Loose hurricane shutter lock assembly

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  #1  
Old 09-13-17, 10:38 AM
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Loose hurricane shutter lock assembly

On one of my hurricane shutters, the entire locking mechanism spins when I turn the key. The shutter cannot be locked or opened unless I fiddle with the lock to line up the lock on the outside and the knob on the inside. How does one fix a loose hurricane shutter locking mechanism? I'll need to call someone on this. The original installer is out of business. Should I call another hurricane shutter company or a locksmith?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-14-17, 02:08 PM
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I suspect the actual repair is likely minor, but the trick is knowing how to get it apart and then back together again. I would call some of each and make inquires.
 
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Old 09-14-17, 02:37 PM
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Can you get access to the other side of lock? Can you remove it and just replace it? I know nothing about hurricane shutter locks. Just making suggestion.
 
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Old 09-14-17, 05:41 PM
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If it turns freely, it is likely a standard "Mortise" cylinder, which is threaded, and held in place with a small set screw to keep it from unscrewing. The screw is typically accessed from the side. You may be lucky enough for the shutter manufacturer to have provided a small hole adjacent the cylinder for the purpose of removing it. The shutter would have to be open to reveal the hole. Otherwise, some disassembly will be necessary to gain access to the set screw. Since it is loose now, you might go ahead and unscrew the cylinder completely (do not insert key while unscrewing,) so you can see inside the cylinder hole and locate the set screw...it may help to determine how to access it from the side. When replacing cylinder, you need to engage one of the two grooves in the cylinder side with the set screw, making sure the cylinder is "right-side-up".

Having never seen shutter locks, it is also possible the manufacturer has devised a different method of securing the mortise cylinder in place, but unscrewing the cylinder should reveal the method.
 
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Old 09-16-17, 12:37 PM
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its a ten second repair. just tighten the retaining screw under the faceplate on door edge, just like rstripe said
 
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Old 09-17-17, 06:23 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

its a ten second repair. just tighten the retaining screw under the faceplate on door edge, just like rstripe said

The hole below the lock is the set screw? (see photo) Is this just a matter of lining up the cylinder and tightening the set screw? I don't think I'd attempt to fix this myself, but what tool would I use to reach the set screw?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-17-17, 10:51 AM
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I don't think that is the access to the cylinder retainer; it is too low (errrr, too high since the lock is upside-down). The mounting of that lock appears unusual in that the lock body appears not to have been placed inside the aluminum channel through a hole in the front (as viewed in the picture) of the channel.

The drawing below (inverted to match your picture) shows 2 of 3 scalp screws and one 1 of 2 lock mounting screws (circled in gray). In your application the scalp is not used and the lock body appears to be mounted by screws through the channel into the threaded holes for the scalp screws.
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The scalp screw with the red X is missing in your picture. In the drawing, the cylinder retaining screws are circled in dark blue and are centered on the cylinder(s). It doesn't appear so in the drawing, but they are. In the drawing, the lighter blue area is the threaded portion where the cylinder screws in.
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The cylinder retaining screws are normally 8/32 slotted set screws, but in your picture, it appears they have been replaced with 8/32 flat head screws. Rotate the cylinder(s) so the slot where the key goes is vertical, the area indicated by the red line is inline with the cylinder retainer screw and gently tighten the cylinder retaining screw. As you tighten the screw, you can "rock" the cylinder back and forth slightly to get it centered properly. { Cylinder picture inverted to match your installation.}
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The screws should be reasonably tight, but all things in moderation.

Full drawing of the type of lock is here on PDF page 3.
 
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Old 09-17-17, 11:31 AM
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Thank you, ThisOldMan.

The cylinder retaining screws are already tight even though the cylinder is loose. Should I loosen the retaining screws slightly and then, as you suggest, center the cylinder properly and retighten them? Should I replace the 8/32 flat head screws with the correct 8/32 slotted set screws?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 09-20-17, 10:59 AM
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If the cylinder retaining screw is tight, it is probably broken. That can happen with longer backset locks. The length of the screw depends on the backset of the lock which means you would have to remove the lock body. The channel appears to have been counter-sunk for flat-head screws so it's probably easier to replace with another flat-head and trim-to length; set screws are usually pretty hard and therefore difficult to "trim".

My preferred tool to cut/trim screws is similar to the one below. You can do it with a vise, hacksaw and file, but its not easy. Just be sure to run a nut on the screw before doing anything to the tip; the nut will ensure proper threads when you remove it.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-17, 06:01 AM
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Thank you, ThisOldMan. I figured the lock may need to be replaced.
 
  #11  
Old 09-22-17, 12:56 PM
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The main problem I saw with that type lock was corrosion, which is natural when you have a chunk of steel inside an aluminum channel outdoors. Remove a cylinder and apply something like WD-40 with abandon. Not a permanent fix, but usually good for several years.
 
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Old 09-24-17, 05:36 PM
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UPDATE: I got really brave and loosened the set screw. Then I unscrewed the cylinder. I then put it back, carefully threading it in the hole again and tightening it. Then I retightened the set screw. Voila! It's tight now, and fixed!

So you guys saved me a TON of money! Thank you for that!

I'm going to maintain all the hurricane shutters like this that are loose. However, Because these cylinders are outdoors, they have to withstand my area's salt air, humidity, heat, sun, and moisture. When I inspected the cylinder, it was pretty dirty. It's works just fine, but it's dirty. The question now is, how do I clean and lube my hurricane shutter cylinder locks? Just WD-40? And spraying the keyhole is a no-no, right?

Thanks again!
 
  #13  
Old 10-09-17, 02:59 PM
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WD 40 is purposely designed to dry out wet metal. WD stands for Water Displacement. Many people also choose to use the product as a lubricant although, while it will temporarily lubricate, as it dries out, it attracts dirt and grime and will gum up.
In a salty environment you will have better success using a Teflon based lube like Tri-Flow.
 
  #14  
Old 11-05-17, 10:32 AM
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An ageing post, but I'll add my $0.02 to the lube question. Many years ago I lived in a beach-side condo, and was charged with maintaining the locks. We did''t have these space-age Teflon lubricants then, my choice was petroleum distillates or powdered graphite. While the graphite lasted longer, the salty humidity eventually required a clean-out, and I found the simplest solution was to spray WD40 every 30-90 days (depending on exposure to sea breeze) to flush out the dirt and leave a new film of lubricant. This had to be done regularly, or the locks would gum up and stop working. As Global often points out, WD40 was never designed to be a lubricant, but serves quite well as a penetrant to flush out key cylinders.

I can only assume the newer teflon based products perform better in marine climates, I'd be curious to hear from those of you who live on the beach and have experience with this.
 
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