4 Common Lock and Door Problems

  Category: Advice

Help With The Most Common Lock Problems

Lock Problems?

For something that keeps your house safe. Door locks can be fragile and suffer wear and tear. Locks are a hard-working mechanism and if they break, you can end up locked out your house, which seems to occur at the most inconvenient times. We’re going to identify some common lock problems to possibly help you identify potential issues and what you can do to solve them.

lock problems


Stiff Lock or Key not turning

Aside from the embarrassing trying to open the door with the wrong key, there’s a number of potential reasons why a key may not turn in a lock… One reason is that part of the key could be worn away. A keys only job is to go in and out of locks multiple times a day, every day (just in case you didn’t know what a key was for). These causes wear on the key’s grooves and over time they can wear down. If they wear down enough then they’ll stop working. For this reason, it’s always recommended to have a backup/spare key. As a side note here, I’d recommend keeping the original key that came with the lock as your back up and using this to get new keys cut. This is because making copies of copies over a long period of time can cause problems to arise. The more something is repeated the further it will be from the original.

Poor door alignment

This one is a common problem with UPVC doors and is when the door slightly moves out of its original position causing it to fall out of line with the lock. It tends to be a slowly progressing problem but can also be caused by acute damage to the door, frame, or building itself. Possibly surprising to you… buildings move. I don’t mean they pop down the shop for a paper. I mean slowly over time, ground movement, material wear and tear, and weathering cause small shifts in the building. Sometimes these small shifts can cause a problem with your door alignment. Wooden doors can also suffer misalignment due to the weather causing them to expand and contract. Over time this causes misalignment. The simplest fix for this is to move the lock keep to be a better position for the bolt from the lock to fit into it nicely. This can be a simple fix for older doors but with modern, multi-point UPVC doors can often require outside help. Funnily enough, we can help with that (what a coincidence). Doors, usually cheaper ones, are often prone to warping and this can cause misalignment. In this case, you’ll likely need a replacement lock.

Key turns but the bolt doesn’t come out

If the bolt is just not moving when you turn the key it’ll be a problem with the mechanisms itself. You can remove the lock and see if there’s any damage, wear, or missing parts. If the problem isn’t immediately obvious the best solution is to just replace the lock. Locks are very inexpensive and you probably don’t want to risk it breaking again. Which will probably happen when you’re on the outside not the inside, then you’re locked out, typical.

Frozen lock mechanism

It gets chilly in North East England and sometimes those icy mornings can also cause problems with your lock. Ice gets inside the keyhole and hey presto your key doesn’t want to go in. A simple solution to this is to warm your key up by placing it in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two then gently push it into the lock. Please be careful when taking the key out of the bowl of hot water.


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