City Lock - Storefront Locksmith and Boulder Based Mobile Locksmiths
Call Us At: (303) 444-4407
Do It Yourself Tips
Ask the Locksmith: Common Questions
Wed September 2, 2015
Q. Can I save money by changing my locks myself? If your locks are in good working order, and you are reasonably handy; you can bring them to our service center in Boulder for re-keying. We often will do this while you wait. You can bring in knobs one day, and deadbolts another ( If both are lockable ). Should all this be too daunting, you can always call and arrange to have us come to you. We offer real-time convenient appointments. We endeavor to be 5 minutes early, whenever possible.
If you are not within a reasonable drive distance from your City Lock in Boulder, please look for a locksmith Find A Locksmith. This locksmith resource is a free service of the Associated Locksmiths of America. A.L.O.A. is the ONLY US nonprofit, national association representing locksmiths.
Wed September 2, 2015
Q: My door knob often "sticks," or feels like it's locked, even when I know the door is unlocked. What causes this and how can it be fixed? Let us examine the symptoms, explain the cause, and supply simple do-it-yourself solutions that will save you an unnecessary visit from a professional locksmith.In many office and industrial settings, steel and wood doors are set into a steel frame. Often, the door is intended to have silencers or cushions; but they were either never installed, or wore away over time. You may notice three small holes along the door frame. Door silencers perform two jobs: Firstly, as their name implies; they muffle the closing of a door by preventing the surface of the door from directly hitting the obvious contact point of the door frame, called the stop. Second, and more importantly, the silencer provides the correct alignment to the centerline of the strike plate. The door knob or lever has a latch that protrudes from the edge of the door. Imagine a line down the center of the door edge, and a similar line on the door frame, centered vertically between the two screws that hold the strike plate to the jamb. These two lines must be almost exactly aligned when door is closed for the latch to properly engage. The vertical center line on the frame is generally measured from the silencer, not the stop!
Where it all goes wrong: If you look at a latch from a keyed lock, you will notice a large beveled part, and a narrow blunt piece. The blunt piece is called the deadlatch trigger. When the door is closed, the trigger stays retracted (which prevents "credit card entry") and only the larger beveled piece of the latch enters the strike plate cavity on the door frame. Should the door close in too far, the deadlatch trigger may drop into the strike plate cavity with the beveled latch causing the door to jam or stick.
Fixing the Problem on Commercial Doors: I recommend getting replacement silencers or, as a very good substitute, pick up an assortment of cork in different thicknesses, 3/16", 1/4" and 5/16". Glue the cork piece in the thickness that fits best to three spots along the frame: top and bottom and middle. Use an adhesive such as Household Goop (TM) to secure the cork silencers to the frame. Residential Doors suffer a similar symptom. These doors do not use silencers, but have a continuous compressible weatherstrip. These doors need to be deal with in another manner. If you have any questions about locks, door issues, or other such troublesome devices, please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected], or call us at 303-444-4407.