Help with Kwikset Deadbolt Jam

sparksalsMay 16, 2008

We moved into this house in January and had the entire house re-keyed by a locksmith. Before we bought the house, the front door deadbolt jammed and it was very difficult to unlock it by turning the latch or using the key. After many trials, found a trick to be able to turn it to lock and unlock without much difficulty.

Today, the deadbolt jammed and we couldn't unlatch it at all. Both of us tried and we wound up unscrewing the plate, jiggling and putting the screws back in. Finally got it to unlock by turning the latch while I had one screw in and one screw out.

We don't know if this is a problem with the deadbolt or the actual lock attached to the door since the problem has persisted since it was re-keyed.

It jams and the deadbolt won't budge when turning the latch to the left to unlock, yet it moves all the way to locked position no problem. WD40 does not solve the problem.

Any ideas? Do we need a complete new lock set?

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Can't say without carefully inspecting it. When I have had a problem like this in the past, it wasn't the lock mechanism, but the fact that there was either a mis-alignment between the door and the jamb which caused the bolt to bind in the strike plate, or that the screws holding the lock to the door were not all tightened correctly and were causing misalignment of an otherwise good lock mechanism. Unless you're very handy, it may be hard for you to determine this. However, one thing to try is to put pressure on the door handle: force the knob up a little, or down a little, or toward the jamb a little and see if the mechanism works better while applying pressure. If so, it may mean you have a warped door, or binding in the strike plate hole, either of which would require modification.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:59AM
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We have tried the knob trick by trying to lift the door up and down while trying to turn the deadbolt latch. We have also tried pushing the door in and pulling out to no avail.

It didn't dawn on me that the door could be warped. Come to think of it, we are unable to lock the latch on our storm door. It won't even go into the jamb. So, I'm wondering if both doors could be misaligned?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Hi, Try to operate the lock with the door open. Does it operate correctly? If it does then the door may be missaligned. If the lock binds with the door open then the lockset is missalagned. Loosen all the bolts and screws then check the lock with the door open. Gently tighten one screw at a time and check the operation until you find the one that binds it up then make adjustments from there.
If the door is missaligned remove the strike plate and see if the problem goes away if it does then move or file the strike plate untill it works.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:49PM
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Thanks woodbutcher - we'll try those and see what happens!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 3:05AM
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Woodbutcher - thanks for your post. I tried turning the lock while the door was open and had the same problem. I couldn't get it to turn back. I had to unscrew one screw fully and loosen another to get it to turn.

Would it be easier just to get a new lock? I really don't want to continually fiddle with this if a new lock will totally get rid of the problem.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Since the problem is still occurring with the door open, and you've fiddled with it in that position with no improvement, it may be time for a replacement.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:29AM
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There is a brand new product on the market that fixes this problem for GOOD.
No more jacking with your deadbolt and strike plate.

It's called Sure-Strike ( and it's the only strike plate in the world that self-adjusts to misaligned deadbolts. Plus, it helps resist kick-in home invasions.

I had two put on my house and they work great. And they're affordable. Only $29.95 online.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sure-Strike strike plate

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Thanks for that ewilder! Looks like a great product!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:09PM
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No problem. I have two Sure-Strike's in my house and love them! It's nice not having to wrestle with my deadbolt anymore to lock and unlock my doors.
I had them installed but after watching them it looked easy. I could have done it myself. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Black & Decker owns Baldwin, Price Pfister, Kwikset, and Weiser locks.

They also own DeWalt, Porter Cable and Delta tools.

If you want better performance from a Black & Decker product you should pay a few dollars more and step up a notch in the food chain or take a look at an equivalent model of Schlage locks.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 6:17AM
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I installed new Kwikset deadbolts and door locks in my mothers house last year. I found out when installing the deadbolt, there is an 'up' and 'down' for the inside trim ring. One way it works freely, the other it binds. IIRC, there is a padlock picture imprinted on the face, and that goes up.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 5:35AM
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Basement storm door is misaligned and locked via deadbolt. Interior knob to release deadbolt has broked off and door cannot be opened. Exterior key has been lost. Locksmith suggests only remedy is to drill out lock and try to release deadbolt. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 9:54AM
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I don't feel like taking a screwdriver to one right now. Depends on the deadbolt I guess but maybe I'm thinging wrong right now but if I recall correctly you can take them apart from the inside with a couple of screws and I think you can pull the lock out then from the outside,, if you cant simply twist it open from the inside.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 9:52PM
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