The lock on my front door is broken.

When I leave my house, I lock the door handle from the inside, then close the door and lock the deadbolt with the key. My boyfriend is trying to tell me that closing the door when the handle is locked already is bad for it and will break the mechanism. I've done it this way my entire life and I've never had a problem so I have a hard time believing that this is the problem.

Does anyone have some knowledge on the subject?

  • It is unclear what you are asking. Is your door lock broken? If so, what are the symptoms? Or are you just worried about breaking it? – bib Feb 2 '14 at 18:50
  • It may help answerers if you edit this question to add details of the lock - make and model, or a photo. Your procedure sounds strange to me but if it works without using brute-force at any point then I doubt it will cause much harm. – RedGrittyBrick Feb 2 '14 at 19:25
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    I've done it that way for 50 years and never had a door lock mechanism break. – getterdun Feb 3 '14 at 0:30
  • You can break the door, frame, and/or lock, if you lock the deadbolt before closing the door. – Tester101 Feb 3 '14 at 11:32
  • @Tester101 - My nice, natural finish casement molding has this dent... – Fiasco Labs Feb 4 '14 at 0:35

Door latches (door handle you're referring to) are made to close while locked, they're a spring-loaded device that does not care that the door knob won't turn or lever actuate as the latch bolt gets pushed back against its spring by the striker plate before dropping into the pocket. It works this way whether the lock is engaged or not. Nothing in the lock mechanism is connected to this portion of the latch.

He might be onto something if he's talking about the deadbolt but the reason why would be obvious to you. I only mention it because I flipped the deadbolt lever in the dark in one of those bu'duh moments and left a nice permanent dent in the casement molding beside my front door.

I've locked the latch from the inside all my life as well. Took apart my first mortise type lock with the old ward keys somewhere around 10 and managed to get it back together and in working condition. Did the same with the Kwikset dual door set of the day. The latch part hasn't changed much in its operation over the ensuing four decades and the latch was made to spring actuate then as it does now.

Tell him it saves wear and tear on the pin tumblers in the lock and the key for the door latch as they only get used half as much as the deadbolt key.

How old is this lockset? Normal wear and tear kill them.

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