Posted on: 24 October 2017
If you have found that you are unable to lock or unlock your front door, you may wonder if the problem lies with the key or the slot for it. If so, ask yourself the following questions when trying to diagnose the problem with your front door's keyway.
Can You Completely Insert the Key?
The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you can completely insert the key. When you insert the key, does it slide easily into the slot? Or do you meet resistance?
If you meet resistance, there are two possible explanations for the blockage, the first being a foreign object that may have become trapped inside the keyway. Second, the lock's tumbling mechanism has become misaligned.
If something is blocking the keyway, do not try to remove it yourself, as you may inadvertently damage the locking mechanism. Instead, have a locksmith take a look at the issue and remove the blockage to see if this helps the problem.
However, if you are able to insert the key completely into the slot, a blockage in the keyway is not the issue. If this is the case, go on to the next question.
Can You Easily Turn the Key?
The next thing to investigate is whether or not you can easily turn the key. Normally, the key should turn without having to apply too much pressure when locking or unlocking the door.
If you are able to turn the key but have to force it, it is possible that the locking mechanism has some rust interfering with it. To see if this is the issue, spray a small amount of machine oil into the lock and let it sit for a few minutes. Then insert the key, and turn it both ways until you no longer meet resistance.
If you are unable to turn the key at all, there could be a problem with the locking mechanism itself. It may be broken or have worn-out parts that are no longer able to work. In this case, you may want to have a locksmith diagnose the problem.
After inspecting your lock's keyway, you may suspect that it is broken or become too worn to work properly. If so, contact a locksmith service, like A Carolina Lock Smith, to have them send someone out to look at the lock and determine if it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.Share