How to Replace Broken Springs in Your Pin Tumbler Lock

What You'll Need
Clean workspace
What You'll Need
Clean workspace

A pin tumbler lock is a very common type of lock that is found on many different doors. This lock is common, but it is also susceptible to lock pickers. Working with this type of lock can be very easy and locksmiths generally choose a pin tumbler lock because of the ease of which you can re-key them. Mostly found in the form of a deadbolt, many front doors, side doors, and even garage doors have a pin tumbler lock. When the spring fails in this type of lock you will need to replace it.

Step 1 - Remove Lock from Door

In order to be able to work on the pin tumbler lock you will need to remove it from the door. This is because there are many small parts that must be put back into place for the lock to work correctly. Trying to work on it while the lock is vertical can cause many of the parts to fall out. Use your screwdriver to remove the lock from the door and take it to a clean work area.

Step 2 - Remove Lock Face

Most of the locks will come apart by removing a few small screws. These screws are usually indented into the face so you will have to use a long shanked screwdriver. 

Step 3 - Remove Plug Nut

Now that you can get to the inside of your lock you will need to remove the plug nut, located outside of the keyway, to have access to the retaining spring. With a small screwdriver, push down on the retaining pin and turn the plug nut counter-clockwise with your fingers. Continue to loosen it until it comes out.

Step 4 - Remove Retaining Pin

Once you have the plug nut removed from the pin tumbler lock you can then slowly release the retaining pin. If you do this too quickly it can fly out of the hole and potentially be lost. Since you pressed into down onto the spring it will be under quite a bit of pressure. Take the pin out and set it aside.

Step 5 - Remove Retaining Spring

Lift the lock up and tilt it a little so that the spring can slide out. Do not turn it all the way over or other parts will also fall out. 

Step 6 - Replace with New Spring

Now that you have the broken spring out you can now put everything back together in the reverse order. Place the spring back in the retaining hole. Follow this by the retaining pin. 

Step 7 - Install Plug Nut

Using your screwdriver again, press the pin down onto the spring so you can screw the plug nut back into the lock. Turn it clockwise until it it hand tight. Release the pressure on the pin gently. 

Step 8 - Put Lock Together

Line up both sides of the pin tumbler lock and secure with the small screws that you took out before. Work the locking mechanism back and forth to make sure that the spring is working. 

Step 9 - Place Lock on Door

Now that the lock is fixed you can feel confident about putting it back on your door again. Secure it with the screws you removed at the beginning and try the lock to make sure it fits in place.