How to Install a Mailbox Lock

What You'll Need
Plastic gloves
New mailbox lock
Power drill
Epoxy paste

Installing a mailbox lock is rather easy and doesn’t require professional assistance. You can use the following instructions to install a new mailbox lock.

Step 1—Getting Started

If you are installing a mailbox lock on a new mailbox, the process is a bit simpler since you don’t need to remove the older, dysfunctional lock. However, if there is an older lock, remove it systematically without harming the mailbox’s configuration. To do this, search for the big, horse shoe-shaped pin that is used in most contemporary mailboxes.

This pin is the main component holding the lock in its position. Search for a small tab-like depression that is present atop the locking mechanism of the old lock. The tab can be held with a pair of pliers to gain a better grip. Applying pressure on the pliers, pull at the tab, pulling it upwards. Ensure that you disengage the lock by sliding it out of its position rather than pushing at it.

Step 2—Sourcing New Mailbox Lock: Cylinder Mailbox Locks

If you want an exact replacement like the older lock, carry the removed lock to the hardware store. Mailbox locks are easily found across all hardware stores and even on online stores. Please note that it is better to use a mailbox lock that offers the conventional locking system.

The most recommended variety in this regard are cylinder locks. These are easy-to-handle locks that can be easily operated without compromising the security of the mailbox. These locks are retailed with a pair of keys that provide easy opening/closing mechanism. It is better to choose mailbox locks with an outer, all-weather coating of steel. This ensures that the lock is protected against moisture-induced problems.

Step 3—Preparing Base for Mailbox Installation

Please note that nearly every type of mailbox construction is similar to the basic pattern of a cylindrical mailbox lock. You need to prepare a void to fit in the cylinder part of the lock, which is its main, internal locking component. This hole has to be made on the front door of the mailbox.

Most of the locks are retailed within a conventional size range. This means that your hole should be at least 5/8 inch wide and 3/4-inches tall. Use a drill for making the holes. If you have a metallic mailbox, there are dedicated brackets for securing the mailbox lock into its position, so no drilling is required.

Step 4—Inserting New Mailbox

Take-out the new lock from its packaging. Insert the locking bar of the lock inside the hole. Turn towards the inside surface of the mailbox door and reset the locking pin. This is rather easy since there is only one slot in the locking mechanism wherein the locking pin has to be inserted.

If you have a metallic mailbox, you need to insert the locking bar in the small space between the brackets and tighten the brackets. The realigned brackets might have to be pressed upon with a screwdriver for a snug fit.

If there is any visible void around the inserted lock, seal it with an all-surface epoxy paste.

Step 5—Checking Installed Mailbox Lock

Ensure that the pair of keys given with the new mailbox lock work appropriately. If not, take them to the retailer of the mailbox lock and request an immediate replacement.