How to Fix Door Locks

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Fixing or repairing a door lock may seem like a daunting task but it can be very simple to fix. Watch as a professional home repairman shows how to fix door locks in this free video on home improvement.

Part of the Video Series: Home Improvement & Repair Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm James with JNC home repair. Today I'm going to show how to troubleshoot lock problems. Namely a deadbolt problem. The most common problem around the house with a lock problem or a doorknob problem is when you shut the door, you can't lock the deadbolt or the doorknob won't catch and the door won't, it won't actually close, you can just pull the door right back open without turning the doorknob. OK. First thing you want to do is, the most common problem problem is the actually deadbolt is not lined up with the striker plate on the wall. And the striker plate is actually the little piece of brass or brush nickel or whatever type of style that you have. It's the little metal plate that's actually mounted to the door frame on this side, on the inside of it. OK. It's called a striker plate. OK. If you look at the overall shape of the deadbolt, it's usually the exact size of the opening on the striker plate. And if this, if that striker plate is not placed in the correct spot, when you go to shut the door, and actually engage the deadbolt, it's not going to go in the hole, it's going to hit on the side, or it's going to be too far to the left, it's going to be too far to the right, it may be too high, it may be too low, but I'm going to show you to troubleshoot this problem and go ahead and fix it real quickly and real efficiently. OK, the first thing we're going to do today is we're going to engage this deadbolt. OK. And what you want to do, is you want to take the deadbolt, turn it where it's actually open, and the door is actually open, where it'll open and close. And what you do is you take the deadbolt and you're going to make a little mark right on top of it, and you're going to make a mark right on the bottom of it. OK. Real nice and tight, OK. And then once you open up the door, you're going to be able to compare your marks to the height of the striker plate. OK. Now, if your marks are too low then the opening in the striker plate, then you know that your striker plate is too low. You need to raise it. OK. If your marks are too high, it's going to be the reverse. You know that your striker plate is too low, and you need raise it up, to line it up with the marks. OK. Now, if it's not a problem of going up and down, and maybe the door, you have to really push in on the door to actually close to actually disengage the lock, that means your striker plate is too far it. OK. You're going to need to move that out. If it's a problem where the door is not completely shut, when you disengage the deadbolt and it won't lock, that means the striker plate is too close inside the house. You need to move it in. OK. These are the most common problems of troubleshooting a lock problem.

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