Why Does A Key Keep Turning Inside A Lock?
When you insert a key into a lock and turn it, you expect the door to either lock or unlock. However, sometimes things don't go as planned and the lock turns without locking or unlocking. If you have a key that continues turning inside a lock, here are some possible reasons why.
Lock tailpiece is broken
If the tailpiece in the lock is broken, it's likely that the key will keep on turning no matter how many times you turn it. No matter the type of mechanism, all locks use the same basic principals. The key is inserted to engage the lock latch or bolt. The tailpiece plays an important role in making this connection. Without it, the two sides of the lock will seemingly separate. So, you will carry out an action on one side of the door but, because there is a kind of separation inside, the action will not be carried out on the other side. Therefore, the key will turn consistently.
Poor lock installation
If the door lock is not properly installed, it can result in a mechanism that's basically ineffective. If the lock is not installed properly, a number of problems can occur including an improperly connected tailpiece. Which, as described above, will result in your key turning continuously. This is why it is best to hire a professional to perform lock installations.
The cam is the counterpart of the tailpiece and, similarly, without it, your lock won't work. Just as a broken tailpiece will cause a key to continuously turn inside a lock, so too will a broken cam. Cams are not found in all locks and are most commonly used in mortise locks. It's a small piece of metal or very hard plastic attached to the rear of the lock cylinder. It moves the lock bolt to either engage or disengage and therefore is crucial for the locking and unlocking process. A broken cam will not be able to catch the lock and this means that it will not turn as it should.
Use of the wrong cam
If you have replaced the cam in the door mechanism and the key continues to turn inside the lock, it could be due to the use of the wrong cam. It's not the most common reason for this problem but it can happen. Usually, cams are made to suit specific locks. This means that a cam from one brand will usually not fit a different brand of lock. That said, sometimes it might seem like you have found the perfect fit until the time comes to test the lock!
Faulty lock on car door
Car locks are very different from residential or commercial locks. They work in a similar way but there are some significant differences. When your car key turns inside the lock, it's important not to automatically assume that the cylinder is damaged. It might be something considerably more simple and affordable to fix. The best thing to do when you notice such a problem is to call an expert that specializes in locks, including auto locks. Have them examine the problem and provide professional advice regarding the best solution.
Whenever your home, business, or car door gives any trouble, it's important to understand that a professional should always be consulted. It's often tempting to try to force a lock or wiggle your key inside the lock but you could make the problem even worse. Excessive force is never a good idea even when the lock works perfectly. When a lock gives even the slighted bit of trouble, that bit of extra force can result in further damage inside the lock or you could even damage the key as well. As for lock installations, these are also best performed by trained and experienced professionals. Installing a lock is not just about making the appropriate holes in the right places, but also making sure that all the inner workings of the lock are in order. If even the slightest part inside the lock fails, the lock could no longer work. It is also worth mentioning that higher quality locks do tend to last longer and the parts inside prove to be more durable. Cheaper locks are often easier for burglars to get around and they are more prone to breaking.
Different types of locks suit different doors and circumstances. So, before installing a lock, take a few moments to discuss these needs with an expert locksmith. Ask for their suggestions and take note of any known vulnerabilities of each type of lock. Once you have weighed up all the pros and cons of each type of lock, then you can make a truly informed decision.
At Toronto Top Locksmith, we offer speedy 24-hour service throughout the Greater Toronto Area. We are trained and experienced in working on residential, commercial, auto, mailbox locks, and more! Contact us at (647) 479-7764 for all your locksmith needs. Our local team usually arrives within 15 to 20 minutes of receiving your call and we work quickly to ensure minimum inconvenience.
Check out our other lock emergency tips:
Help! I’ve locked myself out of my house!
What to do if a doorknob turns but the door does not open
Most common locksmith emergencies in Toronto
What to do when your key breaks inside the lock?
Never lose your keys again with these 4 key finders on the market