Split up with your boyfriend? Or maybe you've had some cases of stalkers patrolling your home? Whatever the reason is, there may come a time when you need to replace the lock cylinder of your door knob to be able to change the keys to it, providing you with added security--both in mental and in physical terms. Other homeowners change their keys periodically to keep burglars out, while some are just driven by personal reasons. Whatever the case may be, it is really helpful to know how to do these things yourself.
- Identify the type of door knob used in your home. Before you can do anything to your door knob, know which type of knob you have. Why is this important? Most hardware and home stores sell re-keying kits particular to certain brands and models of door knobs. This will make your life easier because you'll have a specific package to help you in changing the door knob in your home.
- Remove the knob. After you've acquired a re-keying kit, remove the door knob by inserting your key into the hole and turning it until the knob has been unlocked. Pull the door knob and the casing of the lock cylinder out. Carefully take out the retainer ring by using the tool provided with the re-keying kit. Keep the retainer ring because you can still use it for later.
- Remove the cylinder plug. The cylinder plug contains pins on top of it that are kept in place by springs that provided constant pressure to the pins. Carefully use the plug follower supplied with the re-keying kit and undo the plug by pushing the follower through the cylinder, applying mild pressure. Bear in mind that the pressure on the plug should be constant at all times, otherwise the pins and the springs will pop out of the plug. If this happens, you can put them back on by following the instructions in the manual supplied with the re-keying kit.
- Install the new pins. Once you've taken the old pins out of the plug, it's time to install the new pins that came with the re-keying kit. You simply need to remove the old ones and insert the new ones in their place, as simple as that.
- Put the parts back on. Putting the parts back on is probably the easiest step in this process, because all you have to do is reverse the entire process. Insert the new key to test if it is working with the new door key lock cylinder. Carefully use pliers or tweezers to match the new pins to the new pattern based on the instruction sheet that came with your re-keying kit.
If you seem to be having difficulty installing your new key lock cylinder, then consider hiring the services of a professional locksmith to do the job for you. The downside, however, is that these professionals aren't cheap, and may potentially bear access to your home. Do whatever you think suits your family and provides you with maximum peace of mind.