by Dave McLane
I always felt there was something strange about the lock on the side door to our house … we don’t use the front door for reasons too complicated to tell you about.
Not only did the lock seem strange but over the five years we’ve lived here it got more and more difficult to open until it finally gave out and wouldn’t work at all. Worse, the other two doors had their security screens locked and we didn’t have a key.
I managed to get inside by means I’d rather not share and was able to open the door, remove the lock and take it down to Wickenburg to see about getting it fixed or replaced.
Then I remembered that Ira Birdwell did locksmithing in addition to whatever he does up at the Bagdad mine. Not only was he able to fix the lock but I found out why I had always felt the lock was strange: it was upside down!
If you don’t already know how cylinder locks work here’s a brief explanation from www.howstuffworks.com. Most exterior locks--also called locksets--use a deadbolt which is more secure than a spring-driver latch as it’s much harder to push the bolt in from the side of the door. The bolt is connected to a cylinder which is kept from turning by pins.
When the key is inserted the pins line up:
When the key turns, the bold retracts and the door can open:
In my case, one of the pins had broken off and inserting the key wouldn’t line them up and the cylinder couldn’t turn to open the door.
The reason it broke was it had become rusted due to the fact that the lock had been installed upside down and the pints were at the bottom of the cylinder, not the top. Thus it was easy for water to get into the lock, especially because the wind and rain usually blow onto that side of the house. Checking the other two locks showed that one of them was rightside up and the other upside down but they worked OK as the rain never hit them.
|Ira was able to repair the lock and now all three look the same, use the same key, and work fine. Plus the mystery of why that one felt strange was solved and I learned how to check and make sure such locks are installed rightside up.
For your information: Ira Birdwell is bonded and certified and has been in the locksmithing business for 24 years and does safe work as well. You can reach him at (928) 427-0467.
No Comments for this post yet...
We're always looking for articles about people, places and events in Congress.
If you have something you would like published, please send email to Newsmaster
Next post: Followup: Fire Consumes Trailer/House