If your key continues to turn inside your door lock beyond the normal turning distance it can signal that there’s a minor to major malfunction occurring within your lock mechanism. This situation can call for a lock repair, or potentially a full lock replacement depending on the gravity of the error. Here’s a guide prepared by the experts at Chicago Locksmiths as to the various reasons your keys might be turning inside your door lock.
Broken Lock Tailpieces
The tailpiece is a major element that allows the lock’s latch or bolt to be activated - if the lock or latch cannot be engaged, the lock simply won’t work. Issues with tailpieces usually involve a disconnection that makes a separation between the two sides of the locks that makes it impossible for the tailpiece to properly rotate and activate the lock.
Faulty Door Installation
This usually occurs after DIY attempts to install doors - and highlights the importance of getting a professional to carry out all door installations. If the tailpiece cannot be properly connected to the rest of the lock mechanism due to a misplacement/misshaping of the door itself, it, again, cannot properly turn and activate the lock itself.
Broken Lock Cams
The Cam, like the tailpiece, helps activate the lock’s bolt or latch - and although they are often conflated within locksmith vernacular, they are actually different parts that carry out similar actions. The cam is a piece of hard metal or plastic attached to the back end of the lock’s cylinder and can motion the lock bolt to disengage or engage - and if it’s broken, it will not be able to either turn in its intended direction, or catch the lock properly, resulting in your key turning weirdly in the lock.
Use of the incorrect Cam
Since cams, like tailpieces, are 100% necessary parts of locks, if, somehow, the incorrect type or size of cam has been used within your lock cylinder, it will not properly ‘catch’ or allign in order to properly engage the lock (usually since it’s too small and cannot reach it.) This is just another example of the issues that can be avoided by having your locks installed and serviced by an expert licensed professional.