door lock not locking


Old 05-21-05, 06:35 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
door lock not locking

I have a front door lock that all of a sudden won't stay locked. It has a key to use from the outside and a small knob to press in on the inside. It's only about 4 months old and was working fine until yesterday. I tightened the screws on the inside door knob thinking it may help but it didn't. If i pull on the door knob without even turning it it opens.Any ideas on what could be wrong or should I just replace the whole thing? Thanks!
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Old 05-21-05, 07:13 PM
cuedude's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Key West, Fl.
Posts: 348
Hi msmeg,

Welcome to the board. If I'm reading you correctly, it sounds like either the door isn't closing all the way, or the space between the door and the frame is too wide, or the door has sagged a bit. If the door isn't closing properly, (and I don't want you thinking I'm stupid), just push harder on the door when closing. (Don't laugh, it's way more common than you may think). Especially if there is insulation in the doorframe.

Secondly, if the space is too large, either you have to build out the strike, or build out on the door frame under the hinges. Either method will close the space a bit, and the latch will drop farther into the strike. Thinking about it, check to insure that it is in fact going into the hole by standing on the outside of the door, and closing it slowly enough to watch.

Lastly, and this is also quite common, the door sagging is caused by either lose screws in the hinges, or the door falling apart. Check the screws tight. If you have some help, have someone open the door, and then pull up on the door while you watch the hinges. If they appear to move, they are lose and need to be tightened.

If you would rather have someone else take care of this, a locksmith will come out and adjust your door for you.

I hope this gives you some ideas, and that this helps you.

Old 05-22-05, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 674
If it is in fact the lock itself and not a door alignment problem, you are usually better off replacing the knob if you are having problems. You were right to check all the screws and make sure everthing is tight. Did you put this lock on yourself? Most manufacturers have some type of warranty longer than four months so you should be able to get a replacement if the lock did indeed fail somehow.

I once had a Schlage bathroom lock with a push button that did not always lock. In this case the door was a bit narrow for the lock and the two sides were too close, preventing the button from engaging properly.

I am also curious about the brand. If a cheap off brand, you are more likely to run into mechanical difficulties/failure.

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