Lock rekeying is the process of changing the lock code. The lock is taken apart and the locking pins are replaced with new pins and springs, then new keys are cut to match the new locking pins. At this point the old keys will not operate the lock.
The reasons for rekeying a lock are many, but they should all revolve around security and key control. Let’s say that a bank has 5 keys that open the bank doors, when they do an audit it is discovered that they cannot account for one key. They have two choices: replace all the locks that the lost key opened or rekey all those locks. If the door hardware is in good condition then the choice should be to rekey. A locksmith can do this job at the bank and cut new keys to match the rekeyed locks.
Key control is the process of knowing where all your keys are and who has them. If you can’t account for even one then rekeying should be your first action. Remember, without Control you do not have a secure facility. Most quality locks can be rekeyed and if the lock happens to be high security, then when it is rekeyed you will get a new registered code with registered keys.
When Does Rekeying Make Sense?
- Keys are lost
- The cost of rekeying is very low when compared to new locks
- The existing door hardware is in good condition
- Need to have new keys for your locks very quickly
- When the lock you are rekeying is considered high security
- Need multiple locks to operate with the same key
- Need to convert to a master key system
Rekeying has an advantage if you want to change the keying sequence of your building. For example, if you have multiple doors that work with a different key (keyed different) and you want these doors to all open with the same key (keyed alike). All of these locks can be taken apart and rekeyed so that they all open with the same key. To take this a little further you can create a master system. This is when all the doors open with different keys, but you have one (master) that will open all the doors.
So, as your needs change rekeying is an option to inexpensively change the lock codes without purchasing new locks. Rekeying also allows you to change your current locking system to a new system.