5 Common Lock Problems and How to Fix Them
Fully operating and functional locks are top priority for the protection of our homes and businesses. When there is a problem with your lock, it usually needs dealt with straight away. Some lock problems are serious and require the skills of a fully trained locksmith, but others can be solved by following the simple guidance below. Here are 5 of the most common problems/situations, and what you should do if they occur.
1. Lock Problems - A Key Breaks In The Lock!
This is very frustrating and always occurs out of the blue with little or no warning. Here are some dos and donts to consider if this happens to you. Avoid trying to lock or unlock the door further with the broken piece of key, this may insert the broken key further into the locking mechanism making it more difficult to retrieve. However, when there is enough of the broken key visible, you can try inserting the tip of needle nosed pliers into the keyhole to grab the broken key and pull it out – not as easy as it sounds. When the broken part of the key doesn’t come out easily, don’t force it. It wont work and you could potentially make matters a lot worse. At this stage you should call for the help of a trained locksmith.
We have the tools and skills to remove the key, potentially, without causing further damage to the lock or the door.
2. Lock Is Stiff And Difficult To Open
Dirt and dust will always find its way into a lock and build up over time. When this happens the lock can clog up making it difficult to turn. You can apply some graphite spay or silicone based lubricant in the lock. Put the key back in and turn it a few times. Never use oil based products such as WD-40, they tend to cause problems with clagging later on.
3. uPVC Door Is Difficult To Lock Or Open
Top tip coming up!! Test your lock with the door in the open position. If the door can be locked/unlocked easily, but not when the door is closed, this is a sure indication that the problem lies with the alignment of the locking points. uPVC doors are designed to be infinitely adjustable but can sometimes slip or drop out of position. Most people will find tricky to correct but is usually a quick fix by a trained locksmith. Unfortunately, if you discover that the locking mechanism has problems when the door is open this may indicate that the lock is faulty in which case new parts might be required. Again a quick call to a locksmith will have this sorted in no time.
4. Key Is Difficult To Insert
This might sound bonkers but first of all confirm that the right key is being used in the lock! If its the correct key, the next thing to rule out badly cut keys. Poorly cut keys will definitely cause a problem in the locks, which is why it is important to use a reputable locksmith when you get new keys cut. Do you have another key for the lock, try it to see if it works. If the problem lies with the bad key you should be sorted. I f the lock is at fault this will need investigation by a locksmith and may require a new one to be fitted.
5. Key Won’t Turn In Lock
The cause of this issue could be many fold. First of all it is important that you never force the key to turn in the lock as this could cause the key to break. You can try lubricating the lock with graphite spray or silicone based lubricant as mentioned above. If this doesn’t help it could be that there is a misalignment of the lock and door (this is similar to uPVC problem mentioned previously) or there could be a problem with the lock cylinder. Unfortunately, both of these problems will usually require the skills and expertise of a locksmith to diagnose and correct.
Most people don’t give a moment’s thought to our locks when they are working correctly. However, as soon as you discover a problem, act quickly. If you find yourself in this position and require a fully trained expert locksmiths of Locksmith Winchester. Get in touch or give Dougie a call on 01962 690072