How to adjust a multipoint door lock
In this guide, we’ll look at ways to adjust your door lock. But we strongly advise you to take the utmost care when adjusting your uPVC door lock. Sure, our guide may help resolve the issue you’re encountering, but you should only view it as a guide rather than a complete resolution. Call an expert double glazing installer or locksmith to have the repair job done as it should be.
Is your multipoint lock jammed, sticking, or slightly loose? Whether your door hasn’t been fitted accurately or deterioration has caused problems with it, get your uPVC door lock adjusted now before the fault leaves you locked in or locked out of your home.
In this guide, we’ll look at ways to adjust your door lock. But we strongly advise you to take the utmost care when adjusting your uPVC door lock. Sure, our guide may help resolve the issue you’re encountering, but you should only view it as a guide rather than a complete resolution.
Call an expert double glazing installer or locksmith to have the repair job done as it should be.
If you choose to carry out the repairs yourself, you risk making things worse, especially if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing. Using your local locksmith service can involve a few simple tweaks to rectify the issue.
What is a multipoint door lock?
Multipoint locking systems are available in a variety of designs and styles. However, the features of the locks are similar:
- They both have a live bolt and a deadbolt
- They both feature numerous compression bolts and hook bolts
You’ll need to lift the handle of a multipoint locking system to lock the door correctly, then turn the key. When you’ve locked the door, your property will be extremely safe and secure – it’s an unbeatable way to protect your home from burglars.
How a multipoint door lock works
Mainly used on composite doors and uPVC doors, a multipoint locking system features three locking points, with rollers or hooks at the top and bottom of the door. It also features a latch in the centre.
You’ll find a multipoint locking system inside the door – it’s on the edges of the door beside a metal strip that spans its entire length.
It functions by using the key or door handle, but sometimes, you can use both the key and handle to lock the system. Inside a gearbox sits the lock itself, which can be replaced separately from the multipoint locking system.
Main reasons why a multipoint door lock doesn’t work
The lock may not be working due to a mechanical fault. For example, the door could be misaligned with the frame, or the lock is broken. While a locksmith can sort this, it’s better to contact a double glazing expert.
There are a few reasons why your multipoint door lock doesn’t work, which we’ll look at below.
Misalignment decreases the effectiveness of the locking system. If a door is misaligned, the door frame and door aren’t in the correct position. Usually, this happens to older doors and hinges that have started to erode.
If drooping handles are at the root of the problem, this isn’t great news. If your door has a multipoint locking system, this may mean the system has been used too harshly. Additionally, it can signify the cam has become damaged and may mean replacement multipoint door locks are required.
Drooping handles occur over time until the lock suddenly ceases working.
Difficulty turning the key
If you find that your key simply won’t turn or the key is stuck in the mechanism, this is an indication that the entire locking system may have failed. Take care not to force the key when removing as you may jam the lock tight without actually physically locking the door. If you find this situation we recommend immediately calling an expert in, we recommend a locksmith in this scenario.
Useful door lock checks
Here are some checks you can carry out yourself:
- Check the mitres in each door frame align accurately with the mitres in the door corners
- Use a spirit level to check the door isn’t misaligned with the frame
- Crack the door open a little – there should be a space between the lock part of the door and the frame (which runs the entire way down)
The above cases could point to a locking problem. In other words, your door may be out of alignment with the frame.
How to adjust a multipoint door lock
Adjusting multipoint door locks involves the professionalism of an expert, but there are a couple of things you can try yourself.
When you lift the handle on a multipoint lock, you’ll notice a series of hooks and rollers that move the mechanism to secure the door – you can hear and feel metal-on-metal which is where the resistance should be coming from. If the door is sticking or not locking correctly, it’s usually an alignment issue. You may need to adjust the door in or outwards on its hinges to get a good fit.
If you suspect the issue with your door lock is its alignment, it’s best to reach out to a knowledgeable locksmith in your local area. But if you’d like to have a go yourself, here are some straightforward checks you can do yourself.
- An Allen key
- A flat-head screwdriver
- A screwdriver
How to fix an alignment issue
- Remove the plastic covering the main section of the hinge using a screwdriver (this should run parallel to the bottom of your door.
- The distance from the top to the bottom of the door should be the same.
- If not, you’ll need to adjust the hinges.
- Place the Allen key in the hole (located in the main section of the hinge).
- Make half a turn – the door should start pulling back towards the hinge side.
- Recheck the handle.
- Repeat this on the centre hinge, checking your uPVC door is shutting and locking following each adjustment.
- Rotate the key (do the same number of turns as before) until the door aligns with the door frame.
- Then move onto the bottom one and repeat – half a turn.
- Check the handle again.
- You should find the resistance eases.
Door lock tip: Extend the life of your uPVC door lock and reduce deterioration by simply greasing it a minimum of once a year.
Another problem can be that the distance is the same, top to bottom. If you’re still struggling with the door, it suggests the door itself has dropped.
This is common with heavily glazed doors, where the door’s weight has been pushing down over the years. In which case, you may need to remove the beads and repack the door.
This is a service you’ll have to employ an expert to do. If you continue to lift the handle, you’ll eventually break the mechanism, which can be expensive – so it’s best to get a locksmith your neighbours recommend to come out, which costs from £150.
Similarly, if you have a door but can’t actuate the mechanism at all or it’s still in a locked position, and you can’t get it open, we recommend recruiting the help of a pro.
How do you realign a uPVC door lock?
You’ll need to check one of the corners to ensure the door and doorframe miter joints are aligned correctly. Use a spirit level on top of the door and check if any gaps are obvious between the frame and door. For more detailed checks you can carry out if you suspect your uPVC door lock is misaligned, see the ‘how to adjust multipoint door lock’ section above.
- Refrain from forcefully closing or locking the door, as this will cause further harm and make repairs more difficult, not to mention more expensive.
- Ensure you tweak every uPVC door hinge. Else they’ll continue not closing or locking correctly.
- If you experience any lock mechanism problems, we advise leaving the door lock or uPVC door repair task to an expert so you don’t create a more serious issue.