Faulty Lock troubleshooting
Mechanical lockouts are more common than you may think. The term mechanical lockout is referring to a faulty lock or door preventing you from entering.
If you do have complete lock failure then calling a locksmith is probably your best option but trying a few simple tricks could save you a load of cash, especially if it’s late at night.
1. Lubricate the Lock
Locks have many moving parts and they need lubricating from time to time to keep all the park working smoothly and to reduce wear. If you are having trouble with your key going in or turning, try any lubrication you can get your hands on but try where possible to avoid oil based as these after time tend to leave an oil residue which attracts dust. Ezyglide, Graphite , Tri-Flow are just some that come to mind. WD40, Inox are oil based but will do the job.
Just spray or puff a small amount of lubricant into the keyhole. You may be surprised how well it can work.
2. Bad key? Try Jiggling the Key
Moving the key slightly in and out as you gently try and turn your key can work wonders. Add some lubricant into the equation and you have a very good chance of getting in.
This problem is usually due to either a badly cut key or warn pins in the lock. Lubricant may help in the short term but having your lock rekeyed would be the best course of action.
3. Try Lifting the Door
Doors are generally heavy which puts a lot of stress on hinges, causing the door to drop, This can jam the latch withing the strike plate/keeper. House structures can also move causing the same problem. By simply pulling up on the handle as you turn your key may just be enough to release the latch.
4. Try both keys at the same time
This trick only applies to entrance knobsets (Entrance Sets) which have the push button on the inside, with a addition deadlatch usually fitted above the knobset.
Traditionally knobsets with the push button on the back had two functions. Push the button to lock the outside knob and just turn the key to release the knob. The other function is known as a vestibule or storeroom function which is key retracts latch to open only.
This function is activated when the button is pushed in and turned clockwise usually at the same time . Most people don’t know the have activated this function.
If you have two keys, turn both keys in both locks at the same time. Or if you only have one key, just place your foot at the bottom of the door and apply slight pressure as you turn the key in the knobset first.
A good sign is when the door opens slightly (even if it’s a couple of millimetres). While still applying pressure remove the key from the knobset and turn it in the deadlatch. The door should open if it’s the problem as I have described.
On entry check to see if your button is still pushed in. If it is, just push the button in and turn anti-clockwise, then turn the inside knob and the button should release.
5. Pull the door towards you
Slamming doors can cause the small deadlatch trigger of a knobset to jam inside the strike plate. So when you try and turn the key, the key won’t turn.
For inward opening doors, try pulling the door hard towards you a few times as you turn the key.
For outward open doors, try pushing the door hard away from you which turning the key.
This problem is most common on unit doors.
Still no luck?
Have you checked to see if you have left a window or back door open? If not, it might be time to call a Locksmith.