Knob locks are usable on a wide range of doors such as bedroom, front and garage doors. These locks come with knobs or handles. When you shift the positon of the handle or knob, it releases the latch bolt from the door's frame. Before you can do this, however, you need a key to release the deadbolt (which secures the door against unauthorised entry unlike the latch bolt) from the door's frame. One of the challenges that come with knob locks is broken keys. They are a big inconvenience that could easily leave you locked out of the house for a while. To avoid this, here are some of the things you can do to avoid broken keys in your knob locks:
Look Out for Misalignment
With knob locks, you should be on the lookout for signs of misalignment between the grooves on the keys and those in the lock's bracket. Since the lock is sealed, it is virtually impossible to see and assess the condition of the grooves in the lock's bracket. However, difficulty turning the key in the keyhole is an indication of a misalignment. Trouble turning the key compels you to use a lot of force, which eventually wears down the lock's springs and causes the pins to sag. Prolonged use of force when turning the key elevates the risk of breaking the key. To avoid this, you should call in a locksmith to replace the damaged grooves as soon as you notice any signs of a misalignment.
Mark and Tag Your Keys and Locks
A broken key can also result from using the wrong key on a lock. When the grooves on the key and lock do not coincide, there is a high likelihood of turning the key in a small opening, breaking it in the end. You can prevent this by marking or tagging your lock to ensure that you always check the keys before inserting in the keyhole to unlock the door. You can engrave tiny letters on the key and the lock, acting as a constant reminder of the importance of using the right key for each keyhole.
Avoid Using the Key for the Wrong Purpose
Even though they may look like handy tools, your keys aren't. Therefore, you should not use them for purposes other than unlocking your knob locks. Don't use them to open bottle corks, cut boxes or unlock screws. All these things can create cracks and weak spots that will break your key the next time you insert it in the keyhole.
For more information or assistance, contact a mobile locksmith.