8 Reason Why Treadmill Safety Key Not Working (Insertion & Magnetic Type)

treadmill safety key not working
treadmill safety key not working

My NordicTrack treadmill comes with a safety key to turn off the power quickly in case of emergency.

I  believe most treadmill has this safety feature.

There are TWO types of treadmill safety key as I am aware:

  • Insertion Safety Key (Insert to complete the circuit)
  • Magnetic Safety Key (Use magnet to trigger the treadmill magnetic switch and complete the circuit)

In this post, I will talk about the most common reasons why the treadmill safety key not working.

Treadmill Safety Key Not Working

I think the most common issue is that the Safety Key is inserted, but the display does not have any response.

The treadmill console not turning on and the treadmill might keep beeping.

This is quite a common issue for treadmill safety key.

The first thing you have to check is that the treadmill is properly turned on, does not has any power supply or console issue.

There is no fuse blown, the power extension you use is working fine, the voltage stabilizer (If any) is output correct voltage, etc.

As you can see from the image below, my voltage stabilizer has an output voltage display for easy viewing.

nordictrack treadmill voltage stabilizer front

This is how the treadmill should response when the treadmill safety key is inserted and removed.

Insertion Type Safety Key

My NordicTrack treadmill model comes with the insertion type safety key as shown in the image below.

treadmill safety key insertion type

The theory is quite simple, the are two “legs” on the safety key and these are the electrical conductors.

There are also safety key holes on the console.

When inserted to the treadmill safety key slot, it completes the circuit and the electrical power can now flow through the safety key.

Treadmill is now powered on.

  1. Key Insertion Problem

If you are having problem with the insertion type safety key, it can be due to key insertion.

Please make sure you insert it correctly, and use your hand to check whether the safety key is now tightly inserted.

nordictrack treadmill safety key

If not, remove the safety key and try to insert again with greater force and make it deeply inserted.

Try to shake it a bit to see if the treadmill has any response.

If the treadmill does show power is on but turn off again after you remove your hand, then the safety key is loosened.

In this case, inspect the safety key slot and the conductor inside the safety key hole.

inspect treadmill safety key slot

You may use a thin tool to adjust the position of the conductor inside the safety key holes so that it can hold the safety key tightly.

  1. Lost insertion type safety key and does not have compatible safety key on hand

Sometimes you might lose your safety key.

Without safety key, you cannot turn on the treadmill.

The easiest way is to purchase a compatible online.

But it might take times for the parcel to be delivered to you.

If you are in urgent or does not have patience to wait for it, you may simply DIY a treadmill key.

Luckily, for insertion type of safety key, the DIY process is fairly simple.

You just need a copper wire and electrical insulation tape.

nordictrack treadmill safety key diy insert into holes

Read this post on how I DIY the treadmill safety key or watch the video below.

  1. Check for safety key slot backend wire connection

You may remove all the screws on the treadmill console and open the cover of the console carefully.

After that locate the safety key slot component as shown in the image below.

treadmill safety key backside wire connection

As you can see, there are wire connections from the safety key slot component.

Make sure these wire connections are tightly connected.

And do not forget to check for the other ends of the wire connection are connected securely to the circuit board as shown in the image below.

treadmill console circuit board

  1. Safety key slot component is damaged

There is a possibility that the safety key itself is fine, just the safety key slot component is faulty.

To verify this claim, what you can do is to simply bypass or short cuicuit the safety key component.

To do this, remove the wire connections to and from the safety key component, bypass it and connect the wires together directly.

treadmill bypass safety key

If this trick works and the console is now powered on, that’s mean the safety key slot component is faulty.

Please take note it is not safe to bypass the safety key, I would recommend you to buy the spare part of the compatible safety key component and replace it.

Magnetic Type Safety Key

For the magnetic type of safety key, its operating mechanism is slightly different than the insertion type of safety key above.

There is a magnet on the the safety key, or the safety key itself is entirely magnetized as shown in the video below.

To check whether your treadmill safety key is a magnet type, just try to move the safety key to metal like iron.

If it attracts iron, that’s mean it is a magnetic safety key.

Normally the safety key slot for the magnetic type does not have any holes on it.

When this magnetic safety key is inserted to the slot, it will interact with the magnetic switch or sensor inside the safety key slot component.

The magnetic switch will now turned on the treadmill as the circuit is completed.

Just like the same principle as the insertion safety key, the power flows through the console and stark working.

When magnetic safety key is removed, the magnetic will now be switched off as there is no magnet to trigger it now.

Hence, power to the console and treadmill is cut off.

If the magnetic safety key is not working, here’s the possible reasons.

  1. Magnet on the safety key is weak

I am not sure what cause this but the magnet on the safety key may turn weak from time to time.

When the safety key does not have enough magnetic effect to trigger the magnetic switch inside the console, the safety key simply won’t work.

You may try if your magnetic safety key is still strong enough to attract the metal like iron.

If the magnetic force is too weak, I would suggest you to replace it with a stronger general magnetic safety key.

  1. Magnetic interference around the treadmill

Are there any magnetic products around your treadmill?

For example, speakers contain magnets that might cause magnetic interference.

Make sure you move things that contain magnet away from your treadmill.

  1. Magnetic Switch and Wire Connection issue

Just like the insertion safety key slot above, the magnetic switch of the safety key slot might have damaged.

Try to use any stronger magnet to trigger it to see if it has any response.

One thing you can do is to bypass the magnetic switch by connecting the wire together directly.

If the magnetic switch is faulty, I would recommend you to replace it with a new one.

Also do not forget to check the wire connections to and from the magnetic switch.

  1. Lost your treadmill magnetic safety key

Yeah, I understand that this is common.

Luckily it is also quite easy to solve.

Just like the video below, find a suitable magnet, insert it to safety key slot and it should work now.


I have listed the most common reasons that cause the treadmill safety key not working issue.

If you are currently facing the similar problem, leave your experience in the comment box below.


  • Hadwin Blair

    Hi, I am Hadwin, a Gym lover and have set up my own home Gym for daily use. Empower Gym Equipment! I share my real personalized experiences on the Gym equipment!

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