Bathroom door locks are essential, as they provide privacy and safety for children. However, there is no strict regulation from IRC for bathroom locks, as it depends on preference and living situation in your house.
Can Bathroom Doors Lock Themselves? Bathroom doors can lock themselves due to weather stripping, loose knobs, misaligned lock parts, broken keys, and dust accumulation. You can fix the problem by lubricating the lock, tightening the loose knob and strike plate, removing the broken key, and replacing the worn-out lock.
Different types of door locks are used in bathrooms, such as lever handles lock, ball-type, and chain locks.
You can find yourself in trouble when the locks jam or get stuck in their position and refuse to open. It leaves you in a terrible situation when you are alone in the house, and no one can help you to get out.
Why do bathroom doors lock themselves?
There are many reasons for the doors to lock themselves, and some of them are explained here.
Weather stripping is one of the reasons that cause them to jam and affect their work.
It is the process of placing a strip of metal or any other material around the door edges and corners to block rainwater, air, and light from the small openings.
The constant opening and closing of doors many times a day cause the wear and tear of the weather stripping material, which leads to the malfunction of the components, and they lock themselves when you close the door with high pressure.
You can inspect the condition of the weather strips after a few months to identify the leaks and worn-out parts around the threshold to avoid any problems afterward.
The door lock consists of different parts that affect the overall working of this fixture and make it work properly under different conditions.
For example, the knob can become loose due to frequent turning and pushing, which causes the internal bolts to slip automatically or jam.
The loose screws and bolts cause the handle to lose its mechanism and damage the lock when other parts do not fit in their place, and you shut the door hard, causing it to jam.
The knobs inside and outside the door are connected with a long screw plate and latching mechanism, which keeps them working properly to open and close it.
The continuous turning causes the latches and screws to lose, which makes them stuck in the frame hole.
The metal piece that extends out of the lock to insert into the strike plate and close it tightly is called the spring bolt or deadbolt.
The misalignment of the strike plate and the bolt can cause the malfunction of the fixture, and it causes difficulty in locking the door.
It can lock itself when the hinges sag out of their position or the knob and handle are hit by a heavy object.
The misalignment of the frame or the threshold during the renovation or painting in the house can cause them to jam in the strike plate, and you have to struggle to open it.
Broken key or dust accumulation
They can lock themselves when you insert the wrong key inside the keyhole, which breaks due to the force you apply to fit it. This can cause the latch to stick in the strike plate, making it difficult to open the door.
The dust and dirt accumulation inside the key unit affects the working mechanism and can be a reason for the key to break or stick inside the keyhole.
The grime collected inside it can clog the keyhole and rust and corrode metal components affecting the performance.
You may need to replace the lock and spend more money on buying a new one, which can disturb the monthly budget.
How can you fix the bathroom door that locks itself?
You can fix them by lubricating the keyhole with a dry lubricant and dusting it with graphite powder to make the lock move.
You can use a cleaner to clean the grime and dirt that accumulates around the keyhole and strike the plate to prevent sudden door jamming.
You can also blow the dust using compressed air into the cylinder and other parts of the fixture.
You can tighten its loose handles using a screwdriver or other tools by lining up the bolts and strike plate into their correct location and tightening them to prevent any damage.
The hook and extractor tool helps remove the broken key from the key-unit, and you can gently pull it out the extended end if the key is not broken from the middle. Spray a silicon lubricant that will make it slide out of the hole easily.
Make sure to face the extractor tool upward to grab the key teeth when you slide it into the keyhole, and turn it around and pull it while pressing the knob that will help the key to move out.
You can hire a locksmith to remove the broken key, but it will be expensive because the locksmith can charge more money for this job.
It is better to change it if fixing and adjusting the bolts and strike plate do not solve the problem of constant door lock jamming.
Different types of bathroom door locks
Different types of locks for bathroom doors are available with various designs, functions, and colors that can add an attractive look.
Lever handles lock
Lever handles locks are used for interior and exterior doors and have a lever-style working mechanism that looks more stylish and modern than the traditional knob style.
In addition, it is more convenient to grab for children and aged family members because they are simple to use.
Several types of lever handles are available with different features and working mechanisms, but the major components in all lever handles are lever locks, stumps, and washers.
Ball type lock
Ball-type locks are round and ball-shaped with a round pressing button on the inner side of the door.
They are popular for interior doors and are used in many houses to provide security and privacy.
They are less expensive than lever handles, such as you can select them in the range of $30-$60, depending on the quality and features.
They have a keyhole unit on the outside and are easy to operate for handicap people.
You can twist the knob to open it from inside the bathroom, but the outside person needs a key to open it if it gets locked from the knob that is installed inside the door.
Chain locks use varying sizes and weights of chains attached to the door and the lock, providing additional security along with the other locks installed there. In addition, you can install them yourself and save the installation money.
They are easy to install, and use a key to operate it from the outside to prevent any mishap and for kids to go in the bathroom when you are not around.
They are not much expensive, and you can choose them in the range of $15-$20, depending on the quality and size of the chain and lock.