When a lock gets stuck (regardless of how good your doors are) you’re locked outside. So it goes without saying that a door is only as good as the lock on it. If your lock is giving you trouble your home becomes an invitation to burglars and vandals. That said there are times when even the most well designed and expensive locks become stuck. There are various mechanical reasons for this which includes a stuck pin, worn out tumbler etc. There is also a chance that someone tried to tamper with your lock and instead of opening it got stuck. Below we discuss the most common reasons for a stuck lock and how it can be fixed.
The striker plates
These are the main culprit in 90% of the cases. When these break or get stuck a lock does not open. There are a number of reasons for this which include bad installation, wear & tear as well as weather conditions. Finding out the cause of this is very simple. Just close your door making sure that your lock is engaged. Then stand outside your home and look in, see if the blot is set in with your striker plate. There is a chance that it is out by 1/8” which causes the lock to rub. You can easily use a screwdriver to adjust the plate slightly up or down whichever is the case until it fits properly. If this does not work you can always call in your local 24 hour locksmith.
Lock expert’s tip: When you are replacing the striker plate which has been used a number of times it is important that you use a new wooden grip to fill in the wallowed out holes resulting from the old screws. Just slice off some wood and push it in the hole and break off the pieces that stick out and put the screws back in through the striker plate.
Now there is a chance that if you fit the striker plate back in and make sure it is properly aligned the lock may still not close. In this case you will need to take out the striker plate and then drill a rather large hole behind your striker plate. Weather is known to cause the wood to swell a bit and will bind up a smooth opening.
Fixing broken locks
At times fixing a broken lock can be easy. You start by removing the lock by simply unscrewing the two screws that hold it together. These screws are usually located on the inside. Look at the lock and make sure that the shaft is aligned properly. A shaft in most locks connects both halves of your handle and deadbolt mechanism. If these do not fit properly together it is what is causing your lock to stick or appear broken. Simply align the shaft and reassemble everything again. Now check the lock.
Lock expert’s tip: When you are fixing a stuck interior lock like the one in your bathroom you should check and see if the cotter pin or a spring hinge on the lock’s handle is disengaged. In most cases this is very simple to fix and will do away with the issues you’re facing. This often occurs when a person tries to force the door by turning a handle more than it is intended to be turned against a lock.
Fixing tight locks
If your lock feels tight this can easily be remedied with some pneumatic oil on the sides of the key. Just insert back the key and remove it a few times until the lock does not stick. One it is clear add one more drop to the key and open and close your door multiple times until your lock feels free.