Unfortunately, locks don’t always work as they should. Whether it is because of wear and tear, weather or just old age, locks can sometimes have issues. One day you could come home after a long, hard day of work only to find that your lock isn`t working as it should, and in some cases, you can’t get into your home. Before you get frustrated and assume the lock has seen the end of its days, take a look through this article and we will break down the problems and solutions to some of the most common residential lock problems.
Key Breaks in the Door
There are few things that can strike panic in the heart than your key breaking off in the lock as you try to enter your home. While you may think you should just open the door anyway, it is recommended that you never attempt to open the lock while there is a key broken inside. If you do attempt to do so you will only push the key further into the lock.
Here are some common reasons why keys break inside the lock:
- Weak Key – Because most keys are made of soft metal, such as nickel or brass so they are prone to breaking if too much pressure is applied.
- No Lubrication – A poorly lubricated lock can cause the key to not easily turn in the lock, and after too much pressure is applied to the key it will break.
- Malfunctioning Lock – Over the years wear and tear can cause a lock to malfunction and when this happens the lock doesn’t work as it should causing you to turn the key more forcefully and in turn, the key breaks.
When it comes to a broken key inside your lock, the best solution is to call your local locksmith to help extract the broken key and provide a new one.
Key Won’t Go Into the Lock
While not as anxiety-inducing as your key breaking off in the lock, having the key not entering the lock can still be rather scary. There are many reasons your key won’t go into your lock. On the bright side, you can get the lock back to working order without too much money or effort, as long as you’re patient. These are the most common reasons your key will not go into your lock.
- The Lock is Too Dry – Being subjected to years of outdoor weather can cause the mechanism of a lock to become stuck, the pins no longer move and the springs are too aged to deal with added friction. This usually happens when there is no lubrication within the lock. Before you go ahead and put any lubrication in, first blow into the lock as strongly as you can to remove any dust or debris.
- Something Inside the Lock – If when sticking your key in the lock you feel that there may be something in the lock, take a flashlight and look in the lock to see if there is anything stuck in there. If you do see something in there, take a metal wire or anything thin and metal, then make a tiny hook and fish out any debris or foreign objects that may be stuck in the lock.
- Key is Bent – Over time, your key can take a beating and even bend. If your key is bent, even slightly, it won’t easily enter the lock. In this case, it is better not to tamper with the lock further and try to force the key. Instead, get a duplicate key at your local locksmith’s shop or call them to help you on the spot.
Lock Is Frozen or Turns Slowly
Because your locks are always subjected to the weather, they can freeze and get dirty, causing small internal parts to wear out and break.
If your lock is turning slowly, try putting some graphite into the keyhole and unlock and lock the door a few times to ensure the graphite gets into the mechanism.
If your lock is frozen, you can buy lock de-icers. They contain lubricants that will dissolve any dirt or debris that may be in the lock, as well as thawing out your lock.
Lock Doesn’t Latch Properly
If you notice that your door latch doesn’t click into position and lock properly, it is usually due to the latch and strike plate not being aligned. To assess the problem close the door slowly and see how the latch bolt meets the strike plate. The bolt could be too high, low or shifted to the side of the strike plate, the marks left by the bolt on the strike pad will show you where it is misaligned.
These are some of the more common lock problems that you will come across. It can be stressful to have lock problems, you could be locked out of your home or your home could be left without security temporarily. In these situations, you have to be patient and assess the problems and act accordingly and the best thing to do is to call a reliable locksmith to come and help you with your problem.
If you need a high-quality, affordable and reliable locksmith for your business, Capital Locksmith offers 24/7 professional locksmith services across Ottawa and the surrounding area. We provide both high-security locks and lock rekeying services. Our locks are always installed by professionals so you know that they work properly and are dependable. For more advice and assistance call Capital Locksmith at (613) 457-5135. Book Now!