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I used an outdoor Schlage lock as an indoor passage lock. Somehow the lock is Jammed and I'm down to do I use a sledge or call a locksmith. The key wont turn. We took the molding off and have access to the latch and deadlock. I've tried to push the latch open with several objects but no luck so far. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.tt7iy

  • Can you reach the hinge pins? – A. I. Breveleri Jul 12 '16 at 23:35
  • I think the kids jammed something in the keyhole to start this. The 9yo said she tried to open it with a Bobbie pin and when she pulled it out the balls on the ends of the pins were gone. – Bruce Skip Reed Jul 12 '16 at 23:35
  • No, the hinge pins are inside the door – Bruce Skip Reed Jul 12 '16 at 23:36
  • I had a similar problem with an utility closet door once - I took a couple big flathead screwdrivers and jammed them in by the strike plate and pried the door frame enough to use another small screwdriver to push the latch back once the little dead-lock latch extended enough to let the main latch move. Caused a little damage to the door frame, but mostly under the trim. – Johnny Jul 13 '16 at 1:02
  • Holy cow a drill bit will open any lock in 15 seconds. A battery powered drill and a 3/8" to 1/2 inch will open any! Lock in just a few seconds !!!! Ok I am talking about standard home and security locks, not a lock smith but have had to drill quite a few. If I could not do a home lock or dead bolt with my drill you can have it.!!!! – Ed Beal Jul 13 '16 at 1:45
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Since you have a straight shot at the latch because you removed the molding, use a reciprocating saw and just cut the latch. Then you can replace the lock set.

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What happens when you try to use the correct key? If it turns normally, the lock cylinder is fine and your kids are probably not culpable.

Once unlocked, what happens when you turn the knob? If it starts to move but doesn't go all the way, this may just be wood expanding with humidity putting sideways pressure on the latch, and leaning on the door may loosen that enough to retract the latch.

As others have suggested, pulling the hinge pins may let you remove the door from that side.

There are a few other possibilities, but you haven't given me enough information to evaluate them. This would be much easier if I could see and feel the troublesome lock. Hence...

A call to a locksmith is likely to be less expensive than destroying and replacing the door.

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It sounds like the key won’t turn and you don’t have access to the other side of the door where the thumb turn is?

A reciprocating saw would indeed get you in fairly quickly.

If you called a locksmith, they would likely be able to get you in non-destructively. They’d first use a key extractorr to get what remaining gunk is preventing the key from going in. From there, they’d just use the key — or pick/bump the lock open.

Key extractors are cheap and you could try this yourself after watching some YouTube videos on their use.

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