New Door - Deadbolt Binding


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Old 04-25-21, 05:54 AM
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New Door - Deadbolt Binding

Hello all -

This would seem to be a simple problem but I'm not sure how to fix it.

I had a brand new exterior door installed (Reeb Therma-Tru) and new Yale lockset. The deadbolt operates freely until it's mounted in the door. It's difficult to get lined up with the screws, and when I get them lined up and tight the lock binds. It's a power lock and the motor can't operate it. I'm thinking it has something to do with the geometry of the bores being off very slightly. Do I make the big bore through the door a little bigger? Or the bore for the deadbolt? Neither? It's a good brand door and for what I had to pay for it, I wasn't expecting any issues.
 
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Old 04-25-21, 06:38 AM
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I assume you are saying it binds even with the door open and so this has nothing to do with it binding on the strike plate.

My guess is that you are just overtightening the screws. You don't usually need to tighten them as tight as humanly possible.

As an example, this same thing is often a problem on steel doors with a foam core. They often come with a lock reinforcement ring that is shaped like a heavy plastic (or sheetmetal) C. Some guys think this is temporary and remove it and throw it away. Not so. It prevents the door from crushing when the handle or deadbolt screws are tightened. In that case, removing the ring causes the problem.

So its possible that the screws ARE being overtightened because the door is flexing around the bores. The solution might be to use blue loctite (not red) and only tighten the screws as much as is needed to prevent the lock or handle body from sliding around when it's used... NOT to tighten the screw until it simply won't turn anymore.
 
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Old 04-25-21, 10:07 AM
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Right - it's not binding on the strike plate. It binds no matter how loose the screws are. I kind of have to force the second screw in by twisting the outside and inside pieces to get it to line up. Then it binds. I think I'm going to hog out the one hole on the inside plate so there's more room. It doesn't need much.
 
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Old 04-25-21, 10:37 AM
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I think you're on the right track, even if the holes are bored properly, as you snug up the tie screws, you sometimes have to scooch the lock halves one way or another to get smooth operation.
 
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Old 04-25-21, 11:56 AM
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Okay I figured it out. It was the bore in the door itself. It wasn't perfectly round or was too small or something. I did hog out the mounting plate screw holes a bit but that didn't help. Then I realized the binding was where the screws go through the deadbolt and the into the outside piece. The outside piece is molded to fit the 2-1/8" bore. But the bore wasn't perfect and I had to sort of force the screws to line up.

I hogged the bore out a bit with a 2-1/8" hole saw (which was a little scary on a brand new, $5,000 door). The lock functions perfectly now. Before the app would not finish the lock sequence because the deadbolt couldn't travel far enough under its own power.
 
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Old 04-26-21, 05:14 AM
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Somehow I can't help thinking that a $5,000 door should come with a butler to open and close it - thus solving the problem!
 
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Old 04-26-21, 08:25 AM
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Congratulations on finding the cause. Trying to hold parts on opposite sides of the door while getting thru-screws started aside, mis-bored hole(s) are often the root cause.
 
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Old 04-26-21, 04:39 PM
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Yep I knew it was a geometry thing but the question was where. It's really amazing that fractions of fractions of an inch make that much of a difference.

And yeah, it would have been nice if the $5,000 door came with a butler. The quote actually started at $7,000 but we made some changes in the glass to get it under $5,000. It was actually $4,800 - I rounded up. I had no friggin idea how expensive these things were. But it's not just the door - it's with the sidelights and whatnot. Fiberglass instead of the steel that rotted out in less than 10 years. For what I paid it better outlive me.

The door:


 
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Old 04-27-21, 06:18 AM
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(for those eavesdropping) Sometimes a door does not close far enough or it closes too far by about 1/16 inch and then the deadbolt does not work smoothly. This problem is more likely with doors that have (approx. 1 inch wide) thin metal weatherstripping. It is annoying when you have to push or pull the door a tad more (sometimes you cannot tell which way is needed) to latch (or sometimes open) the deadbolt and a powered deadbolt will definitely get stuck.

Sometimes you have to make the hole for the deadbolt in the door jamb and in the strike plate larger even if those were correctly positioned to begin with and, with the door held in the sweet spot position manually, the deadbolt slid very easily..
 
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Old 04-27-21, 01:19 PM
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Here in Texas, that 5 grand will get you the brick work and porch lites, as well!

@ThisOldMan.....That's why locksmiths have 3 arms and hands!
 
 

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