Recently, my Cannon gun safe electronic lock failed. I initially tried a new battery. But, much to my horror, that didn’t fix the problem! Although annoying, since I could not get into the safe, I wasn’t overly concerned. Cannon has a lifetime warranty on all of their safes. I called the Cannon customer support line to get the problem solved.
Cannon was quite gracious. They advised that they would ship the replacement safe keypad and locking mechanism to me. They also said that the lock components are backordered and may take some time to get shipped. That raised a level of concern with me but what I was told next really raised the alarm bells.
I Have to Have the Gun Safe Drilled?
Cannon advised that I would have to get a locksmith to come and drill the gun safe open to change the components that failed. I called local locksmiths to see what that would run. I got two possible answers to that.
a) From a standard locksmith I got “It would only be a few hundred dollars but since we don’t know safes, the safe will be unusable after we open it”. I could actually open up the safe myself with 1 or 2 cutoff wheels but I want to salvage the safe, not destroy it.
b) From a local Gun safe distributor and Technician. It would run anywhere from $400 to $800 to drill open and replace the components! That’s more that the safe is worth! I mentioned this to them. They replied that they would be happy to sell me a new gun safe! Of course they would still charge me to open the old one.
An Alternative to Drilling the Gun Safe
Not being happy with that course of action I started doing some research. Rather than call local locksmiths I went up the chain a little bit. I ended up speaking to a distributor of safes and safe components who apparently knew their stuff. That conversation was pretty interesting and informative.
What I learned was that in most cases it is the keypad that goes bad. Replacing the keypad is fairly simple. Additionally, the locking mechanism inside the safe holds the actual code. What that means is that if the keypad has failed and you replace it, you should be able to open the safe with the original code.
Replacing the Safe Keypad
My safe and most Cannon gun safes use locks from LaGard, also abbreviated as LG. The correct keypad to replace mine is the LaGard model LG5715-SC. This model is backward compatible to at least two models so should work. Naturally, I wanted to try replacing the keypad as soon as possible!
There was one little problem though, Cannon hadn’t sent me the replacement lock mechanisms yet. (Side note, this was three months ago and I still haven’t received the replacement parts) So, I went online and ordered a LG5715-SC keypad.
The Replacement LaGard LG57115-SC Keypad
After getting it in the mail, I examined it. It seemed fairly similar to the old one except for the color. The old one had a gold tone and the new one is silver. I believe that is the only option available. Honestly though, I don’t care what color it is as long as I can get back into the safe! It did look as if it were pre-wired, which concerned me. Further inspection revealed that this was connected to the keypad via a connector.
Testing the New Gun Safe KeyPad
Breathing a sigh of relief on that last note, I removed the existing keypad from the safe. On these older keypads, removing them is a bit of a task. You have to literally peel the keypad off of the face. Underneath that there is a tactile membrane; you also have to peel that off. Once you have removed those two layers from the face of the keypad you’ll find to holes that are horizontal across the middle.
Inside those holes are the screws holding the keypad on to the safe. You can use a medium sized Philips screwdriver to remove those screws. Once those are out, the keypad will come right off. There is a wire coming out of the safe that is attached to the keypad. I ended up breaking the small circuit board in the keypad to remove the wire. Luckily, the connector on that wire matches the receptacle on the new keypad!
So the next step is to test the new keypad. To do this, I removed the wire that came with the keypad from the keypad itself. Next, I connected the wire coming out of the safe to the keypad. Finally, I installed a 9v batter in the key pad and tried out the old combination.
Holding my breath, I keyed in the old combination. To my horror, I realized I had forgotten it! I gave it some thought and head scratching and finally remembered it. So, I keyed it in and the safe clicked! I was able to get in to the safe now!
Final Installation of the new Keypad
The next step is to permanently install the keypad. This required installing the two screws supplied with the safe to the safe itself. A quick note on this, the old keypad was permanently screwed into place with two bolts that are horizontal. The new keypad snaps on to the supplied bolts which are installed vertically.
It turns out that luck was still with me. There are four holes drilled and tapped in my safe. That meant I could install the new keypad without have to drill and tap installation holes.
First, I installed the two screws (vertically) on the safe. To ease the installation, I removed the back plate from the new keypad. Next, I threaded the wire coming out of the safe through the back plate and connected it to the circuit board on the keypad. After that, I attached the back plate.
The final step was to install the battery and snap the keypad on to the safe. There was one more thing I needed to do before calling this complete. I keyed in the combo and listened to the satisfying sound of the safe “clicking” open.
This turned out to be an easy way on recovering my gun safe and saving around $800 to boot! I hope this can help you save money and time if your electronic safe lock should fail.
This link is for the video version of this article: Cannon Digital Gun Safe Fail Fix! Locked Out! Don’t Drill – TRY THIS FIRST!
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