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When Household Hardware Goes Bad

Amanda Bar

When I purchased my house last year I made sure to change the front door locks before I moved in.  Not caring about any particular brand I settled on a Kwikset "SmartKey" lock & bolt combo.  The main selling point on this type of door lock is a feature that allows you to re-key the lock...even if it's unintentional.

My roommate learned this the hard way when the deadbolt suddenly stopped working, essentially locking poor Bridget out of the house (I was out of state at the time for a wedding).  Upon a locksmith arriving to our house he declared that this was a common problem amongst SmartKey locks - the internal pins will randomly reset themselves, making it impossible to open the door without drilling into the deadbolt.  After a little under one year of use my $50 door lock is trash!

The locksmith charged $80 for destroying my lock, and I now have to buy a new lock set to replace the mangled monstrosity that is my current deadbolt (which I'm going to estimate at costing another $50).  I suppose this disaster could have been avoided if I put some thought into researching my door locks before I bought them, but who knew such problems existed in such mundane items?  I'll definitely shop smarter next time, just not SmartKey.

Posted by Amanda Conwell at 09:07 AM on June 18, 2010 in Housing | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM



Try searching "door set" on ebay. I got one of the nice $120 models at Lowes for $35 (the oil rubbed bronze long handle style with the deadbolt). :)

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