What to do if the lock won’t open

The door and the lock installed in it should be reliable and insurmountable for uninvited guests, but sometimes this insurmountability begins to play against the property owner.

The door and the lock installed in it should be reliable and insurmountable for uninvited guests, however, sometimes this insurmountability begins to play against the property owner. The reason is a lock for which the keys are lost, a locking mechanism that suddenly decides to break, a key that breaks off in the hole, or a door that has sagged on its hinges.

Option 1

The desire to save money and self-confidence in their own abilities, supported by the advice of a neighbor is a terrible combination. The result of opening the lock/door yourself can be still unrecovered access to the home, critically damaged property and physical injury.

Even the simplest serial locks are not easy to open, drill out, dislodge, hack, so we recommend that you immediately contact the professionals. This usually turns out to be more advantageous.

Nevertheless, you can conduct a minimum diagnosis, and if the matter is, say, a badly lubricated mechanism, the “repair” manipulation you are likely to be able to conduct.

Option 2

Locksmiths and rescuers – this is an alternative option “not an independent opening”. The minus of this approach – not interested in the safety of your property. If the door can be opened by a simple but destructive method – most likely everyone will do so, and you will end up paying for a new door with a new set of locks.

There are exceptions, but in most cases the result of such an opening is predictable and understandable – it is a significant expenditure of the budget for repairs.

Option 3

Call a 24-hour emergency service master, describing in advance the essence of the problem (and even better and specifying the type of lock installed) – this is the best option, both in terms of convenience and monetary investment.

The master will not only open/repair the lock, but also install a new mechanism or just a secret part of the mechanism, eliminating unauthorized access to your apartment, if the keys, for example, were stolen and not lost.

In addition, a good master will do everything to minimize your expenses – he will not without an absolute necessity drill something, break, knock out, and you, as a result, will not spend on serious repairs to eliminate the consequences of force majeure.

A valuable reference

Let’s immediately consider the situation that you under no circumstances can not open the lock yourself, but you need to act as soon as possible. What to do in such a case?

You have 3 ways out of this situation:

Ask for help from the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Rescue workers specialize in solving such problems (among others). Even if they won’t be able to open the lock they will take more drastic measures, e.g. take the door off its hinges, unlock it, drill a lock or, in extreme cases, climb into the window and open it from inside.

Call the specialists of the company where you purchased the door or lock. Their craftsmen often provide assistance in opening mechanisms in emergency situations.

Make use of the services of a company that specializes in opening apartment locks and car locks. Such services do exist and render their services legally.

Please note that in all three cases you will need to provide documents, confirming that you are the owner of the apartment and have access to it. It may even be a passport with residency registration.

As a rule, it takes from 5 minutes to a couple of hours to open the locks in such situations. It depends on the nature of the problem, the configuration of the deadbolt mechanism and other factors.

How could this happen?

There are many reasons why a lock jammed and stopped opening. Let’s consider the most characteristic and frequent ones:

Getting a foreign body in the keyhole. Do not write off the elementary hooliganism: for example, children clogged the opening with chewing gum, or some detractor hammered the hole with a wooden splinter.

The formation of corrosion, dust and small debris. Even locks in apartment buildings are often clogged, let alone models installed in private homes and having contact with the outside environment. Moisture is detrimental to the metal components, and dust can lead to jamming of the moving mechanisms.

Breakdown of the lock secrecy mechanism (also called the latch0. This can be due to the poor quality of the lock itself, as well as rough handling. If you notice that the key turns more than 2 turns and the bolts do not move, then you are dealing with a serious breakdown, which can be fixed only by a specialist.

Damaged key. We are not talking about a total breakage or bending. The slightest deformation of the teeth can provoke jamming of the pins.

Parts wear and tear. This is a natural breakdown of the old lock, and it will only need to be replaced with a new one.

By determining the exact cause of the lock jamming, you will solve 50% of the problem. Then you need to pick a method of solution, which will be discussed below.

What should and should not be done?

Be extremely careful and don’t apply a lot of force. If the key does not turn, do not try to turn it with force, because you can only make the situation worse.

Try pushing the door with your shoulder or vice versa, pulling the handle and turning the key. It’s possible that the leaf just swelled up and moved and this caused the bolt to clamp.

If that doesn’t work, try pushing the cylinder (the latch) with your fingers and turning the key. This option will help to reinsert the cylinder mechanism if it has moved for whatever reason. While turning the key in the lock, try pushing on the knob. This method also often helps to solve the situation.

Let us remind you once again that any manipulations may cause even more damage to the lock. If you are not 100% sure that you will cope with the problem, ask for help from a specialist.

The solution for a deadbolt lock

Often it won’t open just because a key has been inserted on the back of it. You can push it back out with a matchstick or a thin screwdriver, but only if the key is simply inserted into the hole and not turned to the side (in this case you are unlikely to be able to move it even a millimeter).

If there is a foreign object stuck in the hole?

In any case do not try to fork it out with a key. You will only drive it even deeper. Here you need to arm yourself with pliers and something sharp (such as an awl or a thin knife).

If there is a chip of key in the hole, gently pick it up with the narrow pliers and slowly pull it toward you. Once it has moved, move on, pick up more and pull again. If you find a chip or gum, then jab an awl or knife into the rim at the well, press down on the foreign object and try to squeeze it, and use your other hand to pick it up with the narrow pliers. This should help.

What to do if the lock is corroded?

Alternatively, you can use a special agent called WD-40. This is an aerosol spray that you can easily spray into the keyhole. It will help dissolve rust and oxidation.

In addition, try to use a special lubricant for locks, which can be purchased at a hardware store. Some people recommend using machine oil, but note that it should be as clean as possible and not used up.

Lubricated the lock – try turning the key in the well. No luck? Take out the key, lubricate again (literally 2-3 drops), wait 5 minutes and again try to insert and turn the key. This procedure should be repeated about 3-4 times, and if the lock is just corroded or clogged, it should eventually open.

And if the key is stuck?

In no case do not pull it out by force, do not pull or turn it. Try gently turning it in different positions: a little deeper in the lock or on the contrary, closer to the exit of the well.

As an option, you can additionally inject the above remedy into the lock and wait for some time, but keep in mind that there is a risk of breakage. Nobody will solve this situation better than a specialist, so do not risk it in vain.

Now you know how to act in cases where the lock the front door jammed, and in any way does not want to open. Try not to give in to fear, act soberly and deliberately, and then you will be able to find the right way out of this situation.