How can I unlatch a casement window with a broken latch?
March 18, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

The locking latch is broken on one of the casement windows in our home. Can you help us get it open?

Latch housing
Broken handle
Working latch mechanism for comparison

The latch handle was broken off when we moved in. In hindsight, I probably should not have latched it. But the window was so drafty in the winter that I thought I would try. I stuck the latch in the hole, pressed and turned, and huzzah! the window latched shut. I assumed I would be able to reverse this process come spring.

Alas, it was not to be. When I turn the handle now, nothing happens. From looking at the other latch that still works, I think the rod that the latch handle attaches to has fallen down inside the housing. I can't get inside the housing because it's screwed in from the other side of the window.

Is there any way I can possibly get this window unlatched? I promise never to try to latch it again. I have no idea what kind of window it is. All I know is the hardware has "Truth" stamped on it, but Truth Hardware is only a manufacturer of window parts and not a window maker.
posted by starvingartist to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Let's start with a couple of whadda ya knows. Do you know whether the parts for this latch are replaceable? Looking at the latch cover, it appears it will have to be replaced. If a replacement is available, I would use a hack saw and cut the front of it off in order to gain access to the inside. This will give you more room to see whether the rod has fallen away or simply come loose from the rest of the latch mechanism. If it has fallen away, is it possible to slip a piece of bent wire coat hanger up into place and hook onto the mechanism in a way that you can manipulate the latch? Use the exposed latch that you photographed for practice.

If the latch cover is not replaceable, you might try drilling a moderately sized hole in the bottom of it such that you can stick that same bent coat hanger wire up in there from below. A little more tedious, but it would be less ugly afterwards. You could cover the hole with a small piece of electrician's tape or duct tape and it might hardly be noticed.
posted by Old Geezer at 11:35 AM on March 18, 2012

This looks like a scematic for the part. It seems to me that this sash lock levers downward, pushing the locking bar UP into position, so the bar might be above where you're expecting to find it. Just guessing though.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:54 PM on March 18, 2012

While Truth Hardware sells only to Distributors, they do have an email address. You might submit your question, including photos, to them and see what they have to say.

Their address is:
posted by Old Geezer at 8:53 PM on March 18, 2012

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