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    Locks frozen

    What's the best way to a) stop them getting frozen in the first place, and b) how to unfroze them?

    Thanks for your help - and Happy Christmas to everyone!

    #2
    They can only freeze if water has got in.
    WD40 displaces the water and lubricates at the same time. There used to be a wonderful Swedish lock oil to prevent freezing, but I have not seen it for some time. A small container was VERY expensive though.
    Of course warming a key will usually un-freeze a lock and there are little battery powered "wands" which work quite well, but prevention is better than cure.
    WD40 will only displace liquid water. It will not un-freeze a lock, so the lock needs treating when NOT freezing.
    Do not try to unfreeze the lock by pouring warm water on it. It will only make it worse next time.
    Jim.
    Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

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      #3
      Thanks for that - so, as I understand it, if I squirt a bit of WD40 into the locks when NOT frozen, this will stop them getting frozen? Will the WD40 cause any problems?

      (Sorry about the low level of knowledge here ...)

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        #4
        WD40 - remember stands for water displacer 40th attempt.

        Having used it to get rid of the water a lubricant is often useful.

        Peter

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          #5
          Originally posted by maid of soay View Post
          Thanks for that - so, as I understand it, if I squirt a bit of WD40 into the locks when NOT frozen, this will stop them getting frozen? Will the WD40 cause any problems?

          (Sorry about the low level of knowledge here ...)
          Lubrication can only be good for locks. But if you keep them TOO oily the keys will not do the insides of your pocket or handbag much good!
          Jim.
          Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

          Comment


            #6
            I often rub our house front door key with a candle to help it slide in and out of the lock as it can be difficult to go in (I have dressed it with a warding file to take off the sharp edges). It always turns easily though.

            I once had some lock lubricant that did not leave any oily residue but I cant find it anymore.

            Peter

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              #7
              Lock Defroster

              Originally posted by maid of soay View Post
              What's the best way to a) stop them getting frozen in the first place, and b) how to unfroze them?

              Thanks for your help - and Happy Christmas to everyone!
              A bit of light oil or even paraffin will do, dip your key in some and then work about in the lock you can do this a few times.
              When it becomes very cold although not a smoker I carry a gas cig lighter you can warm the key and slide in the lock to defrost it

              Alf

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                #8
                Oil and especially grease, are not recommended for locks. Dust will stick and form a thick mess which can clog up the lock and prevent it working.

                The lubricant which Peter mentioned is based on graphite and can be bought from Maplin, Amazon and eBay.

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                  #9
                  My petrol cap often sticks and I can not get the key to turn - very embarrasing when I'm at a petrol station. In desparation, last week, I coated the key in a smear of vaseline and 'bingo' it opened the cap. Would it be ok to smear the vaseline around the petrol cap barrel to stop it ceasing up?

                  Di.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by di allen View Post
                    My petrol cap often sticks and I can not get the key to turn - very embarrasing when I'm at a petrol station. In desparation, last week, I coated the key in a smear of vaseline and 'bingo' it opened the cap. Would it be ok to smear the vaseline around the petrol cap barrel to stop it ceasing up?

                    Di.
                    No,vaselene dissolves in petrol and can clog your carb jet,agreed the amount is small, and you would probably get away with it,but a good clean around the barrel with a cloth will be as good.
                    Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by paul View Post
                      Oil and especially grease, are not recommended for locks. Dust will stick and form a thick mess which can clog up the lock and prevent it working.

                      The lubricant which Peter mentioned is based on graphite and can be bought from Maplin, Amazon and eBay.
                      That seems rather strange Paul having done this in 56 years motoring I have done this 2 to 3 times per year and never suffered a clogged up lock.
                      I note several help forums recommend Vaseline smeared on your keys once per week as a Top Tip to prevent freezing as they say Vaseline or petroleum jelly melts ice ?.... I have never used Grease or Vaseline products though.


                      Lock and Key problems seem few and far between now with central locking taking key use to a minimum it seems to be non central locking doors that cause a problem.

                      However Graphite Lock Lubricant at £3 at Maplin would seem a good buy I will put it on my list for next time I call there.thumbsup:

                      Alf

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by alf39 View Post
                        That seems rather strange Paul
                        It's just the advice from lock makers to common DIY info. I bet all of us ignore advice on something or other for years though, and continue to get away with it. The recommendation though takes into account a build-up which can happen over years. I bet not many people put new lubricant in all their locks 2 or 3 times a year.


                        But none of the above answers the original question of how to un-freeze a lock. Even the best-lubricated lock can suffer from condensation, which then freezes. I use a hot-air gun. Those of you who are not baldilocks might have a hair dryer which is just as good. It thaws the lock and dries it at the same time. Once you can get the key in, you only need to heat the key and the heat will be conducted to the locks innards.

                        A small blowtorch - used with care - is just as good. I use my silversmithing torch but you might well have a cooks blowtorch in the kitchen.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What about glycerine...?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by karenw View Post
                            What about glycerine...?
                            Main ingredient of anti freeze liquids,I have unlocked a frozen lock by just spraying de-icer into the lock and around the edge of the door to unstick the frozen rubber seal.

                            there is a gadjet called a defrost key,its a battery heated probe that you stick in the lock.

                            Alcohol will work too,any alcohol,just get some into the lock and it will spread and thaw out. Dont use a hot key after alcohol
                            Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ian STOCKLEY View Post
                              Dont use a hot key after alcohol
                              Why is that Ian ???

                              (don't spoil the fun)

                              Comment

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