A jammed door lock may seem like a small problem to all of us unless we face it. It can cause delays and havoc to the daily routine. Locks get jammed or stuck due to a number of reasons such as extreme weather conditions, excessive rusting, breaking of keys, misalignment, etc. So, let us take a look at the following points and learn how we can stay prepared to fix jammed and stuck locks.
Common Problems Of Jammed & Stuck Locks & How To Fix Them
1. Knob Turns But Will Not Open
A door knob uses a spring latch to function. When we turn the handle, we retract the latch by pulling on the spring and compressing it. When we face the complication where the door knob turns but will not open, it implies that our handle is not interacting properly with the spring in the latch.
Under these circumstances, you should follow these steps:
- Remove the door knob or handle along with the thru spindle
- Use a tool such as a screwdriver to twist in the gap where the thru spindle was inserted.
- See if this retracts the latch or not. If the handle retracts, it means that the connection between the handle and the thru spin is not functioning properly.
- But if the handle does not retract, there are chances that there is something wrong with the latch housing. There might be something wrong with the spring or any other small component. Under these conditions, you might need to replace the entire latch housing.
2. Door Lock Is Stuck In An Unlocked Condition
If your door lock is stuck in an open position, it might make your house very vulnerable. There might be a number of conditions that can lead to a stuck door lock.
Let us look at all of them:
- An older lock can lead to rusting or gumming up of the bolts or any other internal components.
- The key that you are using might have been damaged. In this situation, check to see if any other key works.
- Misalignment of the door can also lead to this. Check if the door is locking when it is ajar and if it does, your door is most probably misaligned.
- Check to see if the lock cylinder is broken. This also restricts the movement of your door lock even if you use a key.
3. Deadbolt Gets Stuck In Locked Position
A stuck deadbolt in a locked position is similar to a stuck door lock in an unlocked condition. Even in this case, you have to go through the above-mentioned conditions that might have caused your door lock to get stuck in an open condition.
More than often, a stuck deadbolt point at its wearing. So, you might have to take a good look at that as well in addition to the above points.
4. The Doorknob Lock Button Gets Stuck
This problem generally takes place only in the interior handles. And this problem can be solved quite easily by the following steps:
- Try to push the lock button first before doing anything else with it.
- Push the button and hold it. Also, release the button quickly to keep the pressure maintained.
- If the button is still stuck, try turning the handle along with doing the above-mentioned steps.
- Jiggle the handle vigorously without applying too much force if none of these ways give any results.
5. Practical Steps To Follow
a) Verify The Key And Check For Temperature Problems
All of us have tried unlocking our doors with the wrong key at some point in our lives. So if your lock isn’t opening at once, the first instinct should be to check if the key is correct. Considering that it is, check for temperature-related issues.
If you leave in a place where it gets too cold, your key might sometimes not work unless it gets a bit warm. Likewise, if you live in a place where it gets too hot, check for the sticking and accumulation of oil and dust particles on your key.
b) Use Powdered Graphite Or TD-40 As A Lubricant
Sticky locks are one of the common problems when the door gets older. It can be fixed easily by using a dry lubricant like powdered graphite that smoothens the jammed locks without attracting any dirt.
WD-40 is another option for a lubricant that allows free movement of the key in the lock and removes its stickiness. Do not use oil instead of this graphite or TD-40 since it can attract more dirt.
c) Use A Key-Extractor
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Use a good key extractor like No products found. to fix a lock that is jammed by a broken key. Remember to spray a lubricant in the keyhole before extracting the key for smoother results.
d) Use Kerosene To Remove Rusts
Rusts are one of the major issues that we face when our locks get old. This can lead them to stuck or jammed. To remove rusts from a lock, soak it in kerosene for at least a day.
e) Use Tools Like Screwdrivers
Tools like screwdrivers come in handy while fixing jammed locks. Sometimes, the solution to fix it is as simple as tightening some screws and bolts. Hence, to prepare yourself for any kinds of stuck locks that might take place in the future, buy a good set of screwdrivers such as ORIA Precision Screwdriver Kit
f) Get A Locksmith
There might be a number of situations in which you have to deal with a small issue such as tightening some nuts and screws. But at times, fixing a lock can be a bit trickier than that.
It is always advised to get professional help when such situations arise so that you don’t end up creating more trouble for yourself. Get a locksmith to cater to your problems and even if you are installing a lock system in your door, ask for his assistance.
As we have seen, there are a number of problems that can happen due to jammed and stuck locks. But from the above-mentioned points, you’ll know your way out of such problems.
It is very important to know your lock systems and keep them as away from getting rusted as possible. Although sometimes it is very easy to fix a jammed or stuck lock, under a number of circumstances, you might have to call for professional help and get your lock replaced permanently.
Greta James says
Thank you for informing me that you can try to release the pressure on a locked indoor doorknob by pushing and then releasing the button quickly. Yesterday, I found out that the door to the guestroom is locked and I cannot get in. No one is in there so I have no idea how to unlock it. Thank you for your tips; however, I don’t want to break something, so I think I will look into professional assistance.
Neil Walker says
We are glad to know that it helps you.Thanks Greta for sharing your experience.
I’ve got the first problem for sure, and the latch does not retract. Other guides I have read said you have to take it all out and apart by taking out the two screws out of the part that faces the door frame – but, the door is closed, and I can’t get it open, because the latch does not retract!! Short of taking a saw to the damn thing, I don’t know how to proceed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
John Peters says
Thank you for your advice; they are quite beneficial to me. I’ll continue to read your blogs.
Neil Walker says
Thanks for liking it.This motivates us to put more.
John Peters says
Debris causes a lot of locks to become jammed. I think a dry lubricant does a better job than an oil-based product of keeping dust and debris out of the entire lock mechanism. Choose Teflon or graphite lubricants instead.