How Often Should I Change or Rekey My Locks? – Peak Locksmith

Your locks are vital in protecting your home and loved ones. Changing or rekeying locks regularly ensures optimal security, especially after significant life events. At Peak Locksmith, serving Tacoma, WA, we help homeowners maintain their locks’ integrity by offering expert advice and locksmith services. Here’s everything you need to know about how often to change or rekey your locks.

Understanding the Difference:

  • Changing Locks: Involves completely replacing the existing lock with a new one. It’s often recommended for improving security or upgrading to a more advanced lock.
  • Rekeying Locks: A process that changes the internal configuration of the lock to render old keys ineffective while providing a new set of keys.

When to Change or Rekey Locks:

1. After Moving to a New Home: It’s crucial to ensure that previous occupants or contractors no longer have access to your new home.


  • Change locks for maximum security or rekey them to save costs while preventing unauthorized access.

2. After Losing or Misplacing Keys: Lost or misplaced keys can fall into the wrong hands, leading to unauthorized access.


  • Rekey your locks if you’re sure they haven’t been stolen.
  • Replace locks entirely if there’s a risk the keys were stolen.

3. After a Break-in Attempt: Locks compromised during a break-in attempt may no longer provide optimal security.


  • Replace broken or damaged locks with high-security ones to prevent future attempts.

4. After Ending a Relationship: Changing or rekeying locks is a crucial step after ending a relationship or a roommate moving out.


  • Rekey locks if you’re confident no extra keys exist.
  • Change locks entirely if a disgruntled ex-partner poses a security risk.

5. Upgrading to Modern Technology: Older locks can be less secure and lack features like smart technology or anti-bump protection.


  • Upgrade to modern locks like smart locks or high-security deadbolts to enhance security and convenience.

6. Routine Maintenance: Locks naturally wear out over time and may not function as well.


  • Replace locks every 7-10 years to maintain smooth operation and robust security.

7. After Employee Turnover: For businesses, changing or rekeying locks after an employee leaves is vital for protecting sensitive information.


  • Rekey locks or install access control systems to manage employee access efficiently.

Table: Lock Change vs. Rekeying

Scenario Recommended Action
Moving to a New Home Rekey or Change
Lost or Misplaced Keys Rekey or Change
Break-in Attempt Change
Ending a Relationship Rekey or Change
Upgrading Technology Change
Routine Maintenance Change
Employee Turnover Rekey or Change


1. Is rekeying as effective as changing locks?

Rekeying is effective for keeping out unauthorized keyholders if the lock itself remains intact. Changing locks provides additional benefits if you’re looking to upgrade or replace compromised components.

2. How long does it take to rekey a lock?

A locksmith can rekey most locks in 10-15 minutes. However, this may vary based on the lock type and number of locks being rekeyed.

3. Can I rekey my locks myself?

DIY rekeying is possible with a rekey kit but requires technical knowledge. For the best results and to ensure proper security, consult a professional locksmith.

4. Should I replace locks after a tenant moves out?

Yes, replacing or rekeying locks after a tenant moves out prevents unauthorized access, especially if spare keys were given out during the tenancy.

5. What’s the cost difference between rekeying and changing locks?

Rekeying is generally less expensive than changing locks since it doesn’t involve hardware replacement. Changing locks is more suitable when upgrading or replacing damaged locks.

6. How often should locks be inspected for security issues?

Inspect your locks annually for signs of wear, rust, or malfunction. A locksmith can advise on maintenance and potential security risks.


Changing or rekeying locks is essential for maintaining the security of your property. At Peak Locksmith, serving Tacoma, WA, we provide comprehensive locksmith services to help homeowners protect their spaces. Visit our website or call us today to schedule an inspection or upgrade your locks for complete peace of mind.

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