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Can a new lock need lubricated? Answered

I had new locks put on my house.  A few months after they were installed, we had troubles getting the keys to unlock them.  I put some powder graphite in them and the locks seems to work fine.  I have been told however since the locks were new they should not have needed lubricated?  Is this true?  Or could the locks be bad and need to be returned?


Your locks are either very-cheap or your keys haven't been cut properly. Was this a lock & key set or someone changed the locks and gave you copies?


It was a new lock and key set from a national chain hardware store. But, after the locks were installed, someone using they keys from the old set of locks did try to open them lock with the old keys.

Do you think that someone might have damaged the new locks by shoving old keys in them?


I don't know. The keys from the old lock were put in these locks a couple times when they were brand new. Then after a few months passed the keys that go with the locks became difficult to insert. I put graphite powder on them and they seem to work, but someone told me that since the locks were new, they should not have need the graphite powder. Can new locks be damaged by having the incorrect key inserted in them just 1 or 2 times?

The old keys might have damaged them, but you'd know if they had (on the timing of events).


Powdered graphite was a good choice, lots of people choose WD-40 and get a temporary fix, but it eventually gums up the works.

Depends on conditions, and depends on how heavily the lock is being used. This kind of symptom is more often due to wear, or to mis-cut keys; if so, lubrication will only be a temporary solution.

It can also sometimes just be a bit of dirt caught in the lock. In that case the graphite probably didn't help but probably didn't hurt.

Important point: It really doesn't take much graphite to lubricate a lock -- a very light dusting is plenty. One of the problems I see occasionally is that people dump far too much graphite into a lock and it starts causing more problems than it cured.

If the lube fixed them them they needed lubing. If they were bad the the lube wouldn't have helped.

After a few months they weren't new locks anymore and may well have needed lubing.

I wouldn't worry about it any more and keep that lube where you know where it is, locks need lubing from time to time.