Sliding Glass Hardware: Lock Repair

A sliding glass door.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-30
What You'll Need
Graphite pen

One of the most notorious problems with sliding glass hardware involves the locks. There is a wide variety of locks that can accompany sliding glass doors, and each lock can jam in a slightly different way. Read on to learn how to repair each different type of lock.

Standard Door Locks

A glass door will often have a standard pin tumbler lock like you would find on a regular door. A common problem with these locks is an inability or a difficulty to turn the lock. The lock may feel sticky or be nearly impossible to turn because of debris present inside the hardware.

Another common problem occurs when a key is required to turn the lock. In this case, you may have difficulty inserting or removing the key. In either case, these problems can be simply amended using a graphite pen from any hardware store. Simply insert the pen into the lock and squeeze a small amount of the substance into the lock. Within seconds, your lock should feel like new.

Sliding Locks

Another common type of sliding glass door lock works by sliding a small notch up and down. Occasionally, this lock may experience some of the same symptoms as standard door locks: a feeling of stickiness or that something is blocking the notch from moving in one direction or the other.

You can sometimes use a graphite pen to fix this problem as well. However, this depends on if you can find any openings on the lock that are large enough to insert the pen. If this is the case and the graphite pen does not fix the problem, you can try applying any common lubricants—like petroleum-based oil or WD-40—in the area to see if this makes a difference.

If, after all of this, the lock still does not work properly, you will need to dismantle it to determine if any of the interior parts of the lock have been bent or damaged. If this is the case, you should install a new lock as it is nearly impossible to fix a damaged lock.