- 02nd August 2016 03:57pm
- 0 Comments
I have recently attended a number of calls where UPVC door locks have stopped working. In some cases the door would not lock, leaving the property insecure, whilst in other cases the lock broke with the door shut, locking the customer in or out the house. In almost all cases the handle was hard to lift for a period of time before it broke and a simple adjustment would have prevented the subsequent problem (and bill).
The first sign that something is wrong with your UPVC door is when the handle is hard to lift or you need to keep the handles raised in order to turn the key and lock the door.
Many people believe that because the door still functions with stiff handles that all will be fine however, forcing the handles places great strain on the locking mechanism and at some point something WILL break. The question is when?
Best case scenario is that your mechanism fails whilst the door is open however; this will leave your property insecure until the damaged parts are replaced (usually at an expensive cost). Worst case scenario is that the mechanism fails whilst the door is shut and locked causing all sorts of problems and possible damage to the door.
North Devon Locksmiths offer a UPVC adjustment service for only £30. For this price we will identify the problem, make the necessary adjustments and oil the complete system so that the mechanism works smoothly. This will help prevent failure of the mechanism and an expensive replacement.
If you feel up to the task, there are a few simple steps which you can undertake to help resolve the problem yourself:
1. Check whether the handles are stiff to lift when the door is open. If the mechanism operates smoothly and the key can be turned and removed, then mechanism works and this is not the source of the problem. If however, you find that the handles are still hard to lift it might be worth checking for obvious signs of rust or dirt build up along the mechanism strip (where the bolts and hooks protrude from). Give the mechanism a clean and oil the parts which are readily accessible. If you are still having problems, call a locksmith as there is likely to be a break in the system.
2. If the mechanism is working fine with the door open, the next thing to check is that the door has not dropped. This is a common problem caused by the weight of the door placing strain on the hinges. To check this, unlock the door, pull down the handles and slowly close the door to see and feel whether the door is rubbing against the frame. If it is then it is often possible to adjust the door via the hinges. Remove the small plastic caps and use an allen key (usually size 5) on the exposed part. Turn the allen key a half turn at a time, this will cause the door to move one way or another. At this point, close the door and check whether the door catches more or less before continuing to adjust as necessary until the door closes without rubbing against the frame. It is worth noting that if you move the top hinge one way, you will need to move the bottom one the other way to straighten up the door. (Unfortunately some older UPVC doors are pinned straight through the hinges and can bend which will mean they need replacing). At this point the door will not catch any longer but it may still be stiff to lift the handles.
3. If your door has sliding rollers, there will be slots for allen key adjustments too. Do this at a quarter turn at a time and keep testing the door to see if it helps.
4. For other locking points (hooks, bolts and latches) the way to make adjustments is via the keeps (the part in the frame where the hooks, bolts and latches fit into when locked). There are many different types of keep so resolving the issue can be ‘trial and error’ if you don’t have good knowledge of them all. The general rule is to undo two securing screws to enable a part of the keep to move before then redoing the screw. Adjusting these keeps may help the mechanism fit better.
5. If the door is still not locking at this part, you may need to remove the keeps completely from the door frame, one at a time, until you discover which is causing the problem. Every time you remove a keep retry the door, if it works then you have found the problem, if it still doesn’t work then remove another keep and so on. Once you have identified the problem keep you can resolve the issue (usually by replacing the keep a few millimetres lower). Replace the keeps one at a time and test the door after each one to ensure that there is not more than one keep causing the problem.
The points above are some of the main ways to resolve UPVC issues. If none of these measures resolves the issue, or you are not comfortable with carrying them out, then call North Devon Locksmiths as we offer a UPVC adjustment service for only £30. For this price we will identify the problem, make the necessary adjustments and oil the complete system so that the mechanism works smoothly. This will help prevent failure of the mechanism and an expensive replacement.
If you have any questions regarding the above, feel free to contact us via any of the options on our contact page.
Thank you for reading.
North Devon Locksmiths