Key turns part way only so regular door handle lock will not open

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-27-14, 12:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Key turns part way only so regular door handle lock will not open

I have an exterior door with two locks.... One is a deadbolt and it works just fine with the same key that also serves for the lock in the doorknob...

About a few months ago---I polished all the doorknobs with a metal cleaner and got some into the keyholes (though I tried not to)---using other advice on this site etc I found out I should use powdered graphite to allow the keys to be used again....

All the other locks and doors are working fine again, but this one the top (deadbolt) lock works, but the bottom one--in the door handle, the key goes in and turns about 1/3 of the way to the right only and does not open the lock. I have similar locks and checked and found that all do also have some turning movement to the left as well, but this does not..

So how do I enter the locked room? (Indoor basement storage area easily accessible only from outside, hinges on inside)...

I found several answers here... about deadbolt locks from 1-5-05 and removing door by hinges to swing it off the door jamb... but no hinges on an outside door are visible, they are indoors as door swings in. (Deadbolt lock has a name but I'm sure it was a different company than the door handle when installed).

I used more of the powdered graphite from the tubes I got and key goes in and out smoothly, but does not turn all the way---door is not warped as top deadbolt lock I can turn and hear it going in and out of its hole like always..

Before I call in locksmith, what else can I try?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-27-14, 01:51 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,956
Well, if the problem is the polishing compound (not sure it is, could just be coincidence) inside the cylinder is the problem, you need to flush it out and powdered graphite by itself won't do it. Some sort of solvent or pressure blaster. Matter of fact, a product called PB blaster might work. It's like liquid wrench only better. Brake cleaner might be an option. I'd say WD40, but that my leave a grit attracting film (which PB Blaster will also) so you'd need to follow up with brake cleaner.

Ideally, you'd let some polishing compound dry and identify what will re-liquify it best. Might just be water.

Whatever you use, you'll have to disassemble the lock and clean the cylinder well afterwards.

Have you tried slipping the lock with a piece of stiff plastic like the sample credit cards the send in the mail?
 
  #3  
Old 07-27-14, 02:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Thank you Gunguy45 for such a speedy reply! I didn't check back until now sorry....

I see I did not write that clearly, its not left over metal cleaning stuff from several months ago (March), as I cleaned it first by pulled keys in and out of the 6 other locks effected by the polishing wiping off until the key itself was clean, and then put in the powdered graphite.. I hope none of the stuff is in the lock still, as it looks like your suggestion still means I need to call a locksmith as I don't think I can disassemble a lock like that complex one for the first time and clean it properly and get all those little tumblers and springs back in place --though there is always a first time for everything!

Yes, I thought of WD40 miracle stuff too, but was advised against that for locks years ago, so its never going in as it does leave residue that attracts dirt and gums up the works later on...

I like the idea of a thin "freebie" credit card, will look in mail see if I got one still hanging around. How do I insert it (or how do the thieves do it) when there is a wide weatherstrip on top of the edge of the door? Many brads holding the weatherstripping around all 3 sides of the door (inside door is the door jamb bottom weatherstripping)... is there instructions here on this site or do you just force it in? (I assume the curve of the latch faces the outside) (a question: is that why the latch mechanism has a curve on it and not square like the deadbolt?)

Oh, once I get inside, now is there anything I can do better to fix that lock so it works? The deadbolt of course has double sided lock but the inner one is just a knob with a "lock/unlock" button (whatever technical name there is for that) on the inside...

Sorry to write so much.. but really appreciate your reply!
 
  #4  
Old 07-27-14, 03:24 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,956
Well, I wasn't that fast in replying...lol.

Normally, if a lock is installed correctly and the door is tight in the frame, the "carding" the lock thing won't work, but if there is any play, you may be able to do it. I use a piece of vinyl vertical blind from when I had some cut. About 3" wide by 4" long. Slip it behind the weatherstrip above the lock with a slight downward angle on the outside, you can tell when it goes between the jamb and the door. Then slide it down (keeping the angle) and push, pull, and wiggle the door.

This WON'T work if the latch and strike are installed correctly so that the little pin behind the latch is pushed back and prevents the beveled part from being pushed back manually.

Look at one of your other exterior doors to see what I mean.

Another option (used by plenty of criminals) is to take a jack of some sort (old time car ratchet jacks work well) and spread the frame slightly at the latch. You can often get 1/2" or so of clearance w/o damaging the frame, which allows you to push the latch back.

Sorry for the delay...had to run to the store.
 
  #5  
Old 07-27-14, 04:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Thanks again for responding with more information... I have more in return (of course a picture would be worth a 1000 words, I did it before on another question so next question I guess I'll do that way first)...

Concrete foundation walls on all four sides, thin curved molding about half inch around the frame of door is only wood there at all, --metal door jamb---on top of that is the white weather stripping with like 100 tiny brads holding it in, and yes it was installed properly like other doors, I see from other doors, learning finally (young in mind DIY) what that little button does on the sliding latch, to prevent exactly doing what I'm trying to do! i.e. jimmying the door. Whew!

Its needed to be opened as its being painted soon, (hired expert) and I'd thought It worked when it was cleaned and fixed in March, but now it doesn't work! Have to open door for paint to dry---- so the door is not painted shut when outside wood molding/weather stripping and etc. is all painted else I'd have two problems to fix!

Guess now problem is more complicated---whew!
 
  #6  
Old 07-27-14, 10:16 PM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 925
is it a new key? it may be cut too high for that lock. Do you have other keys? do other locks work off the same key?

If the cylinder wont turn far enough, the tumblers could be sticking. Squirt Tri-flow in the keyhole, put correct key in and out 5 times, insert and try to turn. Most locks will need to turn 65 to unlock.

Take a plastic wedge and force it between the door and frame. I use an airbag. then loid the latch
 
  #7  
Old 07-28-14, 02:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Thanks for replying GlobalLocky..

No, I've not used a new key, same "test" key for all the locks is the one used to clean all of them back in March---Yes for simplicity (not for security I guess) all locks operate off same one cut key type (multiple copies even new ones but I did not use a new one to test locks as they tend to stick until used a lot)--

Ok, 65% that sounds like I have a ways to go before door will unlatch...

Had to look up "loid" for meaning.... do you mean you use a "car airbag?" to separate the door jamb? I don't want to damage the frame as its being painted soon this week! Then I need to hire someone to fix that! (don't want one problem exaccerberating into a bigger one).... Yes there is a window in the door but very high up and small for security... and of course its wired into alarm system, so you need to be "inside" room to unlock the alarm else it goes off--So can't do it that way!

Found Tri-Flow lubricant information on web/amazon---- never knew about the stuff- great reviews--- will have to try to order some and see if it works! (trying to see if available locally somewhere I can just pop in and get it)...

Update for all:
Did some reading on Amazon and You Tube about Tri-Flow.... decided to go with a aerosol product called "Locksaver" as lock is clean already and did not want to leave little Teflon flakes inside it, already has graphite powder I put in also but that is easily removed by air can spray leaving lock relatively clean for Locksaver (they have a cleaner too if the lock was really dirty---just sticking now for some reason when I know it did work back in March)
Thanks for advice so far!
 

Last edited by Poor Chimney; 07-28-14 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Update
  #8  
Old 07-29-14, 09:20 AM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 925
yeah, Locksaver is pretty good too but Tri-Flow is tried and tested in many countries and on mulitple products. I use it all the time for lubricating everything. I even use it to clean dirty marks off doors.

I am not on the payroll of the manufacturer, but it does what it says and continues to work in adverse weather conditions/environments for considerable time.
 
  #9  
Old 07-29-14, 07:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
Is this lock the same brand as the other knob locks? does the key lock or unlock the inner thumbturn, or does the key retract the latchbolt? In either case, does the key turn the same amount as in the other good locks?

If the key is turning easily for 1/3 turn (in the correct direction to open lock) it would not be a problem with the tumblers, or foreign matter fouling the tumblers.

Is there any play in the door, or is it shut tight against the door stop? If it's tight, the door may have been slammed too hard, allowing the deadlock pin to enter the strike plate, binding the latch. In this case, you'd have to pull hard on the knob to releave the pressure, while turning the key.
 
  #10  
Old 07-30-14, 06:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
For GlobalLocky

Thank you GlobalLocky for the info about Tri-Flow---

I do have bicycles and other equipment and will try to pick it up in local store vs ordering by online mail and save postage, etc later.. will use it in places I would not use WD-40 as it appears to be better than that stuff I used for years and years, so thanks for introducing me to it...

I just didn't like for a "lock" mechanism to add in flakes of teflon to stick to surfaces... The tumbles and little springs already have graphite particles in there and who knows what else I could not clean out without disassembling the lock, so I do appreciate it for that purpose...

(See below message (or above---the web site changes order of messages I don't know why) for what I'm doing now...)
 
  #11  
Old 07-30-14, 06:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
For rstripe

Thank you rstripe for your reply!

I waited to check out the door in daylight first as you suggested before writing back.....

I see its probably jamed ---by me---its always been very weather tight as we get flooding by there and it has to be almost watertight to keep water out rain out, etc..

I think you're right the door is jammed.... I don't think it ever had any "wriggle" room as it was seldom used--- but its tight to the weatherstripping, door knob and deadbolt locks both are very close to edge of wooden molding so no way to "grip" door and give it a real shove.. without breaking something... I tried jiggling the doorknob and lock and it doesn't wriggle and doesn't move at all, just turns easily 1/3 of the way around and back again..

I stopped order of the Locksaver-- hopefuly in time else I'll use it for other locks if needed ---I knew never to spray WD-40 in there always called locksmith 24/7 just was trying not to as only had this one lock in trouble and not worth a whole visit for one lock!

I appreciate all your advice....

So do you have any more suggestions now that I tried to move the door put my weight into it, tried to wriggle it free... (checked weatherstripping, its free and clear on all three sides of door that I can see and touch on outside.... (Oh right I always make sure the deadbolt is retracted I know which way that goes and sounds like)

You also asked me some questions:::

Is this lock the same brand as the other knob locks? Yes exactly same none replaced.... Upper lock is deadbolt one brand, lower doorknob different brand but same style and design and color/type for all doors...

does the key lock or unlock the inner thumbturn?, NO tried on other doors to make sure, the thumbturn (now I know term) inside stays in locked or unlocked position no matter what the key does, it does not pop out or anything as a result of using the outside key.

or does the key retract the latchbolt? The key retracks both the curved latch part and the little half circle device to prevent loiding the lock (now I know terms)

In either case, does the key turn the same amount as in the other good locks? Key turns all the way 90 degrees or more in other door handle locks, the door handle does not rotate at all, you can use the key holding in the cylinder turning itself to just unlock the door and gain entrance--- I never realized what I did or do for these locks (I deal with so many others in my day to day activities I just "do" and don't pay attention---now I will!)
 
  #12  
Old 07-31-14, 07:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
The fact that the key does not unlock the outer knob, but rather, retracts the latch, and that the other locks require 90 degrees or more to fully retract the latch, we see here that the latch is indeed binding, as the key starts to turn,(not a key or lubrication problem). If the door has been working fine and there have been no extreme weather changes, your description of a metal door & frame with flexible weatherstripping suggests my earlier suspicion of the door having been slammed too hard, permitting the deadlock pin to enter the strike plate & bind the latch.

It's not a matter of "wiggling" the door but rather pulling HARD on the knob to ease or releave the pressure on the latch while at the same time, turning the key hard (don't force the key with a pair of pliers tho, you might break something).

Once open, remove & file the strike plate with a rat-tail file where the deadlock pin aligns, so that the pin will go in easily next time. While this defeats the purpose of the pin, you have a deadbolt that renders the security of the knob lock moot anyway.
 
  #13  
Old 07-31-14, 07:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
The binding latch could also be a result of BOTH slamming (as described) AND door sagging, causing the latch to bind on the lower portion of the strike plate as well. Try slipping a pry bar or large screwdriver under the door (on the latch side, not the hinge side) & prying up a little. Wedge it in place & leave it while you pull the knob & turn the key as described.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'