Today I am providing you with the best solutions on how to fix a door lock that won’t lock. Settling up into your newly built home or moving into a new place and get to know that the door locks are not working properly may make you a little frustrated. You can get the door locks replaced by a locksmith, but it is not necessary that the problem is in the lockset only.
This article will highlight some of the common problems causing the door locks to not latch properly and their simple DIY remedies you can perform easily in how to fix a door lock that won’t lock and all the tools and materials required for the procedure. So first, let’s have an overview of what kind of problems you may be facing in your door locks and then I shall guide you on how to repair your door lock.
1. Wrapping of the door lock
Due to the poor weather conditions sometimes the frame of the door or the door can wrap stopping the locking points to engage properly and the door doesn’t get locked.
2. Key gets broken or stuck in the lock
It is a possibility that the in attempt to open or lock the door an application of extreme force may get the key to breaking up in the whole and some of the key remains are still in the lock hole or key gets stuck in the lock cylinder while trying to open it and trying to remove it with force may cause it to snap.
3. Different keyhole and key sizes
Sometimes it is possible the key you are trying to put in the lock is bigger or the cylinder is filled with debris or dirt so that the key doesn’t get into the lock or even if it gets in it won’t be able to turn.
4. Door getting dropped
Sometimes the doors get dropped, causing the door locking points to get misaligned and will cause difficulty in opening and closing the door.
5. Shrinkage or expansion of the door
Due to changing weather conditions the extreme hot or cold temperatures may cause some of the doors to expand or shrink in summers and winters respectively causing the doors to open or lock difficult.
6. Fault in the internal mechanism
Last but not least there is a possibility that the door lock is not properly engineered and well-made and the internal system is not working properly.
Two Simple Hacks on “how to fix a door lock that won’t lock”
The lipstick solution to fix your door lock
This may sound a bit weird no? What would be a link of lipstick in fixing a door lock? Well, just have a look at how.
In case of the door, locking points being misaligned and not getting locked apply this simple remedy.
Tools & materials needed
- Wood filler
- Wood chisel
- Cordless drill and drill bit set
- Four in one screwdriver
- The first step is the lipstick test. It is done to check whether the latch and the door plate are misaligned or not. So smear lipstick on the door and some masking tape on the strike plate on the door. Now close the door to see where the latch is contacting the strike plate.
- After finding out the points where the latch is contacting the strike plate if these points are too high or low try to tighten all the door’s hinge screws. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, remove one of the screws on the jamb side of the hinge and a drive 3-inch screw in it. The long screw will draw the door jamb in slightly and will grab the door frame. Do this on the top hinge to raise the latch on the bottom one for lowering it.
- If the long screws don’t solve the problem, measure the misalignment of the latch to the hole of the strike plate. If the difference is 1/8 inch or less remove the strike plate and enlarge its hole using a file.
- If the latch is missing the strike plate by a difference of more than 1/8 inch high or low or it is contacting the strike plate at the correct level but doesn’t go far enough to lock up, then the strike may have to get reposition moving it up or down and in or out. Use a sharp chisel to enlarge the hole of the strike plate mortise. Hold the strike plate in the plate and drill 1/6 in new holes for the screws. Now install the strike plate back and fill the gap in the mortise with wood filler. Paint or finish the patch after removing the strike plate and replace it again for the door to look as perfect as it was before.
Safety Tips :-
- While working wear goggles or safety glasses.
- Always choose the right size of the chisel.
- While using an electric drill make sure you are wearing protective clothing.
- The drill must not block or clog.
- Make sure to turn the drill off before changing the drill bits.
- The chuck must be checked for tight-fitting before using the drill.
- Proper pressure must be applied while drilling.
- Never hammer a file.
- Don’t use a file in place of a chisel or screwdriver.
- While using paint or wood finish wear gloves and mask and use lead-free products for less chemical inhaling.
Sanding of the door
The outside weather affects the door. In the summers it may expand and will be difficult to close and in winters it may shrink down leaving gaps around the door seal. To get rid of this problem a common solution is to remove the door from the hinges and sand it down to bare wood the outside weather affects the door.
In the summers it may expand and will be difficult to close and in winters it may shrink down leaving gaps around the door seal. To get rid of this problem a common solution is to remove the door from the hinges and sand it down to bare wood the outside weather affects the door. In the summers it may expand and will be difficult to close and in winters it may shrink down leaving gaps around the door seal. To get rid of this problem a common solution is to remove the door from the hinges and sand it down to bare wood.
Tools & materials required:-
- Bare wood
- Wood sander
- First, remove the screws with the screwdriver and a door from the hinges.
- Sand the door down against the bare wood.
- After the sanding of the door place it in the sun or under the fan in a garage or any place to dry out any kind of moisture that is trapped within the door causing it to expand.
- Once the door is sanded and completely dried we will seal the door’s exterior to prevent it from affecting from weather further.
- Using an exterior primer to prime the front, back, top and bottom of the door.
- Then apply a good quality exterior paint on the door. At least apply two heavy coats.
- After the paint dries out, apply the external weather stripping on the door frame to seal any tiny gaps that cause of warm or cold air to get in.
- Reattach the door and sees that it opens and closes and locks down properly.
- While using a
sander, don’t sand, small or handheld objects.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or any jewelry.
- Use a sander with its completely guarded and work rest correctly placed.
- Use protective gear.
- While painting wears a mask so you don’t inhale any harmful chemicals.
- Paint in place or room with proper ventilation.
- Don’t leave any tools or material in work areas accessible to children.
- Don’t paint or keep any solvent-based paints or thinners etc. Near a fire source.
- Do not use lead-based paints.
- Be safe while painting around electrical outlets.
We have explained some of the common door fixing procedures in which you can apply yourself in your homes. These processes are safe to use for the common man and if handled with care may save you some bucks you may get to spend on the door repair service or for replacing the old ones with the new doors. The problems in the latching or the size expansion or shrinkage may be corrected manually or the tight keyhole can be corrected by lubrication or removing any debris or dust particles from the door hole. If the key is tight, try filing the key teeth or getting a new one to fit properly in the lock hole.
The fault of the internal mechanism of the door locks can’t be removed without proper expertise and tools and you must not try to fix it yourself as you may cause more damage and the cost of repairing may get higher or you may cause the lock to completely break off and have to get a new one.
While applying these hacks in your homes keep complete care by using all the tools and follow all the safety instructions properly so no hazard is caused. Working with a sharp tool near children is a big no and wood filler or waste from sanding may get in the air which may cause breathing problems so try to do it in a ventilated place and use of drill must be not too prolonged as it may cause headaches due to loud noise.
Hopefully, you find this article helpful in repairing your simple door locks problems and outlines all the required details needed for the complete toolset and step to step guide on the procedure with proper understanding. Now I hope you find your answer about how to fix a door lock that won’t lock.