Unjamming uPVC Door Locks
uPVC Door and double glazing multipoint locks are prone to jamming shut where maintenance has been neglected or the weather prevents the mechanism in the door working smoothly.
Depending on the type of uPVC door lock fitted in the door there are various methods of unjamming.
Our locksmith found that cheaper doors are usually fitted with roller type locks.
These locks have rollers that slide up and down into keeps when the handle on the door is lifted upwards.
These doors can be unjammed using a wide flat steel bar or door spreader.
The rollers will easily pop out of the keeps unjamming the door when a spreading force is exerted.
This is also considered a security flaw in older uPVC doors since it is such an easy method of opening the door.
Our locksmith found that on the more modern and expensive makes of door, hook and deadbolt style multipoint locks are fitted.
These require a little more skill to unjam.
Firstly spread the door gap carefully and hold open with soft wooden wedges to prevent frame damage.
Once the location of the hooks or deadbolts are identified you can retract them manually by forcing them inwards with a strong screwdriver or bent instrument.
Ensure the key has been turned into the unlock position before forcing any hooks back in place as the turn of the key is the secondary locking feature and will not allow the bolts to retract.
Once the door is open you can identify the cause of the problem.
usually it will be down to a failed gearbox on the multipoint lock.
These contain complex cast parts that are prone to shattering and shearing when the door is particularly stiff when locking.
Replacement of the gearboxes is possible on 90% of multipoint locks however some welded and riveted versions such as Millenco will require a complete locking strip.
Gearbox prices can range from between £ 10 and £ 50. Locking strips more pricey can range between £ 30 and £ 150 depending on the make and model of the lock.
Millenco locks feature two separate spindle gears. If your door only uses the one hole it is possible to carefully dismantle the gearbox and sway over the sheared gear for the redundant gear and then re-assemble for an easy fix.
This can save you £ 75 for a new strip so is well worth trying.
Its a secret tip that a lot of locksmiths would prefer the customer did not know!
Once the lock is repaired and back in the door you may find that door still fells stiff on locking. This is probably the reason your door failed in the first instance and it needs to be resolved before you continue regular use of the uPVC door.
Usually an adjustment on the top hinge of the door, winding the screw a few turns to pull the top corner of the door up and inwards will solve the issue.
Some more misaligned doors will require keeps in the frame adjusting to ensure the lock is meshing smoothly without forcing.
You should never be forcing the handle up when locking the door, if it does not work smoothly you will be applying unnecessary force and ultimately break the lock again.
I hope that this quick guide is of use and saves you all some money, however if you feel anything here is out of your depth or you lack the required tools to do so, please call a local locksmith to help.
Never call a national locksmith chain or call center as they charge a premium for their time!