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Many service calls I receive are lock maintenance related issues. Unfortunately not much attention is usually given to a lock until it either malfunctions or just about falls off the door. An exterior entry door lock is especially prone to stop working properly simply because it has a keyway and is exposed to the elements twenty-four hours a day. 

Some tell tale issues you might look for are the key not going into the keyway as smooth as it used to or not going in all the way to the shoulder of the key. Also, if you have to jiggle the key to get it to unlock. These could be other lock related problems but you should try to first lubricate the keyway with a good lubricant and work your key in and out of the keyway a few times. When I say a good lubricant, don't grab the WD40. WD40 is a good product when used for what it is designed for and lock lubrication is not one of them. Go to your local hardware or home improvement store and purchase an aerosol can of Tri-Flow. This is a great product for locks, keyways and general lubrication uses such as hinges or other household requirements. It is a teflon based lubricant. I'm sure there are other brands that have basically the same lubricating qualities but I use this for all my lock lubrication maintenance because it works.

For routine maintenance, every six months squirt some Tri-Flow into the keyway of each lock and again run your key in and out 5 or 6 times. This helps lubricate the upper chambers, tumblers and springs. You'll be glad you did and your locks will love you. Oh, I almost forgot. Spraiy a dab on the latch and push it in and out a few times with your finger.


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