How to Repair a Broken Lever Lock

What You'll Need
Flat blade screwdriver
Small object (Bobby pin, paper clip, etc.)
Replacement parts

A broken lever lock is usually a result of mishandling and rough use of the lock. While some locks require a locksmith for repairs, you can often take apart the lock and do it yourself. You first have to determine what kind of lock it is, and determine whether or not replacement parts are available at your local hardware store. If the lock is from after 1960, it is likely a standardized size and replacement parts should be readily available. If the broken lock is a lever lock (a common lock used for doors, which can have multiple levels of levers for additional security), use the below steps to fix it yourself.

Step 1 – Make Sure Replacements are Available

Before taking apart the lock on your door, make sure that there are parts available to repair or replace the lock. You don’t want to leave the door with no lock!

Step 2 – Take Handles Off Door and Remove Lock

Use your screwdriver and take off the handles from the door. There should be 2 screws holding on each handle, and once unscrewed they should come off easily. If the screws are not readily visible, they are covered by a circular, decorative cover–this can be gently pried away using a flat blade screwdriver, and then the screws will be exposed so the handles can be removed. The lock can then be dislodged from the door.

Step 3 – Determine the Problem

Once the lock is off the door, you can see what kind of problem it is. At this point, if the damage is too bad you may have to replace the entire lock or consult a locksmith. If the levers won’t turn in the cylinder or there is excess debris, however, you can attempt to fix it yourself.

Step 4 – Remove Debris

If there is too much debris obstructing the levers from the bit key, simply clean the levers in the lock. Sometimes this can be done by blowing on it, and other times you will need a small object such as a bobby pin to clean out the crevices.

Step 5 – Replace Levers

If the lock will not turn, you may have to replace the entire lever system. To do so, remove the levers from the cylinder and fit in the new lever set. There will be instructions that come along with the replacement kit to follow for your particular brand and model.

Step 6 – Call a Locksmith if You Get Stuck

If you cannot figure out the lock or repair it easily, it may be safer to call a locksmith. Protecting your home is not something to play around with, and you don’t want to be inadvertently locked out due to a shoddy repair job. If you get overwhelmed or cannot find the source of the lock problem, chances are the repair will not be simple and will require the help of a locksmith.