Repair or Replace

June 25, 2012
Customer has lock problem. Do you repair or replace the lock?

A customer calls you for service. An auxiliary deadbolt lock becomes inoperable and they cannot gain access through the door. According to the customer, the deadbolt lock cannot be unlocked from the exterior. When the key is inserted and rotated, the bolt does not retract. However, the deadbolt lock can be locked and unlocked by turning the interior turn knob.

The price for the service call is agreed upon and the different price ranges are discussed for a replacement auxiliary deadbolt lock. You go out to the jobsite. The deadbolt lock operates as previously explained. The key slides in and out of the lock cylinder smoothly and rotates in both directions without any hesitation.

The lock is removed from the door. You realize the tailpiece has separated from the rear of the lock cylinder. This is why the lock can be operated from the interior, but not the exterior.

You look at the door within the jamb and the floor along the swing side to see if there is a problem. You look at the bolt and strike plate to determine if there is wear that could have caused the tailpiece to break. The door closes and latches smoothly. The deadbolt extends and retracts with no resistance. There does not appear to be an identifiable cause for the tailpiece to break.

The question is:

Do you replace the broken tailpiece?

Do you replace the lock cylinder?

Do you replace the deadbolt lock?