If you move into a new home, rent a new apartment, lease new commercial space, fire an employee, or change cleaning companies you may find yourself thinking about changing your locks.
Even if you do get your keys back from previous owners, occupants, employees or contractors, they have had the opportunity to duplicate your keys. You have no way of knowing how many duplicates may have been made, or who has them. In almost any situation where you think a lock needs to be changed a local locksmith can rekey the lock at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time it would take to select new locks and replace them. You do not need to replace the entire lock to protect your property, files, and cash.
To Rekey a Lock:
- Make sure the door is unlocked.
- Using the wire tool from the kit, remove the doorknob.
- Push the cylinder out the back of the knob assembly, remove the knob sleeve, and take off the cylinder.
- Remove the thin retainer ring from the lock cylinder.
- Insert the original key in the lock and turn it in either direction.
- Carefully remove the cylinder plug from the cylinder using the special tool that comes with the kit, making sure the pins and springs don’t pop out of the cylinder itself.
- Remove the old pins, insert the new key, and use a pair of narrow pliers or tweezers to match the new colored pins to the color code (found on the instruction sheet from the kit), and insert them into the cylinder.
- Reverse the above steps to put the lock back together.
Rekeying a lock is the process of changing the tumblers of a lock cylinder with tumblers of different sizes. When you rekey a lock the old key can be thrown away as it will no longer open the lock. The lock will require the new key that coincides with the new tumblers to operate. Local locksmiths can rekey locks at a significantly lower cost than full replacement of the lock. If the security grade of the lock has an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Grade 1 designation there should not be a need to replace the entire lock.
In addition to rekeying locks for security many home owners choose to rekey locks for convenience. One way to reduce confusion and the weight of many keys on your key ring is to have all of your exterior locks rekeyed to use the same key. A locksmith can rekey an unlimited number of locks in your home to all work with the same key. For owners of rental property such as apartment buildings, or for condominium associations, it is often necessary to have a master key that will open multiple locks. These locks then each have a key that will open only that tenant’s lock. Locksmiths can perform master rekeying to almost any configuration to meet the needs of rental property owners, businesses, and home owners.
There are several reasons you may choose to rekey the lock or locks on the doors in your home, place of business, or other secure location. Some of the more common ones include moving into a new place, losing a key, loaning out a key and not getting it back, or wanting to have different keys for your front, back and side door. While you may think that rekeying is a cost effective alternative to actually replacing the old lock sets, the process can still add up if an entire house needs to be done.
The decision to rekey or replace your locks may come down to the expense. But keep in mind that in many states you are required to rekey old locks between tenants if you own residential rental property.