Frequently Asked Questions
Since, the lock is to be used exclusively by the mail carrier to place the mail inside the mailboxes, it can only be supplied and installed by a USPS (United States Postal Service) Technician. These locks are USPS property and are issued by zip code. Once the new mailbox is set up you need to call your local post office to schedule an installation.
This is prohibited by USPS regulations, no two mailboxes at the same location are to be opened by the same key.
There can be several reasons why a key copy does not turn in your lock. The duplication machine that the key was copied on could be out of calibration, or, the key was improperly loaded into the key machine’s vise. Another, reason could be that the key that it was copied from was not the original key, but rather a late generation copy. For a more detailed answer check out Why Do Key Copies Stop Working?
A cylinder consists of all of the operating parts which we commonly refer to as a lock. Each cylinder contains a “plug”. The plug is the portion of the lock where a key is inserted. The cost of a lock re key is based upon the number of cylinders to be re keyed. A door lock may contain a single cylinder or a double cylinder. An example is a double sided deadbolt lock, and a double sided door handle lock. These locking devices would have two cylinders, as it accommodates a key on both sides of the door. A door may contain up to four cylinders,or, possibly more; However, this is not common. When requesting a quote from a locksmith for a re key it is important to know the number of cylinders, rather than the number of locks or doors to be rekeyed. This will assist the locksmith in providing a more accurate quote over the phone, and allow for sufficient time to be allocated to complete the job.
Yes, if all of the locks are of the same keyway. This means that the key which is selected to operate the locks must be of the same cross sectional configuration. Simply stated, the key must properly fit each lock cylinder. When only one type of key (Keyway) is used, such as a common Schlage (SC1) or Kwikset (KW1), the locks can all be keyed alike. Problems occur when mismatched door hardware is used. An example would be a combination of the above Schlage and Kwikset keyways.
There is a common misconception that the product that is sold in the large national retail chains is the same product sold by most locksmiths but, at a lower price. Although, the brand maybe the same, the product inside the package can be vastly different in quality and performance. When large retailers purchase their orders in bulk, they often receive a product that is manufactured to different specifications, often sourced offshore, using die cast zinc or other pot metals. Pot metal is a “Catch all” colloquial term that has come to identify an alloy that is comprised of a mix of metals to which there is no industry standard. Many manufacturers choose this type of low grade metal alloy because it is cheap, plentiful, easy to melt (Due to the low Iron content) and to cast into molds. This type of alloy lacks the strength of more traditional metals or metal alloys used in quality locks containing more brass and / or steel. Additionally, every possible short cut is taken to reduce metal thickness and to create as many hollow spaces and grooves, reducing product weight. The design and material composition of these locks might make them more vulnerable to various forms of forced entry. When the need arises to re-key these locks, the technician will sometimes encounter issues dealing with the poor design of the lock cylinders.
Most office buildings have some sort of master key system in place. Assuming that this is the case, the problem that you describe could be the result of human error. A master key system is only as good as the the technician who designs and installs it. An improperly executed system may result in an act of unintentional cross keying, also referred to by some as a “Ghost” or “Phantom” key. This can result in a key opening a locked door that it was not intended to operate. Another possibility, is the technician might have left some old driver pins in cylinder that should not be there.
Other problems that may occur when keying specifications are not followed, such as the Maximum Adjacent Cut Specifications, which could result in the key becoming stuck in the lock cylinder. Such errors can be avoided when strict adherence to proper methods are followed.