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Broken lock on standard UPVC door

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StottC

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Hoping somebody can come to the rescue here.

We have a standard UPVC door at the house with one of those life up handle doo-hickys that control the locking mechanism.

In recent days it had become really really stiff when trying to open it after locking and we've had to really force it. Something has now broken and the handle moves but does essentially nothing. The door itself remains locked with no way to open it.

Other than having to get the thing off its hinges, does anybody know of any way to fix the problem??
 

Lons

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First thing I would do is unscrew the handle to check if that's what's broken as it's one of the weakest parts. Can be unscrewed from the inside handle but get someone to hold the outside one as well or it will drop off.

There are specialist suppliers of parts and also some companies happy to do the work. BTW very little in the PVCu business and composite doors is standard, there are multiple options available.
 

Trevanion

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That's going to be a right pig of a job, I can tell you that now!

I don't have much UPVC experience as a wooden door man but it could be a number of things, You could've put so much pressure on the handle you've cammed out where the spindle goes into the lock (Or even the one in the handle, but the outside handle would still work if that was the case). It could've also snapped something inside the mechanism which will make things very difficult.

Ideally do what Lons said first, take the handles off and see if anything immediate is the problem, I.E a round hole where there should be a square one in the mechanism. I doubt you will be able to get the door off its hinges without having the door open but as I said, not an expert on plastics. Beyond that, there really isn't much you can do without the door being open.

I would say it's a job for a professional locksmith or someone who deals with this kind of thing on the regular, They're not cheap but if it saves you hours of frustration and perhaps saving on not having to buy a new door it may be worth it. Or they will tell you right off the bat that it's not going to work to save the hours of frustration etc.

Good luck!
 

Setch

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You've probably either stripped the rack and pinion which transmits the handle pull to the locking points, or fractured a cam which does the same thing.

New lockcase, or full length strip needed to fix it, as the parts which fail are rarely available.

Getting it open, you can try to pry the door open top and bottom (use a wide lever like a bolster or you'll mark the door/frame). If you can get at any of the locking points you can tap then back to the open position. Sometimes this is remarkably easy, often the opposite! On some older doors you can knock out hinge pins and lift the door out on the hinge side.

In 10 years of locksmithing, I did a lot of these, and some were pure evil.
 

Setch

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Oh, and too late to help you now, but if you ever find your door is stiff, or you have to haul on the handle to close it, or hold it up to lock it, it needs adjustment. This is a half hour job, no parts. The opening and replacement is a couple of hours, plus the cost of the lock, and any delay inbetween opening and getting parts- best avoided!
 
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