Choosing New Door Locks

« Back to Home

How To Fix A Sliding Patio Door Lock

Posted on

If you have a sliding patio door lock, it will eventually malfunction. You feel like you are going to pull the lock off the door once you get the key to open it.  Here are some tips to fix a sliding patio door lock.

Gather Tools and Adjust the Lock

For this project, you need:

  • tape measure
  • pliers
  • Philips screwdriver
  • wire brush
  • dust pan
  • broom
  • graphite pen
  • replacement lock

Check the lock track for dirt and debris that could be causing the lock to stick. Clean dirt with the broom and dust pan. Look for an adjusting screw close to the lock mechanism. Rotate the screw with a screwdriver to the right so it protrudes further out of the lock recess. If that doesn't help, rotate the screw to the left so it settles deeper in the recess. Test the lock again.

Fix a Key That Sticks in The Lock

If the key gets stuck in the lock, insert a graphite pen on the outer lock on the key hole. Place the lock in the keyhole, and insert and remove the key several times. Squeeze more graphite in the hole as needed. Avoid applying more graphite if the key still sticks, because it gums the lock. If graphite fails to repair the lock, replace it.

Replace the Lock

Slide the door completely open to prevent injury. Detach the screws inside the handle securing the lock mechanism with the screwdriver. Remove the exterior and interior handle off the door, and grip the latch to keep it from falling in the door while you pull the cylinder. Loosen the top and bottom screws from the handle holes with the screwdriver, but don't remove the screwdriver.

Grasp the lower latch face, and tilt it up to free the latch from the door. Save the old lock as a guide to buy and install a new one. Take measurements of the tail piece on the old lock cylinder, and transfer this measurement on the new tail piece with a marker. Snap the notches of the new tail piece with the pliers to match the length of the old cylinder tail piece.

Attach the new lock in the cylinder at a slight angle, and tighten the screws. Insert the cylinder in the outer lock opening, set the handle on top of the cylinder, and remove the screwdriver. Reattach the inside handle, and tighten the screws.

Your sliding patio door lock should work as good as new. If the new lock still doesn't work, or you don't trust your skill, hire a locksmith to fix the lock or replace it.