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Old 07-28-2010, 12:02 AM   #1
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Sticky deadbolt key


Hi everyone Its been a while since visiting.
Im usually pretty good at figuring this stuff out on my own but this one has me scratching my head.
I had replaced my back door deadbolt(weiser keyed on both sides) about 6 months ago because the key would sort of get jammed where you would have to shake and jiggle the key to get it to go all the way in, and removing it was the same shaking/jiggling action.
My new lock is now doing the exact same thing and getting worse by the day.
Once the key is inserted all the way it works fine, no tightness or grinding, just free action.
I understand that S**t happens but for the exact same thing to happen again in less than a year makes me wonder if it has something to do with either weather(the door faces the north where all the rain/snow comes from,but I have a storm screen door) Or to much use maybe, I dont know.
Any insights or solutions would be great.

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:55 AM   #2
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Sticky deadbolt key


Check the key for burrs, rough spots, buff the with some fine sandpaper, but don't change the profile of the key.

Spray some WD40 or similar into the lock, slide the key in/out several times to help distribute the lubricant. It should work fine now, at least for a while. You may need to repet this periodically.

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Old 07-28-2010, 10:08 AM   #3
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Sticky deadbolt key


You might need to start using lock ease. I use this in locks from time to time. It works really well. You can find it at most auto parts stores.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Sticky deadbolt key


Buy a small tube of graphite powder lubricant for about $5 and insert it into the lock. The graphite actually helps the key to glide in nicely and it doesn’t freeze during the winter..
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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if the new lock is doing the same thing, I'd think it might be your holes were drilled a little off center, and maybe the backset ( the part that slides in and out of the door into the frame) is getting hung up. it might be getting hung up on the plate in the door jam as well.

Open the door, and (with the door open) use the key to lock and unlock several times. if this works without the sticking, you have an issue with the backset hole alignment for sure. Try taking the metal plate off the doorjamb, then close the door and use key. if it doen't stick, take a dremel and dry opening up the hole on the plate a little wider, especially if you see areas where it looks like it was rubbing

if it still sticks, try taking the lock apart, remove the cylinder and turn the key back and forth, just in the cylinder. if your key or the tumblers are the problem, it should still stick. if it turns easily with no backset connected, problem is hole alignment or a faulty backset
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Last edited by Mr Chips; 07-28-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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The locks need lubrication every 6 months or so. Graphite products are better for locks.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:53 AM   #7
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Im going to try "Just Bill's" idea as im certain its the key(unless the chamber is failing) and ill deffinately get some graphite tomorrow.
Mr Chips thanx to you as well but I have no issues in the door, the jam or the lock. its the key that is getting very hard to insert into the chamber. once the key is in it works like the day I bought it.
Its double keyed(interior and exterior) so as an alternative I might just reverse the chamber if its possible.
The key inserts fine from the outside, issues are only on the inside.
Ill let you all know what the result is.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Marage View Post
Im going to try "Just Bill's" idea as im certain its the key(unless the chamber is failing) and ill deffinately get some graphite tomorrow.
Mr Chips thanx to you as well but I have no issues in the door, the jam or the lock. its the key that is getting very hard to insert into the chamber. once the key is in it works like the day I bought it.
Its double keyed(interior and exterior) so as an alternative I might just reverse the chamber if its possible.
The key inserts fine from the outside, issues are only on the inside.
Ill let you all know what the result is.
Sorry, i guess I didn't read all your post all the way through.

I wouldn't be worried about the key unless it's bent. Key's don't get rough with use, they get smooth. if you had burrs and such, that would be on a new key, and it would get better with use, not worse.

Lock cylinders on a double are NOT usually reversable. The inside portion is were the screw heads are, the outside portion is where they screw into.

If your key going in is hard and getting worse it's most likely that your tumblers are sticking. Tumblers are little pins that push against other pins, with a spring behind them. When you put your key in, the tumblebs push up into the lock, then the spring pushes them down against the key. if they are sticking, they won't retract to allow the key to go in easily. Because your key works on the inside, i'm convienced your key is fine. You could verify this very easily be sticking in a spare key, or even another key, of the same brand and style in the lock. Even if it's not the same cut, or not cut at all, it should slide right in. If it does, the issue is with your key, if it's hard to put in and you have to jiggle it, your tumblers are most likely sticking. Hopefully that's all it is, and a little graphite will make it right. Again, since the key works on the inside, it's got to be a issue with tumblers in the outside cylinder sticking

I'd be willing to bet that too much use is NOT the problem. With heavy use keys and tumblers start to wear down, and if anything get smoother and easier to put in, not harder.Too much use would cause the exact OPPOSITE problem, the key would slide in like butta, but you'd have to jiggle it while trying to get it to turn because the wear as caused the key and tumblers to go out of tolerance.

Something weird is going on. if it is just exposure to weather, shouldn't it be happening in both your dead bolt and entry lock? When you come home, do you usually unlock your deadbolt first? Maybe you are getting dust or debris on your keys at work ( do you wear them on a belt clip?), and introducing that into the cylinder when you insert the key. I know it's a strech, but for the same problem to happen to two seperate deadbolts in 1 years time seems strange indeed.
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Last edited by Mr Chips; 07-29-2010 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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I'm with "Mr. Chips". It does sound as if you have a problem with the pins in the tumbler mechanism, and not the key itself. One way to check, and not the average DIY project would be to remove the lockset from the door, put it back together, then remove the cover for the pins. With the key inserted, see if all of the pins are smooth on top with the lock mechanism. If any are "standing proud" that that pin is too long. If there is any space on top of the pin(s), then that/those pin(s) are too short. Time for a locksmith. At our local Lowe's there is ONE employee who can align these pins correctly. Hopefully this is the problem and is easily solved. David
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:33 PM   #10
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The graphite powder worked like a charm! Thank you all for the help. hope to return it someday
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:26 PM   #11
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I think graphite was a good suggestion. When in a pinch I have used bar soap for a troublesome key/lock.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:38 AM   #12
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NEVER use WD40 as a lubricant. It is specifically designed to dry out metal parts.

WD stands for Water Displacement and 40 is the number of prototypes that the inventor came up with before finding the tailored solution.

WD40 WILL DRY OUT AND GUM UP LOCKS.

If you are wanting to lubricate your lock cylinders, powdered graphite has been the tried and tested solution that does work, but it is messy.

I suggest you look for a silicone or teflon based lubricant. Teflon stands up to extreme heat and cold. There is a product widely available called Tri-Flow, that is inexpensive and excellent for lubricating metal rubbing parts.

While WD40 will temporarily lubricate metal parts, the likelihood of causing further damage and problems later on is extremely high.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:34 AM   #13
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Total agreement on the WD-40. Not for locks. It seems to actually attract and hold dirt accumulation within a few months. It usually clears out with each repeated use.... but you have to do this every few months.

Use Graphite... sparingly... it's very messy if over used.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Total agreement on the WD-40. Not for locks. It seems to actually attract and hold dirt accumulation within a few months. It usually clears out with each repeated use.... but you have to do this every few months.

Use Graphite... sparingly... it's very messy if over used.
that's the big differance, if you are the type of person to do regular maintance, Wd-40 and similiar products will work fine.

I take issue with the poster who said "NEVER use WD-40". is it the best solution? No. Will it work? Yes. Will it ruin your lock? No.

I have seen cases where TOO MUCH GRAPHITE was used and when it dried up it plugged the lock up. How do you clean dried graphite powder from a lock? WD-40
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:33 AM   #15
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I will say that I have a padlock on a shed out back that gets an awfully lot of rain here in Florida. I use WD-40 on that one about once a month... but only on that one because the water it collects lets rust build inside.

And Chips is right about graphite overuse. I plugged up my wife's Mercury Grand Marquis ignition by squirting too much of that crap in there. Like to never got it cleared out enough to work. Remember it is not much more than slippery baby powder. It WILL clog lock mechanisms if overused.

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