem is to drill an additional hole in the cutout and put one of the included cotter pins through it and thereby remove the inch of play. The bottom rod will then stay inside the door when the door is open reliably.

Add one of the cotter pins, make sure to fold it over into the cutout so it doesn’t grab anything inside the door during movement.

This system was a nightmare to work with. I also have misgivings about how well the little threaded connection between the yoke and the vertical rods will last if there is any abuse. Locksmiths generally dislike vertical rod exit devices because of these sorts of things but I detest this lock, I may just walk away if I see one of these on a job site again. Yale tech support was extremely unhelpful with this, I lost money on it, the jobsite super probably thinks I’m a clown locksmith and probably also doesn’t like Yale hardware anymore.

Every time any adjustment to rod height has to be made you have to carefully unscrew a 5/64″ screw from the rod. Don’t drop anything into the door or it might fall into the bottom rod assembly and cause it to malfunction! Then you have to screw it back into the rod. This may require three hands to get it started. To do properly you probably want to add the spacers which seem designed to fall into the door. Then you have to reinstall the exterior trim which is no picnic, the tailpiece is connected to a spring so you have to line things up perfectly. Sometimes you get lucky and the tailpiece slides in, other times you have to curse and fidget for twenty minutes. I hate concealed rods but I hate the Yale 1520 more, maybe even more than the knockoffs I’ve installed for people who bought them off of amazon (never again!).

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Bjørn Madsen

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