Problem with a broken window lock
June 30, 2013 10:40 PM   Subscribe

We have a problem with a broken window lock.

We rarely use the window, the keys are a bit rusty, but opened it yesterday. The handle is now stuck in the locked 9 o'clock position. We cannot turn the handle back to the unlocked 12 o'clock position. This means the window cannot be closed and locked, since there are extended bolts at the bottom of the window which remain extended.

A further difficulty is that to remove/replace the lock, you need to undo two screws (YouTube instruction video). With the handle in its current 9 o'clock position, one of these screws is now inaccessible behind it. (Working vertical lock for reference). So I can't see how we can replace this lock at the moment.

Can anyone help? This is a ground floor window, so it's a bit of a security problem. Thanks!
posted by TheophileEscargot to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
IDK. Have you tried squirting some WD40 in there?
posted by sbutler at 11:25 PM on June 30, 2013

And if you are out of wd40, fine machine oil like those little bottles of Singer sewing machine oil, or even normal kitchen olive oil can be used at a pinch. Put a cloth or paper towel underneath to catch any drips, drip some oil into the lock, and gently try to work it lose.
posted by Kerasia at 11:34 PM on June 30, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks! We've tried extra oil there. (Some advise against WD40 since it can remove the grease that's supposed to be there). It hasn't helped though, handle is still stuck.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:40 PM on June 30, 2013

With the handle in its current 9 o'clock position, one of these screws is now inaccessible behind it.

If you're planning to replace the lock, you could just dremel off the handle of the old one to get to its screws.
posted by hattifattener at 12:06 AM on July 1, 2013

Is the lock stuck or the handle? If the lock is unlocked and the handle is just jammed I'd get a hammer and tap it back into place. First check to make sure the handle isn't hung up on the screw that is now hidden under the plate.

If the handle won't move try tapping upwards on the extended bolts while jiggling it, that might free the mechanism.

If it's the actual lock call a locksmith. They'll drill it out and put a new lock in for you.
posted by fshgrl at 12:25 AM on July 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks fshgrl! Will try tapping the bolts when I get home.

The way it's supposed to work is that the handle is fixed in position until you insert and turn the key. At the moment, the handle is stuck in the lock position. Inserting and attempting to turn the key does not release the handle. So, I'm not sure whether it's the lock or the handle. Or possibly the key, nothing obvious has broken off but it was a bit rusty.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:11 AM on July 1, 2013

Graphite lock lubricant might be worth a try if your key is rusty. You can buy it in a little tube and just puff it in to the keyhole.
posted by lunaazul at 11:13 AM on July 2, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all your advice guys! But we did have to get a guy in in the end. I didn't stand and watch the whole time. He kept jiggling it, while slamming the handle with a lot more force than I would have dared, did that for a long time until he turned it enough to expose the other screw. Then he used a power tool to release the whole lock, cleaned and lubricated the parts, and put it all back together. "Made in China" was his explanation. It took him about 40 minutes all told, pretty sure I couldn't have done it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:13 PM on July 5, 2013

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