deadbolt lock

loveflowersMarch 5, 2009

I have a Dexter deadbolt lock with the tumbler having a key opening for inside the house. I cannot open the door with the key from outside, but have no problem opening the door with the key from inside. What can be the problem and can I fix this myself? Describe what I can do.


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The key cylinder on the outside is bad or takes a different key than the inside. You could try spraying it with WD40. If it just dirty or sticky that might help.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 8:37AM
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WD-40 is death to moving mechanisms. Once it dries, it forms a varnish that makes things worse. Powdered graphite is made for lock cylinders. You can buy it in a special applicator just for this purpose.
Did the lock recently stop working, or has it always been like that? If the former, it may be worn out, or the key has worn down. If the latter, maybe someone removed the lock and reinstalled the outside cylinder with the shaft oriented incorrectly.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:19AM
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The lock is about 13 years old and I had it installed at the same time I bought my new door. I do sometimes have problems with it, about twice a year.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:04PM
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Eventually low quality locksets must be replaced. You have done well to get 13 years out of yours. I recommend buying a Baldwin; I've never known one to wear out.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 9:32AM
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You might be able to replace just the cylinder if you want, take both to a locksmith. If it's not worthwhile price-wise and you have a lot of keys already cut for the old lock, you may be able to get a locksmith to re-key a new lock to your old keys.

Either way, it's wise to keep one or more keys as the MASTER keys, for example the keys that come with it new, and cut all dupes off that, and never use the master keys, as, when they wear, they cause issues like you're currently experiencing.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 2:07PM
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Time to replace the deadbolt with one that is keyless from the inside.

Deadbolts that are keyed on the inside are no longer permitted and are a saftey hazard.

A locked deadbolt with a misplaced key can prevent escape in a fire or other emergency.

Reinstall a new deadbolt that does not require a key on the inside.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:53PM
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That's true, it is safer to be keyless, but less secure.

I'm not sure what the rules in Australia are, but locks that could be made keyless inside - there was a knob that you could unlock with a key, or keyed- were common. How I had it set up was, to leave my keys in the door (on the inside lock) when I came home.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:40AM
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