Key Keep Turning In Door Lock? Find Your Solution Here

by Daniel on

A key spinning in a lock means that your lock is broken. The two answers are to replace the lock or fix it. Finding out which of these options best serves you is what we will deal with in this article. First, you need to understand why a key keeps turning in a door lock. From there we can talk about viable solutions for a key spinning in a lock.

Reasons A Key Spins In A Lock

All of the reasons for a key spinning in a lock ultimately come down to the tailpiece or cam on the back of a lock cylinder. The problem could be with the cam/tailpiece or the component that is being moved by said pieces. 

If anything else is malfunctioning, the symptom will not be that the key keeps turning in the door lock. Without the connection between the lock core and the locking mechanism, the key has nothing to do but continue to spin.

  1. Improper Installation – If things are too loose, the appropriate components will not interact. Things might not line up properly, so even though nothing appears to be broken, nothing will be working. Misalignments can happen with the right parts in a lock where nothing is broken. So a key keeps turning in a door lock, but everything is the right size and nothing appears to be cracks, frayed, or misshapen.
  2. Fractured Connections – The most likely connection that is broken when you have a key spinning in a lock is the tailpiece (for rim cylinders) or the cam (for mortise cylinders). These are the parts of the lock that transfer the turn of the key to the movement that controls the lock bolt. A lock cylinder spinning is often due to the cam/tailpiece not catching to actuate the locking mechanism.
  3. Wrong Replacement Parts – In the case of cam cylinders, you may have a replacement cam that is too short to actuate the door lock. So your key will work properly to turn the cylinder and spin the cam, but the cam will not reach the next connection in the lock. This is perhaps more difficult than diagnosing a fractured connection because nothing will be visibly broken, and it is often the result of an attempt to fix or update the lock.

In order to come up with a solution to any of these problems, you need to know which issue your lock is experiencing. As already expressed, when a key spins in a lock, it is almost always due to a malfunction with the cam or tailpiece, or what they are interacting with. 

But replacing this part of the lock will not necessarily fix a key spinning in a lock. You will need to find the problem, change the lock, or call a local locksmith in Los Angeles to assist you.

1. Analyze The Lock 

In order to stop a lock cylinder spinning without professional intervention, you have to take the lock apart. For instances where a key keeps turning in a door lock, there should be no issue taking the door lock apart. 

Padlocks, on the other hand, are not all built with the capacity to be disassembled and reassembled. As long as you can deconstruct the lock and safely put it back together, you can continue with this method.

With the lock disassembled, check the tailpiece or cam on the back of the lock cylinder. Look for any obvious breaks. To detect a clean break, feel the end of the tailpiece/cam for any sharpness or burs. 

Then partially put the lock cylinder back in place (just enough so you can still see what is happening inside the lock) to find the component the cam/tailpiece is meant to interact with. Is anything broken, loose, etc.?

When finding any breaks, you must replace the broken pieces with a component of the proper dimensions. You may need to call a Los Angeles residential locksmith shop for parts, so you can get them to tell you what you need, or look it up based on the lock brand. Issues with misalignment will need situationally specific advice, and most likely demand the presence of a locksmith.

2. Change The Lock 

Without knowing the exact reason why you have a key spinning in a lock, you can still solve the issue by replacing the lock altogether. Without the right parts to fix what is broken inside the lock (assuming that is the issue), changing your lock will be inevitable anyway. It is not the most elegant solution for when a key keeps turning in a door lock, but it will work.

A lock cylinder spinning is something that is contained in the lock, so once that is changed, the problem is solved. You could opt for a partial replacement, which would mean replacing the lock cylinder and not the full lock hardware (housing, bolt work, etc.).

The only issue is that something might be wrong with the parts not being replaced. Assuming you don’t want to find the specific issue, the only sure-fire fix for when a key spins in a lock is to replace the entire lock.

3. Call A Locksmith

The only trick for calling a locksmith is finding the right company. Lucky for you, you have found Locksmith Pros USA. There is no better locksmith in Los Angeles to fix a key spinning in a lock. 

Every technician on call has what it takes to find the problem and give you the full list of options for resolving the trouble with your lock cylinder spinning. 

By calling a locksmith, not only do you have all the information at your disposal, you also have fast access to the services you require. There is no second step involved with having to find the parts you need or work out how to solve an alignment issue, it can all be done as soon as the problem is diagnosed. 

Whether a key keeps turning in a door lock, a padlock, or whatever else, a locksmith can always find the best answer. The cost of changing a lock in Los Angeles can be reduced if you do the work yourself, but the knowledge and insight of a locksmith is priceless.   

Final Thoughts

Don’t wait to fix the problem with your key spinning in a lock. When the issue arises, it is time to take action. Whether you go about changing your lock, taking it apart to find the source of the trouble, or simply pick up the phone to call a Los Angeles locksmith, something needs to be done. And if you ever need any help, don’t hesitate to contact Locksmith Pros USA.

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