Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Key-less Deadbolt

I noticed recently, that in the area where I do most the residential locksmith jobs, that most of the apartments have key-less deadbolts on their doors. A lot of the times, I would get a call for a residential lockout to unlock a door, but once I arrive at the scene, I will find out that the lock needed to be handled is none other than a key-less deadbolt. These locks can only be locked from the inside since there is no actual exterior on the key-hole itself. However, it seem so often as people would leave the apartment from the patio or balcony after locking the key-less deadbolt without realizing it.
And to make thing even worse,they somehow, locked themselves out on the patio or balcony as well by slamming the sliding door. With a patio there's usually no major problem unless a Charley bar or similar has fallen down and caused the sliding door to lock itself. With a balcony, I won't take a risk usually climbing up.

On other occasion, a customer had told her 3 year-old boy to lock the door when she left and he did both the main lock and even the key-less deadbolt. What happen was he fell asleep afterwards. The mother came back and was knocking and banging on the door without being able to awaken the boy. As a last resort, I got the call from her to come. I found the best and easiest way to open this type of lock was to drill a 1/4" hole through the metal cover of the door and a little way into the wood. However, I was careful not to drill straight through the tailpiece hole. After drilling the hole, I simply stuck a screwdriver in and timed the latch. Most of these apartment types of key-less deadbolts that I ran into, seem to have their latch holes seven inches above the keyed deadbolt, with a standard 2-3/8" back-set. I set my drill bit between 2-3/8 and 2-1/2" from the edge of the door. I could see and feel with a plastic strip where the latch is located and just measure the 2-3/8" from that location. After getting the door open, I just too some epoxy and filled the small  it's a simple matter to take some epoxy and fill in the small hole I drill.

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