4 Ways to Repair a Broken Door Lock

According to professional handyman services Indianapolis, homeowners often call them out for jobs that are so simple that they could repair on their own without having to fork out hefty call-out fees. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of practical techniques that you can try today to repair your own locks and save money on locksmith fees.

Identify the Problem Early

Oftentimes, a lock will start showing minor problems like jamming when you want to open it, or your doorknob will start to feel loose. These are often the initial signs of a faulty lock mechanism or lock assembly, and it makes way more sense to fix them early on instead of waiting for the lock to break completely.

Grease It Up

A poorly functioning latch can be caused by a simple issue such as an improperly fitted door or a dirty or dry lock. A dry lock can be easily fixed by lubricating the lock with some graphite. While it may seem like the obvious solution, oils are not recommended to grease up locks because they tend to gum-up the works.

On the other hand, if it’s a sticky key that’s giving you problems, then you can start by trying it a few times before you take another action. If the key works after you’ve tried it again, the problem might be that the deadbolt is unable to engage the strike plate as it should.

Also, if the key itself can’t turn the lock or requires a considerable amount of force to do so, then you might want to clean or lubricate the lock too. Then, finish off by spraying the inside of the cylinder with graphite before trying it again a few more times.

Dissect the Lock

Sometimes you’ll find that the key is not doing its job of unlocking the door even though it’s turning when you place it in the lock. The recommended solution here is to take the lock apart because this problem usually occurs when the tang or cam are not correctly joined with the bolt.

You might also come across some broken parts after you’ve disassembled the lock, and you’ll want to replace these before you put the lock back together again.

Sometimes, the key gets so frozen during winter that it’s unable to fit into the lock mechanism. An easy fix to this problem is to heat up the key and then try to gradually put the key inside the keyhole. If this trick doesn’t work the first time, then keep repeating it until the key has completely thawed.

File the Key

Surprisingly enough, handyman Indianapolis often get called in for problems with new keys as well, especially the ones that can’t seem to open the lock. This too can be easily fixed by filing down the key in certain spots. First, you start by blackening the key with soot, which is done by holding the key over a flame, and then place it into the lock and gently turn it.  

If the key comes out with shiny areas after you’ve pulled it out, then file them down until the key comes out completely covered with soot instead. This shows you that there are no longer any rough areas on the key to prevent it from working properly.

Well, there you have it! Great tips on how to repair your own locks taken from some of the most experienced Indianapolis handyman in the industry. Just keep in mind that these tips will not work for all scenarios, and that sometimes you’ll have to hire a locksmith to completely replace a broken lock.