Are you having problems turning your keys in your locks? How about issues latching your doors or rotating your doorknobs? These are lock related issues that are more common than many people might think. You might be wondering what could be causing these issues. Is it a problem with the lock itself, or the door, or perhaps is it all in your head. You can rest easy – these issues can be caused by a myriad of factors, and it certainly is not in your head. And yes, quite often, these issues are not the result of a malfunction within the lock itself. Here’s the experts at Golden’s guide to some of the non-lock related causes to door hardware issues.
Locks have a series of pins that are matched against a key’s pins to ensure smooth and successful operation. Sometimes issues are caused when an original key is lost and you use a duplicate. Sometimes duplicate keys have minor variations from the original – but even the tiniest variation can cause malfunctions, or even render the key completely unworkable with the lock. These problems increase exponentially when copies are made from existing copies. In these cases, the best approach would be to get the lock re-keyed – which will save you the stress, and ultimately the money, required from copying new keys over and over again. Make sure that when your locks are rekeyed, that the locksmith provides you with identical multiples, so you won’t have the same problem again.
Hinges that are not properly mounted in place, or are inherently loose, can cause a bevy of issues. The majority of doors utilize three set hinges with four screws in the door jamb. If any of these hinges are incorrectly attached, it can cause lots of operational issues. You need to ensure that all the screws fixing the hinges to the door jamb are long enough, and go deeply enough into the jamb. If the hinges are not strongly mounted into the jamb, the door will start to sag, and this will eventually warp the alignment of the lock and strikes. To diagnose this issue, a locksmith expert will look at the gap between the door and the hamb to see if it’s far.
Even in situations when the door is installed and hung correctly, if the strike isn’t installed properly, you will have lots of problems. You need to make sure that all strikes center bolts and latches with full sturdiness and security. All entry lock latch strikes should be aligned in a way that does not cause the dead latch plunger to go into the opening of the strike. The screws attaching the strike on the door have to be long enough to fully anchor it into the frame behind the jamb – and they should be at least three inches in length.