What is the most appropriate action to take when your key accidentally breaks inside the lock when opening the door to your house? Should you promptly call a locksmith, or should you try to resolve the problem by yourself.
This article comprehensively explains the most effective and efficient actions that you can take.
1. Using A Pair Of Pliers
If you broke the key when it was fully inserted inside the lock, and part of it is still protruding outside, then you should consider removing or twisting it out using pliers.
Pull or press on the knob with one of your hands while ensuring that minimum pressure is exerted on the bolt. Keep turning the pliers until you feel that the bolt is absolutely free from pressure. When you get the feeling, unlock or open the door.
If you have a spare key, consider pulling out the broken one straight out. If it got broken between the unlock position and lock, you should twist the broken key to either position. This will enable you to easily withdraw it.
2. Using A Screw Driver
Screwdrivers are commonly used by locksmiths to open front door locks when keys break inside them.
If you establish that no part of the broken key protrudes outside the lock, consider using a screwdriver to solve the problem.
Pull or press on the knob with your left or right hand. Make sure little or no pressure is applied on the bolt. Turn the screwdriver to manipulate the lock the same way you would have turned the normal key. Keep doing this until the lock opens.
Open your door and turn the screw driver in two different directions. Make sure locking and unlocking can be done using the device.
If you’re rushing to the office or somewhere else, use the screwdriver to lock the door and leave. It will be difficult for anyone else to discover that a broken key is stuck in the lock. Therefore, you can go the office and attend to this matter later on. Someone can only discover that there’s a broken key in the lock if he/she tries to insert a key inside the lock.
3. The Option Of Drilling
If you are unable to address the problem using the two options explained above, then it may be necessary for you to drill the lock.
During the process, you must ensure that drilling is done to a depth commensurate to the portion of key that would ordinarily be inserted inside a functional door lock.
Carefully choose a drill bit which can only remove metal from the cylinder. A lock cylinder is that part of the lock that usually rotates with the key. Generally, a quarter inch drill can drill most of the front door locks.
When you manage to remove substantial cylinder metal, pry out the remaining pins and metal until the lock starts turning. Visit a hardware store or locksmith that sells spare parts and purchase new keys as well as a new lock cylinder.
Although drilling is a cheap option, it may result in significant damage. For instance, if you drill too far, the lockset could be rendered useless.
4. Seek The Services Of A Professional Locksmith
If your attempts to drill the lock or remove the broken key using a pair of pliers or a screwdriver have been in vain, then you should ask a locksmith to resolve the problem.
Since a professional locksmith has the requisite skills and experience, he/she will cause little or completely no damage to the lock. A locksmith is capable of doing an exceptional job in very little time.