We do get a lot of calls for the issue of a key that used to go all the way into a lock and operate it no problem that will no longer go all the way in.
There are a lot of different reasons that this could be happening. A jammed top pin can stop the key from entering the lock keyway or keyhole. Generally speaking, when a key is inserted into a lock keyway or keyhole, as it is inserted, the bottom pins are raised up which in turn raises the top pin and compresses the chamber spring for each chamber. In effect, what happens is the cuts in the key and the angles of the cuts push the pins out of the way as the key is inserted. If one of the top pins is jammed and cannot move this would stop the key from being completely inserted into the keyway or keyhole. If you are faced with this problem, if there is access through the top of the lock cylinder via the chamber hole of the pin that is jammed then you may be able to free up the pin. Anything short of this and it is replacement time for the lock cylinder.
Another reason that your key may no longer be able to enter the keyway or keyhole of your lock is lack of lubrication. Many people don’t realize that a lock, just like anything else that is designed with moving parts requires lubrication. If the lock that is causing you difficulty when inserting your key is constantly exposed to the elements like the rain and snow, over a period of time the lubrication that the lock manufacturer used at the time of manufacture has likely been washed out of your lock. This would lead to your key being impossible to insert into the lock keyway or keyhole. Before we discuss the remedy to this issue, let’s look at what should be done to stop this from happening in the future. Since the weather is getting into the lock and causing this issue for you perhaps it is time to look at installing some kind of awning or overhang to keep the weather out of the lock.
Most lock manufacturers, during the manufacturing process will lubricate a lock cylinder by using dry powdered graphite. Yes, we said “Dry Powdered Graphite”. For those unfamiliar with graphite, it is the same substance found in “Lead Pencils”. Lead pencils have not contained lead for many decades. In a pinch we suppose that you could use WD40 as a lubricant. That will at least free up the lock cylinder parts and allow your key to completely enter the keyway or keyhole and operate your lock.
On a final note, it is also possible that the lock cylinder keyway or keyhole is so badly worn that the key no longer fits into it properly. If this is the case then it is time for your lock to be replaced.
Security Article Written by: Toronto Locksmith
This Article is Copyright and may not be re-published without express written consent.