Deadbolt Lock Freezes Up....


Old 02-13-14, 09:47 AM
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Deadbolt Lock Freezes Up....

Every Winter anytime the Temps drop below -15'C the Deadbolt Lock on our Front Exterior Door Freezes Up....The usual quick fix has always been holding the flame of a Bic Lighter against the lock for about 30 seconds and keep trying until the tumbler will turn freely.. We tried a Keyless Lock that comes with a key tumbler as backup...Must be the mechanizum as Mother Nature wins again.. We squirted Graphite in the lock , Lock De-Icer..Tried drying the lock out...No Dice it's the same routine everytime...

Any ideas on what we can do to insulate from the cold....
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Old 02-13-14, 12:52 PM
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No way to insulate it but you can use WD-40 to displace the water.
100% sure it's not the bolt dragging causing it to stick?
Old 02-13-14, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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So two different kinds of locks are both "freezing Up"? It sounds like a condensation issue, where warm inside air is seeping into the cold outer part of the lock & condensing then freezing. Is it the "keyhole" that's freezing (key hard to insert, and/or won't turn) or will the key readily turn partially, but bolt is frozen? If the latter, make sure you have sufficient tolerance/play in the strike hole---if it is a snug fit, any condensation there might freeze the bolt to the hole.
Old 02-13-14, 07:24 PM
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Joe, at the mention of WD-40, you risk bringing the wrath of GlobaLocky down upon you, but I take the middle ground here; WD-40 has very little lubricating qualities, and after the propellant evaporates in several weeks time, the residue (and dirt that was attracted) can make the lock stick worse than before, esp. in the keyhole. This requires you to re-apply at regular intervals, forming a dirty film on the parts/key, which should be wiped off, etc. That's why, under normal (non-freezing condensation) circumstances, graphite is preferred.

However, in a freezing situation, the disadvantage of having to re-apply WD-40 every week if necessary, to maintain a wet water-displacing film on the parts & keyhole may be preferred to being locked out.

But since WD-40 has been around since the early space program, I do believe there are better penetrating aerosol sprays nowadays (such as Tri-Flow) that will not only displace the water, but have better & longer-lasting lubricating qualities. Of course, these are a little more expensive, and not as easy to find in the big box stores.

Or, OP can install a storm door. :-)
Old 02-18-14, 10:37 AM
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Too many times i see that a deadbolt is fitted upside down. The flat of the key sould be facing the floor when inserting.
Some brands of deadbolt use copper springs in a moulded die cast housing. They may use brass tumblers, but copper springs inside the die cast housing, tends to gather dirt and oil faster than solid brass housings.

You see, brass is a self lubricating metal that doesnt require as much lubricant for normal everyday use.

Tri-Flow has a much higher boiling point and much lower freezing point than WD or graphite. Hence why it is good to use and it lasts.

By fitting the keyhole the correct way up, you use gravity to assist in smooth operation of cylinders and keys.

There is another way tho. It requires a locksmith to "ream" the individual chambers, which will allow the pins to more easily slide into the bible chambers, but this can have the effect of lowering any perceived security of the cylinder.

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