3 Point Locking Door Issues

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by diyguy85, May 21, 2014.

  1. May 21, 2014 #1

    diyguy85

    diyguy85

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    I am having issues with an exterior door from my walkout basement. We closed on buying the house March 20 and it worked fine until a few days ago. I tried to open it from the inside and it wouldn't open. At first I attributed it to humidity and a little binding because we just got some rain and heat, but after further inspection, the top latch of the 3 point latch system won't retract with the turn of the handle. After some careful and creative work with a few screwdrivers and a flashlight, I forced that top latch in and opened the door. Its very odd because the locking mechanism works fine, pushing all three latches further out, and the center and lower respond fine to turning the handle, and retract to open the door as required. Just that stupid top one will either do nothing when I turn the handle, or move 1 mm for a moment and still refuse to retract. I can push it in with my hand or a screwdriver but I can't get it to respond to the handle. I took the handle off, and tried to take the top latch out but clearly they are all connected by a system of connecting rods inside the door and I can't get them out. It seems as though the 3 point locking system is integrated to the door unless I am missing something. I don't know if its safer to have it permanently locked or permanently unlocked, but for now I put a few pieces of tape across the top latch trim piece to keep it inside the door so for now I have a functional door that won't lock.

    How do I solve this problem? I'd like to get away without replacing the whole door if at all possible.
     
  2. May 22, 2014 #2

    nealtw

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    depending on the brand. The one I have worked on, came out in almost one peice. the whole unit just slipped into the edge of the door. Remove the door handles and a bunch of screws that hold the stricker in place.

    3_point_lock_installed_8-0.jpg
     
  3. May 22, 2014 #3

    diyguy85

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    The one I have has a separate mounted piece for each latch so there are three separate metal strips at the top, middle, and bottom of the door. That is a lot different than yours.
     
  4. May 22, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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    Can you find a brand name on anything?
     
  5. May 22, 2014 #5

    diyguy85

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    I am not at home now, but I can look later.
     
  6. May 22, 2014 #6

    nealtw

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  7. May 22, 2014 #7

    diyguy85

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    I looked at it. There is no brand that I can see on the door or the handles. At the top of the door above the latches is a small service hole that seems to be a service spot? My coworker suggested I spray a ton of WD40 in there to lube everything up. Is that a bad idea?
     
  8. May 22, 2014 #8

    CallMeVilla

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    Yes, bad idea. I have used white lithium grease to lubricate locks. It will last longer than WD 40 and works better. Here are two more ideas ... Yale USA says Yale cylinders are lubricated from the factory with a TeflonĀ® lubrication. Cylinders should be lubricated periodically depending upon environmental conditions and usage. LAB Lube is the approved lubricant. Caution: It is not recommended to lubricate cylinders with oil or to mix lubricants. "

    LAB Lube is a micronized polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powder lubricant that will not "cake-up" as graphite does. A superior friction-fighting agent
     
  9. May 22, 2014 #9

    diyguy85

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    nealtw, I looked at that forum, and it sounds similar but different. Hopefully its not that same issue because the hardware was old when that thread happened in 2005. I couldn't imagine it'd be easy finding that stuff these days.
     
  10. May 22, 2014 #10

    nealtw

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    Might not hurt, keep in mind that nylon parts swell with oil products. I don't know how wd40 would effect it.
     
  11. May 22, 2014 #11

    diyguy85

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    CallmeVilla,

    With the handles off, I can lube those visible pieces reasonably easily. There are other places I can't reach that I may be able to do from the service hole in the top of the door. Is spraying lube down that ill advised, or is WD40 just not the best option?
     
  12. May 22, 2014 #12

    nealtw

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    I am just guessing but check the top and bottom of the door for a hole that has been drilled top to bottom. I can immagine they could have installed all three latches and then installed a pin from the top or bottom and then tighten a set screw thru service holes in the latches. If that is the case you may find a set screw that needs tightening in that hole.
     
  13. May 22, 2014 #13

    slownsteady

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    WD40 is not really a lubricant. WD stands for "Water Displacement".

    My first thought about the top latch is a stripped gear. but I have no idea how you would access the inner parts. If you can disable the top latch altogether you may be able to live with a two-point security door.
     
  14. May 22, 2014 #14

    diyguy85

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    There is such a hole, at least at the top of the door above the latches. I couldn't really feel much in there but I didn't have more than a few minutes to look at it, and I didn't have my flashlight handy. So that set screw might be a solution, or it just might be in my way? I also had the thought about removing the upper latch entirely and working with a two point security door but I couldn't seem to make that happen. Maybe that hole on top will make that possible? I wish I could see a diagram of how its laid out in there so I could make a plan with the limited access I do have.
     
  15. May 22, 2014 #15

    nealtw

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    I would be checking that service hole with a set of allan wrenches, see if there is one there to be tightened.
     
  16. May 22, 2014 #16

    slownsteady

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    Have you looked for a brand name on the key? And what can you see if you remove the cover plate on the knob (or whatever you use to lock/unlock it)?
     
  17. May 22, 2014 #17

    diyguy85

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    The key says Floyd but its the same key for all our exterior doors including the one inside from the garage. With the handles off, it looks like a circular disk with the square hole for the knob handle to go in. Unfortunately, the connection to the top and bottom latches are not visible at all with the door handles off. I will take a closer look at the service hole in the top tonight when I have more time.

    Thanks for all your help, guys.
     
  18. May 22, 2014 #18

    Wuzzat?

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  19. May 23, 2014 #19

    diyguy85

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    I fixed it! I am not really sure how. As my wise friend says when something good happens "Don't ask questions!" Here is what I did. I took the handles off and lubricated everything inside there I could see, including what looks like bushings surrounding the main knob. I tested it, no difference. I took the cosmetic plates off all three latches and lubed what I could for each there too. Again I tested, no difference. I got on a step ladder and grabbed a flashlight and looked down that service hole. I couldn't see much but I lubed down there too. Again, no difference. I stuck a screwdriver down that service hole and actuated a rod which retracted the latch for all three together. I did that a ton of times, then tested with the handle. The handle would operate the top latch a few times but then seem to click off it and no longer work. Moving the rod with the screwdriver would still work all the latches. I fiddled with it a lot and was about it give up when it occurred to me I should reach for the rod with some needle nose pliers. I reached down there and grabbed what I thought was that rod but it lifted right out of the inside of the door. It was a long rectangular plate with little rollers on it. I panicked because it looked important and I still wanted the other two latches and the lock to work so I pushed it back down in place. It snapped back in place. Before giving up, I tested the handle and weirdly everything works like it should now. Can't give credit to my incredible mechanical aptitude, just the good ole "mess with it until it works" solution. I don't care though, it works now. Thanks again for all your help guys.
     
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  20. May 23, 2014 #20

    nealtw

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    Thanks for the update, alls well that ends well:clap:
     

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