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Deadbolt Won't Lock

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Jan 26, 2014, 06:39 PM
Deadbolt Won't Lock
Our front door has a locking storm door and the interior door has a locking lever handle and a deadbolt. We haven't done anything to this door lately, but in the past whenever we've locked it, we'd have to push it with our shoulder, turn the deadbolt as we're pushing, then it will lock. Now we can't even get it to turn, but the lever handle will lock and the door is completely closed. What's up with this darned thing anyway?

Thanks, again, for your help!
Jan 26, 2014, 06:58 PM
Take a good look at where the center of the deadbolt is inside the jamb, and where the center of it's receiver is. It's pretty normal that a door shifts a little and won't lock then. A lot of times it is a matter of putting in a 3 inch screw into the top hinge so the screw goes into the stud framing. And it usually doesn't have to be driven in with force. Sometimes it is just a little lift to the door that will make it work.

They make it look so easy on tv, don't they
Jan 26, 2014, 07:47 PM
Open the door and turn the lock to the locked position and close the door again until it touches the strike plate.
Now mark the top and bottom where the bolt is.
Now open the door to see how the lines correspond with the strike plate opening.
To high or low? Then messing with the hinges may work.
If there ok then look inside the strike plate to see if the wood behind hole for the bolt was all removed to make room for the bolt. If not just make a few passes with a sharp chisel.
Still not working then the strike plate hole needs to be enlarged, a simple grinding wheel in a Dremel tool will open it and not look like a butchered up mess like trying to move the screws.

Jan 26, 2014, 08:23 PM
open the door and turn the lock so the bolt comes out take a red lipstick and smear onto the part of the bolt that touches the plate first. return the bolt close the door and try to lock it.. it will leave a mark on the plate were it is out of mark than it is an internal problem behind the strike plate or the bolt .if it is an older lock the shaft might have a lot of crud on it and needs cleaning and lub while you at it.