What does rekeying your lock mean? As a new homeowner, safety is and knowing that unauthorized persons cannot access your home is a big priority. The thought that the previous homeowner may have other keys lying around can be unsettling. Or, you may want to minimize the heftiness of carrying keys around and prefer one that works for all your doors. In both instances, there is a simple solution: rekeying your locks. Before we get into how to do that, let us first understand how a lock works.
How does a lock work?
Bost deadbolts and doorknobs have a pin and tumbler lock. This lock has a cylindrical plug that contains a set of springs and pins. The pins vary in length to allow a specific key shape to turn the lock. A key will only work if the depths of its grooves match the pin lengths. To use a different key, you have to disassemble the lock and remove the pins. You will then need to replace the pins and springs with ones that match the cuts of the new key. Here is how to do it.
Rekeying a lock
Rekeying a traditional pin and tumbler lock can be done, albeit with the right skill. You will need to buy a new rekey kit for your specific lock brand. The kit usually has several tools that will help in removing the lock. The kit also has a set of pins of different sizes. Again, you could do it yourself if you have the skillset. Better even, you can opt to consult an experienced locksmith near you to help. If you are in Pennsylvania, for example, you can speak to a reputable locksmith in Philadelphia to assist you in the repair. Once you have all the tools ready, here is how to proceed:
Step 1: Disassemble the Doorknob
The first step is removing the doorknob from the door. To remove the doorknob, you need to align the holes in the cylinder. You can do that by either inserting and turning your key a quarter turn to the right or turning the doorknob counterclockwise and holding it. The procedure varies depending on the manufacturer. After you align the holes, the next step is popping the knob off and removing it from the shank using the remover tool.
Step 2: Remove the cylinder
After disassembling the doorknob, the next step is removing the cylinder. Remove the cylinder from the inside. Get an appropriate tool to remove the cap at the back of the knob. Then, detach the cylinder by pushing it from front to back.
Step 3: Remove the C-Clip
Once the cylinder is out, remove the C-Clip that holds it in place.
Step 4: Insert the key plug
Using the follower tube in the kit, remove the key plug from its housing. Attach the plug to the back of the cylinder. Then, put the key in the lock. After that, push the cylinder plug out of the cylinder but leave the plug follower inside the housing. It will hold the springs and pins in place.
Step 5: Get rid of the old pins
Dump the pins in the plug and replace the key with a new one.
Step 6: Put new pins
Follow the instructions on the kit to insert new pins. They should be flush on top of the plug.
Step 7: Insert the plug
You can now replace the plug into the cylinder. Push out the plug follower slowly as you insert it. Try the key to make sure it turns. Then, remove the follower and attach the C-Clip.
Step 8: Reinsert the knob
Put back the knob after reattaching the cylinder to it.
Step 9: Test the lock
Everything is now secure. You can now test the lock.
Rekeying a lock can be easier said than done. You are better off speaking to a locksmith technician to help. Your home will feel more secure with a new key done by an expert.