uPVC Door Locks - Common Problems
Topic: General Chatter
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Common upvc door lock problems
Door not locking properly / Stiff handle...
There are several reasons why your upvc door could be failing to lock correctly:
If the handle has been feeling a bit stiff and the key wont fully turn anymore, chances are that your upvc door is out of alignment. This can be caused by swelling and contracting of the upvc door at differing temperatures or from general wear and tear on the upvc door due to repeated slamming or hanging on the door itself. This can be sorted by adjusting the hinges of the door to re-align the keeps in the frame. once the lock is operating smoothly without obstructions the key will turn.
You can get similar symptoms due to debris in the upvc door frame preventing the door from shutting true. Regular cleaning of dirt and stones out of the frame will prevent this.
Door will only lock from one side...
If you find that your upvc door only seems to lock from one side of the door and the other will not allow a full turn of the key, then you will need a replacement lock barrel. This is caused by the central cam of the lock cylinder slipping out of alignment. General causes seem to be due to worn keys and lock components often as a result of heavy use and substandard quality locks,
You will need to call your local locksmith to replace the cylinder with a new one of correct size.
This is a relatively quick job if there are no other complications.
Handle is spinning all the way round, not opening the door...
This is often the aftermath of not getting your upvc door adjusted when it has been feeling stiff.
Prolonged forcing of the handle puts massive strain on internal parts and eventually they WILL break!
You have broken the spindle inside the lock back box and will need either a replacement backbox or entire locking unit, depending on the type of multipoint lock fitted.
You will need to call a local locksmith to open the upvc door and order the new parts which can be pricey therefore it is important that you get your door adjusted when early symptoms of stiffness occur.
Lost Keys / Locked out...
This is definitely a job for an emergency locksmith,
DO NOT attempt to force the upvc door open as you may cause more serious damage to the multi-point lock. An experienced locksmith should be able to pick or drill the lock to open the door cleanly without permanent damage. Once the upvc door is open the lock cylinder can be removed and a new one fitted,
Often, the cylinders fitted in new upvc doors are not the best quality and may not be suitable to satisfy your insurance requirements. Exterior door locks need to conform to BS3621 and should display a stamped kitemark on the lock. A good example is the new Yale antisnap lock.
These upvc locks will be more expensive than bog standard ones, however provide considerably more protection against drilling, snapping and picking or bumping the lock.
There are many brands of lock that exceed the British Standard rating and offer incredible protection against unauthorised opening. These demand a high price but would be well worth investing in for protecting high risk premises.
The lock cylinder should not protrude more than 5mm from the handle of the door, ideally they should sit flush.
Locks that stick out from the face of the door more than 5mm are a considerable security flaw and you should contact a locksmith
to arrange the fitting of a correct sized lock.