When you check the mail, you have trust that your mailbox is secure. But what happens if you lose your key? Or what if the mailbox lock gets broken?
Many factors could jeopardize the safety of your personal items.
Mail theft is a problem rarely thought about until it happens to you. There are around 10,000 arrests a year for mail theft. A mailbox lock is often broken to steal personal items or someone’s identity.
How to Replace a Mailbox Lock
Whether you’ve lost the key or someone has tampered with the mailbox, here’s how you can replace the lock.
Step One: Shopping for a New Lock
Before you go about changing the lock, take a look at the USPS guidelines for replacing locks.
There are plenty of hardware stores to find new ones. Or you can search online for replacement locks and mailbox keys. There are a few types from which to choose.
Step Two: Remove the Old Lock
Before you can replace the old lock, you must remove it. If you enjoy doing things yourself, you can save money by removing the lock on your own.
If you don’t have the key, you may have to wait for the mail person so they can unlock it for you.
Once you have the mailbox open, unscrew the nut from the lock and take off the latch. Then, look for the u-shaped pin on the inside. Depending on what type of lock you have you may need to pull either up, or down, on the pin with pliers.
When you dislodge the pin, you can pull out the lock.
Step Three: Installing the New Lock
What you’ll need to replace the lock:
- A pair of pliers
- Channel locks
- Replacement lock
When installing a new lock, be sure to remove the key it comes with from the keyhole.
Place the new lock inside into the space where you removed the old lock.
When you go to replace the pin, you have a choice. You could either decide to go with a pin again, or you can use a nut. A nut can sometimes be more secure because it threads over the locks grooves. But either one is good.
Put the new pin around the lock. Then you can use the channel locks to help push the replacement pin into place.
To replace the latch, place it on the back of the lock. Then screw the smaller nut onto the end. You can then test the lock to make sure the latch is the right size.
You’ll know if the latch is too big if you try to lock it and the key won’t come out. You’ll also know it’s too small if it doesn’t lock at all and you can pull it open.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a secured mailbox.
Mailboxes and Mailbox Accessories
Replacing your mailbox lock isn’t the only safety measure you can take to protect your mail. There are plenty of secure mailboxes for you to install. And you can choose anything that fits your needs or personality.
Read “7 Tips to Having the Coolest Mailbox on the Block” for more information.