Before the introduction of the euro cylinder most, if not all, side and rear entrances would have had a mortice lock fitted. There are lots of different brands of mortice lock, but ultimately there are two types, a sash lock or deadlock. The difference is a sash lock has a handle built in to the lock and a deadbolt doesn’t. (So in the case of the deadbolt you would have a separate handle fitted if required). I often hear these two locks referred to as Chubb locks, this is like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover and the reason is the same, Chubb are one of the founding brands of lock.
Some of the common faults I have dealt with, other than lost keys, are:
This won’t mean much to most people but the symptom is easy to identify, when you put the correct key in the lock it will turn freely but the lock will not open.
Key won’t open the lock
There could be a few reasons for this if it’s the correct key for example I often see older locks that have been used for many years and the keys simply wear. If you keep a key in the lock all the time then you can cause the key and the levers to wear, this means other keys may stop working.
There are more faults with these locks known to locksmiths, if your key becomes difficult to use or the handle starts to become loose then it’s probably time to get the locks replaced. This will avoid the extra work required if you can’t open or lock your door. The one thing I can guarantee is it will definitely break when you really don’t need it to!
Is the lock you have fitted suitable?
Because mortice locks have been around for a long time the standards have increased since they were first fitted into homes and businesses. Often we replace failed locks that are not British standard and people are not aware. Mortice locks need to meet British Standard 3621 in order to be considered good enough for home security today. mortice locks that conform to the new standards will have longer bolts, more levers, hardened cases and curtains to protect manipulation of the levers from the keyway.