F.A.Q. about Home  


Table of Contents

  1. I just had house keys made at the local home improvement store and...
  2. Why do I have to wiggle my keys in the lock to make it work?
  3. I am moving into a new home, should I re-key the locks?
  4. I want all of the locks on my house to use the same key. Can this be done?
  5. I just bought a house and none of the doors have deadbolts on them.
  6. Someone has stolen my keys so I need to change my locks. Do I...

  7. My friendís house was "broken into" and her insurance company claimed...

  8. I just moved into a new apartment and asked the landlord to install...


Q: I just had house keys made at the local home improvement store and they don't work right, do I need new locks like the clerk suggested, when I went back to complain?

A: No, more likely you just need keys cut by a properly adjusted key machine, operated by a trained technician. Key machines in proper adjustment will cut keys to a tolerance of +/- .001". Poorly adjusted key machines or worse yet, poorly trained clerks, can cut a key with a tolerance of +/- .012"!

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Q: Why do I have to wiggle my keys in the lock to make it work?

A: As locks age over time, the pins in a lock cylinder tend to "wear" down causing your keys to stick and forcing you to "jiggle or wiggle" the key in the lock to make it work. Most likely the keys you were given have probably been "copied" several times and this, plus pin wear, can cause your lock to act like it is breaking. A locksmith can re-pin the lock for you to correct this problem.

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Q: I am moving into a new home, should I re-key the locks? They seem to be working properly.

A: The answer is YES! Everyone has someone that they trust with their house keys. This does not mean YOU can trust them. How many neighbors, old baby sitters, cleaning people are walking around with the key to your home? Change the locks and then give keys to people you and you alone trust.

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Q: I want all of the locks on my house to use the same key. Can this be done?

 

A: Yes, your locksmith can help you do this. In most cases you can keep your existing locks and have a locksmith code them alike. This is referred to "Keyed Alike". An easy test to see if your existing locks are able to be keyed alike, is to see if the one common key will enter the cylinders (keyway) on the other locks. Generally, if one common key will enter all locks, then they can all be "Keyed Alike". If your locks are not compatible, you may be able to use most of your locks, and need to purchase 1 or 2 to accomplish your goal. Consult with your local locksmith; we can help get you on the right track, with a minimum amount of money spent.

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Q: I just bought a house and none of the doors have deadbolts on them. What features should I look for when choosing a deadbolt lock?

A: Every home should have a deadbolt on every exterior door. Some older homes have deadbolts with only a half-inch throw and these should be replaced. Worse than that, you can go into any city in America and find tons of homes that don't have a deadbolt on every exterior door. Just having a locking doorknob is one step away from having nothing.

A quality, secure deadbolt lock should have at least the following features:

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Q: Someone has stolen my keys so I need to change my locks. Do I have to buy new locks?

 

A: No. You can have your locksmith "re-key your locks. Re-keying a lock is the process of replacing the tumblers (pins, wafer tumblers) of a lock cylinder with new tumblers of different sizes. A new key will coincide with the new tumblers and the old key will no longer work. In other words, it is not necessary to buy new locks. Re-keying locks is something that should be done if you have moved into a new residence or lost a set of keys. Most automobile locks can be re-keyed as well. Re-keying locks is usually significantly less expensive than replacing them and just as secure.

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Q: My friendís house was "broken into" and her insurance company claimed it was not adequately secured. Why?

A: Insurance companies all vary in the level of security they require. We recommend you refer to your insurance company's policy statement and for further clarification contact them personally. In most cases insurance companies ask for double cylinder deadlocks to be fitted to all external doors with glass panes in or near them as well as secondary locks on all windows & glass doors. We can provide an estimate over the phone, so call us, or e-mail us for a free estimate.

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Q: I just moved into a new apartment and asked the landlord to install one of those chain locks like I had at my old place but he said they were worthless. What do you think?

A: Spend your money on a door viewer (peephole) rather than a chain lock. The door viewer is best when it is 190-degree field of view rather than 180. This allows you to see someone crouching off to the side or down low after they ring your doorbell. If you go ahead and open the door to see whom it is (chain lock) you are far more vulnerable to a "kick-in" as these are usually not screwed in very far into the doorframe.

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© 2012 Aztec Locksmith. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/19/03.