We’ve seen and heard about our fair share of lock issues when we’re doing our work as T-handle lock suppliers and providing top-quality industrial gas struts. We’ve gone ahead and covered some of the most common causes of broken or faulty locks so you can let your licensed locksmith know the problem before they arrive on-site or confidently make the decision to handle the job on your own.
Top 5 Common Causes of Broken Locks
1. Key Broken Off In Lock
This is one of the most common lock issues and can be a relatively simple fix, thought it depends on the type of lock, how deeply the key was inserted when it broke off, and just where the break actually happened. It’s usually a case of someone rushing to get into their home or their car and make a hasty turn, often with the key not full inserted into the lock or into a lock that may be frozen or a little slow to turn.
2. Key Not Inserting In Lock
There can be a number of causes for a key simply not inserting into a lock and it may not always be due to a mechanical fault with the lock itself. If you’ve exhausted all other options and there does appear to be an issue with the lock, it’s best to call a licensed locksmith in to investigate. Before you do though, ensure you are using the right key for the lock. If it’s a freshly cut key, the key itself may be malformed or broken in some way.
3. Stuck / Frozen Lock
A stuck or frozen lock can be due to some type of mechanical fault with the lock itself. If you’ve tried spraying some kind of lubricant into the lock, such as silicone spray, and it still doesn’t manage to budge when you’ve inserted the key, it’s best to call in a locksmith. Trying to force a lock that has seized, also commonly known as a stuck or frozen lock, can lead to further damage to the lock components or even worse, a broken key stuck inside the lock.
4. Sluggish / Slow Lock
Another very common issue with locks are cases where the lock does manage to turn and open, but it simply doesn’t feel ‘right’ when it’s doing so. The lock feels somewhat sluggish or is slow to open, like there is something preventing it from running smoothly. In fact, this is typically the case. Keyholes, whilst small, are open to the elements, and dirt, grime, and dust can build up inside the lock components, making them slow to move and effectively clogging them up, not unlike plumbing pipes.
5. Misaligned Latch
When the lock and strike plate are not set up in the correct order or have been misaligned for whatever reason, the lock will fail to close properly. The door lock latch will fail to actually latch and you won’t hear the telltale click of a fully locked door. Occasionally, weather conditions can cause wood or even lock components to change shape. This can be a cause for concern, as a door that isn’t locking properly is a home security issue, so it’s best in these cases to call in an experienced locksmith.