Replacing Euro Profile Cylinders

Euro Profile Cylinders or Eurocylinders can be used to operate various devices including door lock cases, UPVC and composite door multipoint locks, padlocks, panic access hardware and more. These types of locks have the great advantage in that the cylinders can easily be replaced without changing the whole lock. There are many reasons why you may wish to change the cylinder, here are some typical reasons:

1) To change the operating key, e.g. to ensure security when keys are lost or when moving into a new property.
2) To upgrade the cylinder to enhance protection from lock picking, bumping or cylinder snapping (all methods of attack on the cylinder by intruders). 
3) To meet insurance or security standards. In particular to raise the security rating in combination with secure rated handles to achieve a TS007 3 star Kitemark rating.
4) To install cylinders using the same key (keyed alike) for convenience, or to reduce the number of keys used in a property.
5) To install a Master Key system where individual locks differ, but a special key (a Master Key) will open any lock for the Master Key holder.
6) To install a common entry system where differing keys within a property will all open an entrance door for common access (in a building containing flats for instance).
7) To change the cylinder finish to match a new style of handles.
8) To change the locking mechanism from key operated to turn operated.
9) To fit a different length cylinder to facilitate different style door handles.
10) To replace a damaged cylinder after an attempted break in.

The Replacement Process: Replacing the cylinder is a very simple process, when you know how! The cylinder is held in place by a single screw and typically a displaced operating cam. You will need a screwdriver and a working key. It’s simply a case of removing the screw and lining up the cam as shown in our video clip. Loosen off the door handle screws to facilitate easy removal before starting the process and tighten them back up again after fitting the new cylinder. Replacing the cylinder without a working key will however be difficult where the cylinder has a displaced cam and has key only operation. If you have no working keys on a key only cylinder, it will probably be best to call out a locksmith for assistance in this situation. In the case of a key and turn cylinder, the turn can be used to line up the cam instead of the key.

Euro Cylinder Sizes: Euro cylinders are available in different lengths, so when replacing them it is necessary to obtain the correct size. Sometimes the measurement from the centre point (where the fixing screw is located) can be different on either side of the cylinder, particularly on UPVC doors with multipoint locks. For this reason cylinder sizes are described as two dimensions instead of just an overall length. For example a cylinder measuring 30mm from the centre point on one side and 40mm on the other side would be described as a 30x40mm cylinder and would measure 70mm in overall length. An equal sided cylinder of 70mm length would be described as a 35x35mm cylinder. The cylinder length each side of the central fixing screw needs to be long enough to account for the door thickness it passes through and the handle back plate on the door and typically a small amount of protrusion through the handle. Some high security handles have protective covers to prevent intruder attack on the cylinder; in this case the cylinder length will account for passing into the protective cover and likely be the same length as one which passes through the back plate.

Keying Options: Euro cylinders have versatile keying options. They can have standard differs or be keyed alike so that the same key will open all locks. They can also be Master Keyed where cylinders with their own individual keys can be opened by a single key, the “Master Key”. Master Key systems can be quite complex in structure with a range of master keys controlled by Grand Master Keys (GMK) and these in turn controlled by Great Grand Master Keys (GGMK). Keyed Alike and Master Key systems can be set up on different types of cylinders including Euro Profile and Oval Profile, even certain padlocks. This can be convenient where different lock cases are used in a building. A special type of Master Key system known as a Common Entrance Suite is typically used in flats or student accommodation. In this type of system each flat will have its own key and they will all differ between the flats. The same key will however open a common entrance door for all flat users. A key can also be supplied to open the common entrance but not any of the flats, e.g. for maintenance or perhaps to deliver newspapers or milk.

Security Levels: Euro Cylinders are available with differing levels of security from a basic competitively priced 5 pin cylinder to 6 pin British Standard Kite Marked and TS007 3 star Kite Marked cylinders. There are also flat key cylinders available in 6 pin or 11 pin Kite Marked configurations. Flat keys are more difficult to copy, which can be a good feature in some situations (but they still can be copied with the right equipment!). The TS007 Kitemark standard identifies five means of attack that criminals can use. These are Drilling, Plug Extraction, Picking, Bumping and Snapping. An installation that provides protection from all these means of attack will achieve a “TS007 3 star” security rating. This can typically be achieved by combining a BS Kitemarked cylinder (one star) together with any 2 star rated security door furniture. One star cylinders such as the Iseo F6 are certified to BS EN 1303:2005 (grade 5) and have a durable grade 6 construction, bump resistance, pick resistance and drill resistance. There are also cylinders available which can achieve a 3 star rating without the need to combine them with security door furniture. Changing to 3 Star British Standard anti-snap cylinders makes for an easy upgrade to home security.

Turn Operation: Cylinders can have a key operation on one side and a turn operation on the opposite side; this is more convenient when the door only needs to be locked on one side. One issue with this set up is that it is possible for a person inside the room to lock the door and then hold the turn, preventing entry by the key. To prevent this, an anti-barrier or clutch function turn can be used, typically in schools to prevent barrier locking a room. 

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