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How to Fix UPVC Door Lock Problems and Prevention

upvc door lock

As a security specialist in London I regularly repair UPVC door locks. In my last post about French patio security I touched on UPVC lock problems and the importance of making sure they are properly secured. I receive a lot of calls about problems with UPVC door locks because they can be problematic and unreliable.

The convenience of having a multi-locking system on one door is advantageous. However there is a downside to popular UPVC door locking mechanisms. The mechanics of a UPVC door lock are much more complex than a standard mortice deadlock.

All UPVC door locks have a shelf life. Generally speaking one that is used frequently may only last between ten and twelve years.

There are some UPVC door lock issues that you can try to resolve without calling a locksmith but most require the experience of a professional approved locksmith.

Common UPVC Door Problems

The 5 main questions I am asked about UPVC doors are;

  1. My UPVC door won’t lock how can I fix it?
  2. How do you realign a UPVC door lock?
  3. How do you fix a jammed lock?
  4. How do you change a UPVC Lock?
  5. How secure is my UPVC door?

In this post I will share with you tips on how to deal with common UPVC door lock problems.

upvc door lock

1) How to Fix A UPVC Door That Won’t Lock

The method required to repair a upvc door lock will very much depend on what the problem is.

Ways to fix a lock on a UPVC door?

There are a few things you can check yourself before calling a locksmith.

What is wrong with my UPVC door lock?

  • You can check if the lock is aligned with the door keep. If it is not aligned the lock will not engage properly. If it is the problem may be with the locking mechanism.
  • You can check if the lock is operating when in the open position. If it is then the problem may be an alignment issue

Can a uPVC door be repaired?

UPVC door locks can be repaired. Choosing a qualified, experienced locksmith with good recommendations for UPVC door lock repair is a must. UPVC door mechanisms can be complex and require experience to repair. Be careful who you trust with the job!

Should a locksmith need to take my UPVC mechanism away?

There are many reports of customers being ripped off by rogue locksmiths charging extortionate amounts. They use the trick of taking the UPVC mechanism away so that the customer can’t choose a different locksmith.

2) How To Realign a UPVC Door

Why is my UPVC door sticking?

If your UPVC door is sticking it is likely to need realigned because it has dropped or because it has expanded because of the weather.

The weather in the UK, and London in particular, produces a great variation in temperature. This causes problems for both wooden and plastic doors however it is more of an issue with UPVC doors. This is not only because of the material but because a UPVC door lock by nature requires multiple bolts to be lined up in the correct position when entering the keeps.

How do you adjust a UPVC door?

Realigning a UPVC door is a job that requires a professional locksmith.

How do you adjust the height of a UPVC door hinge?

On many occasions an Allan key adjustment underneath the hinges is all that is required. This is something you can try yourself however it is advisable to call a locksmith to avoid any further problems.

3) How To Fix a Jammed UPVC Lock

It is not uncommon for parts inside a upvc lock case to break and block up the lock making it impossible for the bolt to be retracted, even with the key.

Why is my PVC lock jammed?

UPVC door lock replacement is often required when the lock jams as a result of too much pressure being put on the centre case of the lock causing a part inside to break. When lifting the handle all the bolts have to work in tandem. They all shoot out of roll up or down and go into place. When they do go into place there is a possibility of friction on the keeps (or strike plates). This can in turn put a lot of pressure on the centre case which could mean something crucial breaking inside the mechanism. This can result in being locked out of or into a property.

How do you open a UPVC door when the lock is broken?

There are specialist tools that a locksmith uses to open broken UPVC locks. Choose a locksmith for upvc door lock repairs very carefully to avoid paying more than you need to.

How do you adjust the locking mechanism on a uPVC door?

Adjusting a UPVC locking mechanisms requires the experience of a qualified locksmith.

fixed upvc door lock

4) How To Change a UPVC Lock

Can you change the lock on a uPVC door?

If your lock is broken it will need to be replaced. You can attempt to change the lock yourself however calling a lock fitting specialist is advisable to ensure;

  • Correct size is used
  • The lock is fitted correctly to meet insurance requirements
  • The lock is high quality and meets insurance requirements
upvc door lock badly fitted
A Badly Fitted UPVC Door Lock

What type of lock is on a UPVC door?

The most common type of UPVC door lock is a Eurocylinder.

What are the most secure UPVC door locks?

The best UPVC door lock is a 3 star anti snap Euro cylinder.

How do I know if my lock is anti snap?

Many anti snap locks will have have the 3 star logo as below, however you may not be able to see it. A locksmith can check this for you as part of a free security survey. You can read about anti snap locks here.

anti snap lock - 3 star logo

How much does it cost to change a lock on a UPVC door?

The cost of changing a UPVC door lock depends on the lock required.

How much does a UPVC lock cost?

UPVC door lock replacement costs will depend on the type of lock required. A high quality UPVC lock can cost anything up to £60+vat.

How much does a locksmith charge to fit a UPVC Lock?

In addition to the cost of the lock you would expect a labour charge for fitting which is likely to be in the region of £70+vat for quality lock changing service. The labour charge could be as much as £90+ if it is an emergency lock repair late at night, at the weekend or on bank holidays. You can read more about locksmith prices here.

Total Price to Fit a UPVC Lock

In total you should not expect to pay more than £150+ vat to have a new UPVC lock fitted.

You should also not expect to pay less than £80+vat.

If you are being offered a UPVC lock change at £39 or even £59 you are likely to be ripped off by a locksmith! You can read more about seemingly cheap locksmiths here.

Cheap Locksmith
Image Courtesy of katemangostar

How do you change a UPVC door lock without a key?

Call a locksmith to change a UPVC door lock without a key.

5) How secure are UPVC doors?

If you are choosing a new door a UPVC door is not the most secure. A wooden front door or high quality sliding patio doors with multipoint locking are the most secure. You can read about the most secure doors here.

With the right locks UPVC doors can be very secure. With the wrong locks UPVC doors can be extremely vulnerable. 

UPVC Door Burglary

It is important to consider the locking mechanism used. The types of bolts that are on the door are critical. Be aware that if you have one latch, one bolt and a number of mushroom (or roller) bolts on the door they can be easily manipulated by an intruder with a heavy duty crowbar or even a screwdriver!. If this is the case it is advisable that you seriously consider replacing your UPVC door locking mechanism.

Ideally all mechanisms should have at least two bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom. Ideally they should be hook bolts.

Lock Snapping and Anti Snap Locks

UPVC door locks are very vulnerable to lock snapping. If you read our post on lock snapping you will see how easily an intruder can access your property using this method.

How to Prevent UPVC Door Problems – Top Tips

Everything that is in the lock case is there for a reason; this is why it is vital to take care of your PVC doors. It is important to avoid anything that puts too much strain on your lock and make the necessary adjustments.

A qualified locksmith will have the tools and the knowledge to repair a UPVC door lock however you could avoid the need to call a locksmith by following these UPVC problem prevention tips!

  • Tip 1 – When lifting the handle, avoid allowing the bolts to grind
  • Tip 2 – Clean the bolts. Read about lock maintenance here.
  • Tip 3 – Arrange a free security survey with a qualified locksmith to check for problems and to ensure your locks are up to scratch.
  • Tip 4 – Choose a timber door where possible when choosing a new door.

UPVC Lock Specialist in London

We are MLA approved lock specialists providing a competitively priced lock repair service in North London.

Most London Locksmiths don’t stock parts for UPVC mechanisms. This is where we differ from the competition. We carry a good stock of commonly used UPVC parts. This enables us to offer our customers a quick and efficient service at a very competitive price. We are specialists in UPVC door repairs. As trusted London locksmiths we pride ourselves on providing the best products whilst offering our customers the best prices on the market!

If you need UPVC locks repaired or replaced in London or Hertfordshire contact us for a free security survey.

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