At GR & Son Locksmiths Bradford I am quite often asked to attend both commercial and domestic properties where there is a problem with a UPVC Door either not locking, jammed shut, or unable to close. Some of these problems could be prevented and so I have put together this troubleshooting guide so customers can better identify what is wrong with their UPVC Door.


Five Main Components of a UPVC Door

There are essentially 5 main components to a UPVC door, besides the door itself there; 1 – Handles, 2 – Hinges, 3 – Euro Cylinder, 4 – Multipoint lock gearbox, Hooks and Rollers and 5 – Lock Keeps.

Here, I will describe common problems that can arise with the individual components:

Door Handles

UPVC Door Handle
UPVC Door Handle

There are normally not many problems caused by door handles failing however, GR & Son Locksmiths Bradford sometimes get calls explaining that their door handles are loose or are spinning around.

If you find that your door handles are loose then try and tighten the screws on the inside handle to see if that solves the problem, they can come loose over time, if this does not work then check the area where the handle meets the faceplate. If it’s this part that’s loose then you will need to replace the handles at some point before the handle comes away from the faceplate.

There are many different types of handles and sizes so the easiest way of replacing yours would be to take off one of the handles and take it to a shop that supplies handles, to ensure you get the right size. Alternatively call a locksmith for a quote.

If your handles are spinning around on both sides of the door then this could indicate a problem with the multi-lock gearbox which you may need to replace. Again I would suggest calling a locksmith for a quote.


Euro Cylinder

Euro Cylinder
Euro Cylinder

GR & Son Locksmiths Bradford often get calls where the problem seems to be the Euro Cylinder which is found at the bottom of the handles and is the part where the key fits in, it is this part that locks everything in place. If you find that the key is getting difficult to put into the lock then check another key first preferably an original as it could be that one key is worn or has not been cut correctly. If this is the same then it could be that your euro cylinder needs replacing again it may be worth asking a locksmith for a quote to replace your euro cylinder.

If your door is locked and the euro cylinder is just spinning around then this would again indicate that your euro cylinder as failed and needs replacing. Again we would suggest getting a quote from a locksmith as the lock would need to be removed safely and doing this yourself could possibly damage other parts of the multilock which cost a lot more to repair than the euro cylinder itself.

If the euro cylinder is not moving at all or not moving much then this could indicate a problem with the multi-lock gearbox we suggest getting a quote from a locksmith as the euro cylinder may need to be removed before checking the function of the multi-lock gearbox itself which may need to be replaced.


UPVC Door Hinges

UPVC Door Hinges
UPVC Door Hinges

Over time you may find that your UPVC door is catching the frame when closing, this may be because the door has dropped. Basically UPVC doors are very heavy and over time the strain on the door hinges may cause the door to drop a few millimetres which can affect the function of the door.

To check if this is the cause, look at the top corners of your door you should see a line where the door is jointed. Now look at the frame, and again you should see a line where the frame is jointed. As a basic rule these lines should match up, if the door line is lower than the frame line then your door has dropped.

If this is the case then you will need the door adjusting and possibly the hinges and keeps on the side of the door which accept the multipoint lock hooks and rollers. Please also bear in mind that if over time, locking the door has become worse, then the probability is that your multipoint gearbox has suffered wear and tear and we would suggest that you replace this at the same time as adjusting your door.

Although the adjusting of doors appears easy when seen on youtube, believe me when I say it isn’t, otherwise why would you need installers and locksmiths. For example there are a number of different types of hinges including flag and butt hinges, the one displayed in the photo is a flag hinge and this can be adjusted to pull the door up/down and in/out. We would suggest because of the work involved getting a quote from a locksmith.


Multipoint Lock – Gearbox, Hook and Rollers

Multipoint Lock Gearbox
Multipoint Lock Gearbox
Multipoint Lock Hooks
Multipoint Lock Hooks

The above pictures show the components of a multipoint lock which are the gearbox, hooks and or rollers. The gearbox is fitted inside the door where your handles go through, you don’t actually see this once inside the door however it is the part that controls the hooks and rollers. When you lift the handle they come out and when you push the handles down they go back in.

If the gearbox fails in the locked position then you will need a locksmith to open the door for you and replace the gearbox or the full multipoint lock. Quite often a combination of the door dropping and bad fitting of the lock keeps means that it becomes harder to lift the handle and lock the door, this puts more strain on the gearbox and eventually it will fail.

Occasionally, but not very often it is the hooks and rollers that fail, if this happens and the door is in the locked position again you will need a locksmith to open the door for you and change the full multipoint lock.

If your door is becoming hard to lock or the handles are becoming harder to lift up, then one way of checking if your multipoint lock is on its way out is by opening the door, and whilst in this position lift the handles up, if this is easy then it could be that it,s just your door and or keeps that need adjusting. If however it is still hard to lift the handles then it would appear that your multipoint lock is the problem.


Multipoint Door Lock Keeps

UPVC Multipoint Lock Keep
UPVC Multipoint Lock Keep

Above is a picture of a multipoint door lock keep which is for hooks and rollers, the hole is where a hook would fit and there are many different types of keep. You’ll have at least two or three of these on your door frame hence the name multipoint door lock.

If having checked your door is locking when open but is not working properly when you lift the handles when the door is shut, the likelihood is that the door has dropped and either that, or the keeps need adjusting.

However occasionally screws can come loose so check the keep for any loose screws as it could be this that is affecting the locking of your door. Please remember that their are different types of lock keeps.

If you’re keeps need adjusting then GR & Son Locksmiths Bradford advise getting a quote from a locksmith as this can be a time consuming task which if not done right could further damage you multipoint lock or door frame.

With thanks to the original author Derek Mercer Locksmith (www.locksmithswarrington.org)