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5 Common Door Lock Problems

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5 Common Door Lock Problems

There is nothing worse than finding your door won’t lock. At best it’s an inconvenience, at worst it could put your property at risk if you aren’t able to secure the door. 

This month, at Lock & Key Centre we’ll talk you through the five most common door lock problems, what the possible causes of the issue are and how you can get your door working again.

This isn’t a full list of issues, so if you find your specific lock problem isn’t listed here, simply contact us at Lock & Key Centre and we’ll be happy to help.


Locksmith fixing door lock problem

Misaligned Door Lock

One of the most common reasons people find their door isn’t locking is because of a misaligned door. Whether it’s because of the door itself on the hinges, how it fits in the frame, the striking plate or the location of the lock, a misalignment can mean your door won’t lock properly. 

For your door to lock properly, the bolt of the lock needs to be able to sit in the bolt latch of the door frame. A lack of alignment can prevent this, therefore rendering your lock useless.

Spotting this problem is easier than fixing it. If you have the right tools and the right skills, it’s possible to realign the door, however, if you aren’t sure why it’s misaligned and you don’t have the tools to realign it, then it’s better to let a professional locksmith remedy the situation. It may be that your lock was not fitted properly in the first place.


Door Lock Won’t Turn

When you find your door lock won’t turn, there can be a number of reasons. We’re ruling out the mistake we’ve all made from time to time – using the wrong key – as it needs no explanation, so let’s move on to why this might be happening with the right key. 

On a uPVC door, it may be an issue with the barrel or gearbox which is stopping you from turning the lock, while with a Yale lock – or latch lock – it could be the internal mechanism that is the issue. A mortice lock is a type you’ll often find in a wooden door and either faulty levers inside or a broken bolt thrower could be the reason the lock won’t turn.

In most of these instances, it’ll likely mean you need a replacement lock. Yale locks and mortice locks might be something you can pick up and replace if you have the time, skill and tools, while a uPVC lock will require the specialist services of a locksmith. Whatever type of lock you have, if internal components have failed, it’s always advised that you seek professional help to ensure the security of your property is upheld with a professional replacement service.


Lock Cylinder Keeps Turning

Safety door lock cyclinder

As with all lock issues, a key spinning in a lock could be due to a number of different reasons depending on the lock type. It often means the internal mechanism has detached, resulting in the power of your turn not affecting the bolt. Alternatively, the cylinder itself may be loose.

It’s simple enough to spot this problem but not quite as easy to diagnose the precise reason it’s happening without removing the lock – especially difficult if you can’t even open the door. A professional locksmith will be able to check why your key is spinning and take any necessary action to restore the lock or replace it if it’s beyond repair. The worst thing you can do is to keep spinning or tampering with the lock if you don’t have experience fixing it. You may even make the situation worse, requiring a full replacement as opposed to a simple repair.


Slow Lock & Handle

If you find yourself having to force your lock when locking or unlocking your door, it might not be the end of the world, since you can still get in and out of your property, but it’s still a nuisance and should not be ignored. If you ignore the problem, it won’t go away and will likely deteriorate to the point where the handle or lock doesn’t move at all.

Of all the issues on this list, this might be the easiest issue to solve yourself. Dirt and grime build up in locks over time, clogging it and making it difficult to move. Clear away any dust and dirt you can see on your lock, the keyhole and the mechanism along the edge of the door. Following this, use a graphite lubricant to help the part move smoothly and avoid friction which can slow down the operation of the lock. Ensure you only use a lubricant recommended for locks as some types of lubricant will create more clogging over time.

If these steps don’t remedy the issue, call in a locksmith who will be able to dig deeper and help restore working order to your door.


Key Broken In Lock

Key broken in front door lock

A key that has broken off in the lock is a really obvious issue to diagnose. This happens for two reasons: either you snapped your key in the lock, or someone else with a key to the property has snapped their key in the lock, blocking yours from entering in the first place.

We covered the reasons behind this and the possible solutions in our previous post, so if you’re looking for advice on this specific issue, please read the dedicated post on how to fix a key stuck in a lock

Are you faced with one of these issues but you’re unsure what to do to rectify the situation? Whether it’s your home or your place of business, security, as well as easy entry and exit from the building, is crucial. If you don’t know the cause of the problem or how to solve it, don’t make things worse – call us at Lock & Key Centre, your local locksmith for Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire.

Our expert team has over 40 years of experience and can help restore your lock whether it’s for your home, your business or your vehicle. Contact us today for professional advice and a rapid response.


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