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How to Fix a Jammed Door Lock: 6 Essential Steps

Men inserting a key in a jammed lock

Are you struggling with a jammed door lock? We can help you out. Besides offering our professional help, we're going to share lots of tips you can try to solve the problem yourself. For instance, we'll teach you how to clean and lubricate the locking mechanism. We'll also explain how to locate and tighten any loose parts that may be causing the problem. To troubleshoot your jammed door lock, read and follow these steps.

1. Call a Locksmith

There's no need to save this step for when "all else fails." By attempting an amateur, DIY solution, you may aggravate the situation further. Calling a professional locksmith is an affordable, reliable way to solve any problems with a jammed door lock. Besides that, it's sometimes the only way. Certain jobs require specialized locksmith equipment. The most common example is a door lock that's jammed by a broken key. In any case, it's usually best to call a locksmith in the first place.

2. Realign the Lock

Sometimes the lock is jammed simply because it's slightly out of alignment with the striker plate (the notched plate it fits into). You can test this by trying the lock while lifting up or pressing down on the door. If it works when you do this, misalignment is probably to blame. In this case, tightening the hinges should reset the door back into the correct alignment and the lock with it. Open the door wide enough to allow access to the hinges. Then, screw the hinges tighter with a Philips screwdriver. If that's not the problem, check the striker plate. Make sure that it hasn't slipped out of place and that its screws are tightened.

3. Tighten the Screws

A loose screw may be the culprit. Make sure the screws attaching the knob and/or lock to the door are tight. If this doesn't work, you might have a loose set screw. Essentially, the set screw is a screw that connects the interior knob to the exterior knob. This screw is sometimes located inside the door. To know for sure that it's tightened, remove the knob and tighten any screws you see inside. Then, set the knob back in place and tighten the external screws as well.

4. Lubricate

It's possible the spring, or some other mechanism of the lock, just needs to be lubricated. So, while you have the knob off, lubricate all moving parts. Be sure to wipe off any dripping, excess oil.

5. Clean the Lock

It might be a good idea to add too much lubricant on purpose. When you saturate the lock with lubricant and then wipe it away, you also wipe away any dirt and other gunk that might be jamming your lock. Clean the inside of the keyhole, too. To do this, lubricate your key, insert it in the keyhole, take it out, wipe it clean, then repeat.

6. Inspect/Replace Your Key

Maybe it's your key that's not functional anymore, not the lock. Check to see if your key is scratched, bent, worn, or otherwise misshapen. Better yet, try a duplicate key if you have one. If the key is the problem, replace it.

Get Professional Help for a Jammed Door Lock

Remember, aside from the cleaning and lubricating steps, it's always best to get professional help for a jammed door lock. Get help with yours right now by contacting us here.


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