Accidentally locked the door and am panicking because I am house sitting. Would really appreciate the helpenter image description here

  • 2
    put the doorknob back into the door – jsotola Sep 16 '20 at 4:23
  • 3
    Was the doorknob not present to begin with? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 16 '20 at 4:40
  • Are you trapped? It doesn't look like a house that's even worth house sitting. – MonkeyZeus Sep 16 '20 at 12:57
  • 1
    I have to ask; How did and why did this happen? – Alaska Man Sep 16 '20 at 20:45

That type of latch rotates (there is a half-cam inside) That square hole you see is engaged by the shaft on the missing knob, and rotates that piece. You can use anything to turn that either way. A screwdriver with a bit too big to fit straight, but will fit in 'diagonally' will do the trick... a quarter turn should open it fully.

This is provided it is the same as the kind I am trying to describe, from what I can see in the picture.

Also, after you get in, when you try to put the pieces back together, make sure the key works BEFORE you close-up and lock yourself out. It is often possible to get the inside knob and outside knob together wrong by 90º, and then you will probably not be able to rotate the key one direction, and/or be able to turn the lock-tab inside both ways. Check the knobs and keys and lock tab function, with the door open, for proper operation BEFORE you close the door...

  • I can't see well in that pic, and don't have one in front of me. See Jasen's solution below too, He has a good answer! He says it can be slid to the 'right'. Either way if you have a situation like this, you can either rotate it; or you can pull/push it to the side (in direction away from the latch). one or the other should work, depending on the brand. – troubleshooter Sep 23 '20 at 4:18

If you have the doorknob - look at the back of it and see how it actuates.

I'd suspect theres a vertical bar that rotates, and pushes on the top or bottom black bit, making it move to the right in the photo.

You can probably duplicate that action with a screwdriver, put the tip where the letter A is, and push the tip to the right.


enter image description here Hook into the metal bit (red in my picture) and push it to the right.

The red piece is the end of the latch bolt. pull on it an the bolt retracts. the cam that normally pulls on it is missing

  • 1
    I believe that is incorrect. This is an older fixed-backset latch (Weiser?). The red piece is captive and rotates only, you won't be ble to 'move it to the right'. If you note the smaller hole on the left, and the half-hole to the right; those are for the knob screw posts and screws; they don't move. The slider that moves the door latch is a rail inside the outer piece, it is barely visible in the pic, hard to push because the housing only gives you a fraction before you hit the housing, and need an angle or hooked tool to do it that way moreso when it's in the door. Not positive, hard to see. – troubleshooter Sep 16 '20 at 14:53
  • the red piece is the end of the latch bolt. pull on it an the bolt retracts. the cam that normally pulls on it is missing. – Jasen Sep 16 '20 at 18:46
  • I gotcha. It is so hard to see depth in a photo like this. I wish I could find that box of old locks I have somewhere, but his post was urgently needing suggestions! I thought I was seeing the bar hiding at the right peeking out in the cam hole. Thanks for clarifying, hope I didn't offend. I see you help a lot here! -wish he would tell us if he got in... (and what he found to do it) – troubleshooter Sep 17 '20 at 5:12
  • I interpreted that curve as the back of the plastic body – Jasen Sep 17 '20 at 5:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.