A common call for Southampton locksmiths attendance will be a door failing to latch closed or being difficult to open, either by handle or key. In some cases lockouts occur.
There are several possibilities for this age, wear or shrinkage of a door which still swings freely may require some adjustment to the striking plate. The door may have dropped causing the bolt or latch to catch at the bottom of the striking plate, The door may have dropped because of worn hinges. Firstly find the cause. Check for worn hinges and replace if required. Second for a dropped door with a binding bolt(s) file the metal on the bottom edge of the striking plate, or move it down and refit, plugging holes and making good afterwards. It may be necessary to take off the striking plate to file, therefore relocation may be a better option. If the bolt or latch is tight on its fastening face or does not enter the striking plate you may again need to file or move the striker. If the door rattles when fastened by the spring bolt, the striking plate should be set further back on the jamb This will normally mean moving the strike. A hole to be plugged properly should be drilled and a well fitting plug glued in. There is another method, quick and convenient at times if not very workmanlike, of dealing with door rattle caused by too much clearance in the striking plate for the spring bolt. This is to peen the metal, that is, force some of it into the bolt hole by hammering near edge of the strike The striking plate must be removed for this operation. It is best to use a peening hammer, that is, one with a ball head or a wedge shaped end to the head and something to serve as an anvil is needed.
If rattle is due to the loose fit of the spring bolt in the forend of the lock, it may be necessary to get the bolt replaced or a new lock fitted. Occasionally a spring breaks. If you do not have a duplicate in stock, the broken spring can be replaced by something similar from your spares kit. However should the problem re-occur in the ‘ guarantee ‘ period the customer may well look to you for a replacement lock to be fitted with no added labour costs The spring bolt of a lock may fail to strike easily for one or more of several reasons. Overspringing may be the cause and in some locks or the bevel of the bolt is not at a favourable angle Adjusting the face of the bolt and the lip of the striking plate and perhaps bending the lip of the striking plate may be a cure. If the latchbolt of a lock does not spring out when the lock furniture works freely, the cause may be a broken or faulty spring in the lock or the handle. Alternatively, dirt, rust or a stiffly working part may be the reason. in such cases the locks and furniture should be removed and overhauled. Sometimes the bolt fails to spring out fully because unsprung lever handles are fitted which are too heavy for the springs inside the lock. The remedy is to replace the handles with others which have their own springs to return the handles to the horizontal position without help from the lock.
However if you don’t fancy tackling the job yourself then give Locksmith Southampton a ring on 02380 070246 and we will be happy to carryout the repairs for on your behalf.