Common Problems and Easy Fixes for Pocket Door Locks

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  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300

Pocket door locks are typically very easy to fix or replace and are often do-it-yourself jobs that do not require professional help. Common in the 1980s, pocket doors were built into many houses. A pocket door slides back and forth on a track, disappearing into a slot opening in the middle of a wall. These doors are making a come-back because they fit well into modern, clean line décor as well as traditional, country, and just about any other style.

Difficult to Move

There are several problems that may arise with the locks on a pocket door. The locks can get squeaky or may not move easily, which is fixed by spraying WD-40 into the various parts of the locking mechanism. Another problem is that over time, the doors may become out of alignment will not close or lock properly. This issue may require a more intensive fix, such as fixing the tracks on the door or adjusting the lock or the faceplate.

Worn Out

The most common problem with pocket door locks is that they get worn out. Because a lot of pocket doors seen in older homes have been there since the house was built, the locks will wear out and need to be replaced. Other times, an old lock will break, or something will get stuck inside the lock and the whole mechanism will need to be replaced. To replace a key lock in a pocket door, you will need screws, a screwdriver, and a new key lock.

Replacing the Lock

First, choose a lock. There are key locks that can be locked from the inside, outside or both. Make sure you purchase a quality lock that is sturdy and functions properly for the door that it will be placed, ensuring security and safety. If you have questions, ask a store employee for help and recommendations. Read the directions that came with the new lock prior to starting the project.

Next, check the latch plate to see if any modifications are needed for the new lock to fit properly. In some cases, the divot will need to be made a little deeper prior to installing the new locks. The goal here is to make sure the faceplate will lie flat and even on the door. If they do not lie flat, the new lock will not work properly.

Then take out the template that was included with the key lock installation kit and verify the size of the locks. Use the modification tool that is included in the pocket door locks installation kit to make the lock fit properly. A small lock will need to be made bigger.

To complete the installation, replace the entire strike plate, or at least the screws. If you are keeping the original strike plate, make sure the new latch bolt will fit in it properly and that there is no gap between the frame and the plate. Tightly screw the new lock, in. Without closing the door, check the keys to make sure they work. Then, close the door and check the keys again. The new lock should work perfectly.