Why does my key keep turning in the lock?

Why does my key keep turning in the lock?


It is never a good sign if you see that your key keeps turning in your door lock. In the worst case you are locked out, hopefully, you can still gain access to the property through another entrance. Issues that arise when your key keeps turning in door lock can occur in many different ways and to different locks.


The truth is, the solution to your woes when a key keeps turning in door locks is fairly easy to attain and implement, but this often requires the assistance and of a locksmith. The danger in approaching this scenario on your own is that you run the risk of damaging the lock further and/or breaking your key. If this happens, you will still have to call a locksmith to assist you with damaged lock repair or to install a new lock. The only difference is that you will end up paying much more than you would have if you had simply called earlier. So before you start tampering with a key that keeps turning in your door lock, ensure that you are fully aware of what you are doing and what is at stake. Keep in mind, this applies to commercial door locks, residential door locks, and car door locks.


Figuring out why your key keeps turning in door lock can be a little tricky, but once you do this, the solutions are relatively easy to implement.



Warning Signs Of Door Lock Failure


1. Loose door handle –  usually indicates that there might be something wrong with your door lock. In most cases, this turns out to be a loose set screw within the door handle or door knob. Unfortunately, most people overlook this sign and end up with a key that keeps turning in their door lock. If it is not caused by a loose set screw, then some portion of the locks internal mechanism has been dislodged.


2. The key becomes increasingly hard to turn in the lock – If it becomes increasingly hard to rotate your key in your lock, this can be a symptom of potential door lock failure. This is often a sign that the parts involved with engaging the lock bolt or the actuator are not functioning properly. Attempting to force your lock to work under these circumstances can potentially result in you having a broken key or a broken lock. Regardless of the outcome, you will now have one hefty bill that you will have to deal with.


3. Lock cylinder gradually moves – Similar to the loose door handle, this is a telling sign that there is something amiss within the door lock mechanism. If it is caught early, the problem can be rectified, but if it is allowed to continue it can cause further damage. For instance, if you are still able to lock your door, but you notice the cylinder is moving or the entire lockset is moving, there is a possibility that the set screws are loose. If this is the case, it should be taken care of before it causes further issues within the lock.


4. Internal Locking Mechanism – A basic look at the way locks work will help you understand the parts that I will be discussing below. Also, it is important for homeowners to have this knowledge on hand so that they know how to properly assess their locks should another problem arise in the future. After all, a key that keeps turning in a door lock is not the only possible problem that homeowners will have to deal with.


There are many different types of door locks, many of which have been discussed on this blog at some point or the other. However, despite this variety, there are some commonalities between all of these locks and that is what I want to look at. The bolt/latch is engaged by the lock and is meant to fasten inside a door, which ultimately renders the door either locked or unlocked. If your key keeps turning in the door lock, it means that the lock body and the bolt are not interacting in the natural way that they should, and this is the heart of the problem.



Reasons Why Key Keeps Turning In Door Lock


1. Key keeps turning in the door lock as a result of a broken cam – On a Euro profile lock, the cam is the main piece that turns when turned by the key it locks mechanism. A broken cam within your door lock mechanism will also result in a situation where your key keeps turning in the door lock.


2. Key keeps turning due to warn away security curtain – On mortice locks the security curtain which is the bit of metal around where the key enters can over time rust or wear away. You will find that the key is very loose and just spins around. The key is not engaging the levers, therefore, the bolt is not been thrown. The lock has been steadily getting worse over time.


3. Key keeps turning in door lock due to improper door lock installation – Another reason why your key keeps turning in a door lock is the possibility that your door lock installation was handled improperly. Now, I am not pointing fingers or saying that anyone is incompetent, but this is often the end result when individuals with minimal experience attempt to use DIY solutions to install their locks. Ideally, if you are unsure about how to do this, you should reach out to a locksmith that is skilled in installing new door locks so that you do not end up paying unnecessary costs that can be associated with door lock installations.




I hope that by the time you arrive at this conclusion you have been able to figure out why your key keeps turning in the door lock. Keep in mind that identifying the problem is only one half of the solution. The next step you will have to take is to contact the appropriate locksmith to help you handle this issue. If you are unsure about your abilities to handle this on your own, then do not tamper with your door lock yet. Call a locksmith and tell them about your problem in detail so that they can properly assist you. Neglecting to do so will potentially leave you with a damaged lock.

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