When your door knob won’t turn, you may worry whether there is something wrong with your lock and you may even feel locked out. Before you start panicking however, take a breath. Your lock may be in perfect working order and you may not be locked out after all. The best thing to do is contact a trusted locksmith like First Lock & Security Technologies to find out why your door know won’t turn and how to fix it. The most likely causes of a door knob not turning include:
– Wrong Key
– Lock Malfunction
– Latch Alignment
– Weatherstrip Over Compression
Wrong Key in Lock
You may think you are using the right key, but a very common reason that a door won’t unlock is simply that the wrong key is being used. Even if keys are not exactly the same size or brand, sometimes smaller keys can still fit into larger keyways. A good sign that you may be using the wrong key is that the key won’t turn. You should double check your key ring and make sure you are using the correct key.
Broken Key in Lock
When the key is the problem, it does not necessarily have to be broken into two or more pieces with one being stuck in the lock. It may just have worn down to be unusable. Keys wear out over time as the metal grooves grind against the inside of the lock mechanism or as rotational torque from each key turn slightly wears the key. You can feel the teeth of the key with your finger and see if the key grooves are pointy or smooth which would indicate the key is worn and will eventually need to be replaced. First Lock & Security Technologies can produce a spare working key or change the lock.
Lock malfunction is another common reason a door knob won’t turn. Debris such as dirt or rust can fill the gaps that allow different lock components the range of motion they need to operate. With these tolerances diminished, the lock may malfunction until the debris is removed with cleaning. First Lock & Security Technologies can take the lock apart, thoroughly clean the parts and reassemble.
Locks can lose their alignment when hinges sag or the foundation of a building shifts or lifts. Both solid and hollow core doors can change their positioning in relation to the door frame, resulting in the door knob not turning turn. A lubricant or lifting / adjusting the door as you turn the knob may be useful in getting the door open but once this occurs, the focus should be on realignment. It is not enough to change locks in this case as this issue goes beyond the lock.
Any part of your lock can be damaged suddenly or slowly over time. Repairs are worth it when the lock is higher quality and the cost does not exceed the price of replacing it. When facing extensive damage, the best option is likely a replacement. If the key keeps turning in the lock, this is often a sign that the cam or tailpiece at the back of the cylinder is broken. The cylinder not moving at all can be due to snapped or compressed springs. Access to replacement parts must also be factored into whether repair is a viable solution. Not all lock components are widely available for purchase independent of buying a new lock. This means that even small parts breaking can still necessitate a full lock replacement.
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A door knob not turning can be a result of many different factors. Besides checking the lock itself, you can check the condition of your keys and how the door is hanging. If your door knob won’t turn, and you would like a professional to diagnose and fix the problem, call First Lock & Security Technologies. We are ready and able to meet all of your lock and key needs!