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How to change a mailbox lock

A mailbox is a part of private property even though it’s located at the edge of your yard or in the hall, far from your apartment. Sometimes, people may neglect their mailbox lock maintenance because of its location. Sometimes mailboxes become a victim of vandals for identical reasons and sometimes their fate is to be a forgotten home accessory. However, losing access to it or having its lock broken might be a problem especially when letters, receipts, and other important documents are still received there.

There are several options for how to change the mailbox lock, but they all differ depending on the situation. If you would like to have it clear and make sure that you are not missing any details, keep reading this article. Sure Lock & Key is ready to help you with mailbox locks replacement, whether you need actual assistance or our experience and suggestions to do it yourself!

Are mailbox locks secure

Will they stop someone who wants to break it? Unlikely. Mailbox lock is more about the illusion of security than actual protection. Even a beginner thief is in a position to simply pick that lock. However, installing a high-security lock won’t help either. The mailbox itself isn’t safe. In most cases a thief or vandal might open it by just applying force.
However, a mailbox with a lock makes more sense than without. A criminal will have to waste a bit of time to get it unlocked and might get caught or at least spotted or just decide it’s not worth the hassle or time. If you have a professionally installed home security system, you will be able to identify the thief and get the footage to aid the police in further investigation.
mailbox with it's key
mailbox with it's key

Are mailbox locks rekeyable

Unfortunately, the majority of mailbox locks are not rekeyable simply because of their mechanism. Traditionally, a retention pin is a detail that makes a lock secure. There’s no way to remove that pin without damaging the chamber cover. If you have lost your key, the only solution is to replace the whole lock. However, what about a mailbox with a combination lock? If there’s no retention pin, can a locksmith rekey it? Unfortunately, the situation is the same. Lock replacement still may be your only option.
There’s a small possibility of avoiding lock replacement if you’re renting the place and have lost the key. Usually, landlords have copies of all sorts of keys, including mailbox keys.

How to replace the mailbox lock

First and foremost, before starting the replacement, please, figure out who owns a mailbox. Yes, it’s on your property and yes, there’s your mail inside. However, it may happen that the United States Postal Service or apartments and communities may be in charge of your mailbox. In this case, it’s better to call for their help or at least agree with them on what to do. A great option is to call a residential locksmith. This person is trained to perform a mailbox lock replacement and has all the necessary equipment to do it quickly.
Let’s say you’re the actual owner and can do what you want with your mailbox. Moreover, we already know that 9 out of 10 times the only way for you to rekey the mailbox with lock and key is to perform a replacement. Let’s check how to do it correctly and what tools are needed.
First of all, ensure that the new lock has the same size as the old one. You will need a wrench and a drill with a drill bit. However, nothing stops you from buying a new padlock in case you don’t want to do the dirty work or need a fast solution.
woman takes mail from mailbox
Drill the keyhole to open the mailbox. Don’t put much pressure on it because you don’t need to damage the lock’s housing.
After drilling the keyhole, you have to remove the nut and the pin. There is always a chance that these parts will be disengaged when drilling. However, if this didn't happen, you may do it manually. Use the wrench and slide the lock bar and the metal clip.
The final step is to pull out an old lock and install a new one in the same spot. Make sure that the latch is in a vertical position. Secure the lock by tightening a nut with an adjustable wrench. Check whether the lock works properly and make sure that you did the job right.
woman takes mail from mailbox

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Summing Up

Even though a mailbox lock isn’t a complicated mechanism, it still requires knowledge and the proper understanding. Whether you maintain it or you want to change it, be careful with every step you take. However, sometimes things could happen unexpectedly, and you may need help to change a mailbox lock. Sure Lock & Key is here for you 24 hours a day, throughout the year! Our company policy is based on one major rule: customer satisfaction. Call us, we will be happy to help. It’s what we do and we love doing it.

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