The complex mechanism in door locks involving numerous tiny moving parts makes people dread losing their keys. When people lose their keys, they may have to break their locks to get into the house and later repair them to keep the house secure. Well, losing your apartment key is not the only reason that can cause door lock problems.
Typically, door locks can malfunction at any given time. In that case, you have to fix the problem as soon as possible if you want your home under lock and key. As you read on, you will know some of the conventional door-lock issues and their solutions. Knowing some of the lock problems will also help you figure preventative measures to maintain your lock and keep it from malfunctioning.
Slow working door locks
Sometimes the exterior locks may freeze while the inside locks get dirtier causing the lock to work slowly. As this happens, it makes the small internal parts susceptible to wear and tear. Over time, they wear out, break and malfunction. Mostly, people will make replacement for their locks at this juncture. However, there exists a remedy to use to solve the matter. Find graphite and put in the lock hole by squeezing it from a tube or dusting it on a key before inserting it.
Operate the lock severally to get the graphite into the lock mechanisms. To dissolve gummy and dirty deposits in locks, you may want to use alcohol-containing deicers. Disassembling the lock needs to be your last resort if you want to find anything that is jammed or broken in the lock. Ideally, it will save you the cost of buying a new lock.
Complete cylinder-turn in locks
Locks have setscrews that hold cylinders in place. When these setscrews break or even get loose, they cause lock cylinder to easily turn. To fix this problem, you need to find the faceplate at the edge of the door to locate one or two cylinder setscrews. Ensure that they are all in line with the cylinder’s center. Turn the setscrews clockwise to tighten them. The setscrews need to engage a slot that runs on the edge of the cylinder. Ultimately, replace the faceplate and check the lock to see if there is an entire cylinder-turn.
Both the latch and the strike plate need to be in good alignment for proper lock latching. When these two are out of alignment, you will definitely have problems with the latch. First, tighten the hinge screws of a lock. Loosen the screws of the strike plate and adjust it by slightly shifting it. The shifting process often entails mortising the jamb and filing part of old mortise. Replacing the strike plate with an adjustable one is also one of the ways to solve the misalignment problem. Some of the conventional reasons why the latching may be problematic include loose screws in the door know and lock assembly, loose hinge screws and the strike of the jamb when closing the door.
When the deadbolt cannot easily access the throat in the strike plate, you are dealing with a stuck deadbolt. It is imperative to ensure that the strike plate is secure. Reasonable alignment with the bolt is one of the elements that fix stuck deadbolts. Therefore, all you need to do is file the edges of the strike plate to a small extent. Around the edges of the deadbolt’s end, filing needs to be even slighter. In the event this bears no fruit, remove the strike plate, put some glue and wood matchsticks in the screw holes to reposition it properly and screw it in again. This will fix the problem for you.
Broken key in lock
It sounds frustrating having a broken key in a lock. The good thing is that you can still fix the problem and get inside your house. Find a pair of pliers that you will use to grip the key and pull it straight out. Work with effective pliers such needle-nose pliers.
If you fail to a get a grip even with the most effective pliers, you may have to cut off a coping saw blade. Insert the saw blade into the keyway with the teeth pointing outward to attempt hooking the key and bringing it out gently. Alternatively, you may remove the cylinder, put a stiff wire into the cam slot at the cylinder-back to push the key out. For a last resort, find help from a locksmith and you will be sorted nicely.
Occasionally, you may have to deal with malfunctioning locks at home, nonetheless, there is no need to be baffled as these simple solutions to conventional lock problems will come in handy in fixing lock issues. In some cases where things may seem to get out of hand, you may call a locksmith for immediate assistance.