The most basic measure of security for your home both inside and out is to lock your doors. If your door won’t lock because it is loose, jammed, stuck, frozen or otherwise, what do you do? Repair the lock or replace it.

While there are several brands and types of home door locks, four of the most common door locks are Knob locks, lever-handled locks, deadbolt locks, and keyless entry padlocks. The first three types of locks function very similarly and are accessed via a key in the lock.

There can be many reasons that a knob door lock won’t open. The two most common are:

Loose Lockset

When you go to turn the doorknob, does the knob seem to come out of the door just a little? Can you see a space between the knob and the door? That signifies that your lockset is loose. Over time, doorknobs can come loose due to continuous use and aging. Sometimes, they just need to be tightened back into place.

  1. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screws a little on the base of the knob
  2. With the door open, turn the knob in a clockwise direction while holding the knob on the other side of the door firmly. You should be able to tell when the lockset has been seated in place.
  3. Screw the screws at the base of the knob back into place tightly and try turning the knob again.

If the lockset stays firmly in place, the operation has been a success. If the knob still comes loose, it may mean that the knob spindle is worn or damaged and requires replacing. 

How to fix a Home Door Lock that Won't Lock?

Slow or Frozen Doorlock

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Keyless entry systems are a newer method of home security that uses a digital keypad or your cellphone to lock and unlock the doors to your home.

If your keyless entry system is not engaging to lock the doors, it may be time to replace the batteries. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to replace the batteries. If that still doesn’t fix the issue, you may need to contact the manufacturer or a locksmith.

If you have tried these quick fixes to get your door lock to work and the problem is still not solved, it is probably time to call a professional locksmith.

Sometimes, when you try to lock or open a door, the lock won’t turn and/or the door won’t budge or it takes a lot of jiggling of the door lock and doorknob to get it locked or open. This signifies that either the lock has frozen or there is something inside the lock that is jamming the door. It could be something as simple as dirt or it could mean that some of the internal lock parts are worn, damaged, or broken.

In winter or extremely cold climates, a lock can freeze shut. A lock de-icer, which comes in an aerosol spray, can be sprayed on the lock to thaw and lubricate the lock.

If the lock is not frozen but is prone to jamming, you can put a graphite-based lubricant on the key, put the key in the lock, and tap on the key to lubricate and dissolve any dirt deposits in the lock. When you turn the key, it should turn easier and the lock tumbler should move freely. 

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