Answered by Nicole La CapriaSeptember 27, 2013
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When you move into a new home, you should always change the locks for your safety. There could be an u known number of keys to your home floating around--the previous owner's housekeeper, their family and friends, even the residents living there prior to the previous owners. To ensure that no one has access to your home but you and your family, your locks will need to be changed or re-keyed.
Changing the Locks
To install completely new locks on your doors, you can either hire a locksmith or do the job yourself. The job can be fairly quick and simple to complete--usually taking no more than 15 minutes. To make the process easier, exchange the old locks with new ones of the same brand.
- Remove the screws that hold the protective ring in place, if there is one. If there are no screws, gently slide the flat blade of a screwdriver under the edge and carefully pry it off.
- Locate the screws holding the door knob together on the inside of the door. Remove the screws with the appropriate screwdriver and pull the two halves of the knob apart.
- Remove the small screws holding the plate and latch mechanism in place and pull out the latch.
- Insert the new latch into the edge of the door with the beveled edge of the mechanism facing your home's interior. Make certain the plate is even with the door's edge. Cover the mechanism with the face plate and secure it with the screws provided.
- Push the exterior part of the door knob into the lock hole. Line up the through-bolt of the door knob with the fabricated hole in the lock bolt. Choose the hole with the tightest fit for the knob.
- Insert the interior part of the door knob into place and push the two parts of the door lock together. Screw the door knob into place with the long screws provided. Replace the strike plate on the door jamb with your new one, and test the new lock to ensure it's secure and fits properly.
Rekeying the Locks
Instead of installing all new locks, you can purchase a rekeying kit so all the locks in your home can be opened with one key--as long as they are the same brand. If not, you will need a separate kit for each brand of lock on your home.
- Insert the wire tool into the knob hole and depress the knob clip. Then remove the knob from the door.
- Push the retainer ring tool against the retainer ring to pop it off the cylinder.
- Insert the old key and turn it to the left or right. Remove the plug by pushing the plug follower through the cylinder. Make sure to keep pressure between the plug and follower so that the pins and springs don't pop out.
- Remove the old pins, insert the new key, and use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to match the new colored pins to the color code on the instruction sheet provided.
- Reverse the steps to reassemble the lock.