Deadbolt dead? What next?
February 26, 2010 9:29 AM   Subscribe

What happened to my lock (it's a basic Kwikset)? Did it wear out or did someone try to pick it?

The turnkey on the inside of my front door deadbolt flips back and forth very easily. Tightening the screws on either side of it has no effect. I took out the main cylinder and a slim flat (but bent - seems to make some springy tension) metal piece across the bottom of the mechanism fell out and appears to be broken.

What should I replace it with?

Is there any point to getting a deadbolt with a keypad?

posted by nnk to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Well, someone didn't try to pick it with a lock pick set. They're not harmful at all to locks, pins, or cylinders. Wasn't a bump key either; they're also not harmful. I'm having a little trouble picturing exactly what fell out of your cylinder though.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:36 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: If I am understanding you correctly, the flat piece of metal which connects your inside deadbolt lever to the lock cylinder is broken. I would just take the whole lock down to a locksmith and buy a new lock. At the shop I used to work at, we would key the lock for free if the customer bought the new deadbolt assembly from us.
posted by yoyoceramic at 9:40 AM on February 26, 2010

Response by poster: yoyoceramic, that sounds like what it is, but the lock still turns and moves the deadbolt, should I still replace it -- is the lock compromised somehow?
posted by nnk at 9:51 AM on February 26, 2010

If I'm understanding this right, I had exactly the same thing happen once. The bolt is turned by a cam—a cheap piece of metal stamped into a square tube, connected to the outside tumbler. The inside tumbler turned a shaft that fit inside that tube, causing the cam to turn.

We had a door that wasn't quite square, so we had to force the bolt to fit the hole; over time, this rounded out the shaft that fit inside the cam. So the lock could only be locked from the outside.

Replacements are cheap.
posted by adamrice at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2010

It's easy to replace a lock (I'm told) and I've heard that Kwikset is not the good brand. I've been assured that Schlage is the way to go. You can get new lock sets at Home Depot or places like that.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:12 AM on February 26, 2010

Call a locksmith or DIY. It's pretty inexpensive.
posted by kenliu at 10:30 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: I don't think the lock is compromised per se, but I would recommend getting it replaced. You could end up with a situation where you find yourself on your font porch with a key that operates the lock, but if the lock does not engage with the flat piece which in turn throws the bolt, you will be stuck on your porch.
posted by yoyoceramic at 10:59 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've had terrible luck with Kwikset locks, and won't buy another one. Schlage is definitely superior, and worth the extra $$.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:59 PM on February 26, 2010

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