Considerations when choosing wet area lockers
Rust corrosion and how to avoid it
When choosing a locker for wet area leisure environments you have a number of materials on offer some of which are unsuitable. The lowest wet specification locker is a zinc plated mild steel locker with a powder coat paint finish, these are not suitable for wet areas and it is unlikely that they will be durable enough, though they would probably function just beyond the guarantee period.
The next level up would be a locker with an aluminium body, stainless steel door frame and door and then powder coat. This is our budget offering. This product is completely rust free and will not be affected by a humid chlorine environment. Our standard locker is suitable for light to medium duty leisure environments. We offer the option to upgrade the door material to 1,2mm stainless steel to improve durability.
All compact grade lockers
All compact grade laminate lockers, these lockers are made entirely from compact grade laminate which is completely water resistant and hard wearing. These lockers are very heavy and tend to be made by companies that manufacture cubicles. The down side of these lockers is the hardware on the hinges, which are usually standard kitchen unit hinges and are not designed for continuous leisure centre use. The other disadvantages are that the lockers are very rigid with little give, if large forces are applied to the door there is no give in the structure, and this force can result in extreme damage to the frame and hinges. The lockers are also hard to repair given the method of construction.
Laminate door leisure lockers
Laminate door leisure lockers, these are in my opinion the most suitable for leisure centre use, they have been specifically designed for municipal leisure centre use. There are a number of companies that have manufactured this type of lockers for many years, refining their design over this period.
These lockers are manufactured from aluminium with high impact plastic shelves and compact grade laminate doors. The better versions of these lockers have a structured door frame or hollow section extruded door uprights, the lower end of the market have aluminium angle sections. As the strength of the lockers is dependent on the structure of the door frame it is better to keep away from the lockers with just angle section.
Hinges are one of the most important structural features of the locker and this will have a large impact on the life of the locker. Items to consider are is there the possibility of a finger trap? How robust are the hinges? What happens if you push hard on the locker door? How easy is it to replace the hinges? How much do replacement hinges cost? Are replacement hinges available?
If you buy a locker that has a long pedigree, you can then expect to be able to purchase locker parts for the life of the lockers.
If you are buying a wet area locker lock, you must check that the lockers are also wet specification. We have seen lockers supplied with dry specification locks, these will not last very long in wet chlorine environments as the lock springs rust and the lock fails, they usually have a life of about 18 months.
Good examples of wet specification locks are Ojmar security key, ASSA classic and L&F classic. Locks are in order of preference.
Locks with removable barrels are preferential to fixed barrel locks as the barrels can be removed and replaced when the keys have been taken, This enables you to get the locker back in use immediately while keys are being replaced. You can also move the barrels around your lockers for increased security.
Multi coin locks are also available these are particularly useful when you want to collect the coins. These locks allow the use of two coins one deposit and one retained. For example, a £1 coin can be used as a deposit and a 20p used and collected. Most of the duel coin locks have a red button on the back of the lock, which allows the lock to be used multi times without collecting the coin. The deposit is only returned when the red button is pressed.
Other locker locks are available such as hasp locks, which take a padlock, mechanical and electronic combination locks and RFID locks
Most manufacturers supply their lockers with door numbers some offer both tactile and braille numbers.