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cannot can't unlock bathroom door from outside not a flat shape inside knob

cannot can't unlock bathroom door from outside not a flat shape inside knob


  #1  
Old 01-23-09, 03:41 PM
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Unhappy cannot can't unlock bathroom door from outside not a flat shape inside knob

No matter what I do, I cannot unlock my bathroom door from the outside. My 3 year old grand daughter locked it and then shut it. It has a long handle, not a round knob. There is a hole in the handle and when you look in with a flashlight it looks like a pentagon shape. We have the flat key we use in other doors but this knob is different, it won't work in this one. I went to home depot and they said buy a lock with a key, open the set, use the key to open it and then return the set back to the store. Sounds good but only locks I could find have the flat key in them. I bought all kinds of long sticks with different ends on them, hexagon, octagon, none worked. Running out of options, good thing I have extra bathrooms but what happens if she is in there when it locks the next time. No name or brand on lock. I don't want to replace, it is a brand new lock put on before we moved here. My daughers apartment knobs are the same and she has no key if they get locked either. help please, tks. LindaSueBob
 
  #2  
Old 01-23-09, 03:44 PM
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You can buy a halfway decent bed and bath lockset for about $15.00.
You probably spent more than that on gas trying to find this thing.
Your choice.
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-09, 04:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums! My granddaughter did the exact same thing in their bathroom, only from the inside. She's in Denver, I'm in Georgia, so I had to walk a hysterical mother through how to do it. Usually a small screwdriver set will have at least one blade large enough to turn the lock. Can you give us the brand name of the lockset? It may help us.
One thing on the bright side. While were visiting back in early December, I noted their bathroom had the outside handle with no hole in it, while our bedroom had a hole on the outside handle with no lock. So I switched the outside handles. Glad I did, as she would absolutely have not gotten her out.
Let us know how it goes.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-09, 05:03 PM
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No, I have No Choice. The landlord will not let her change the locks on the doors. Right now she has to duct tape the locks so the little girl does not lock the doors on the bathroom and master bedroom. One is locked, cannot be opened and locked again so the door cannot be closed at all. the landlord replaced all the doors on the apartments, the inside doors and did not keep the keys. So no one can unlock a door once it is locked, they are privacy doors, not a main entry door. So with mine I can change the lock easy enough. No matter what we try on either door it will not open, it appears when you look inside it is pentagon shaped, not a slot, not hexagon or octagon. Nothing works, we tried everything in the tool box plus more bought at home depot. Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-09, 05:53 PM
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The privacy locksets with a hole in the knob take something long and slender like a nail to open.
Just push it into the hole and if you have it properly centered you will feel spring pressure when you push on it.
Just push the spring and turn the knob.
 
  #6  
Old 01-23-09, 06:01 PM
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Have you tried an old credit card? Works like a dream in the movies. Insert it behind the door stop level with the lock and push it in. This method often works, if you failed with a small screw driver, which you turn to the left.
 
  #7  
Old 01-23-09, 09:34 PM
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There are screwdrivers with hex heads that mightwork. Buy some that are close to the size and try this, it would fit like a key and turn it left as twelvepole suggested.
 
  #8  
Old 01-23-09, 10:39 PM
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Landlord?

Would I be completely off base in thinking that if there are locking doors "Inside" an apartment/Rental Home" the landlord needs to provide keys to all locks or if keys are not available he/she should (or could be required to) change the locks so both landlord and tennant have keys?

Not sure what your state laws are on that but every "Rental" property I've lived in required I had the same set of keys for ALL locks as the landlord had.

Just a thought.

Aces.
 
  #9  
Old 01-23-09, 11:16 PM
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Aces, I totally agree. I'd also demand for the landlord to remedy the situation with the locked door or call a locksmith. I'd also demand a key so that in the event it happens again, the resident could open the door. After the landlord has to pay the locksmith, he might rethink his having tossed the keys.
 
  #10  
Old 01-24-09, 07:07 AM
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Of course there are laws on the books! The next time it happens call the fire department. After the extraction explain the circumstance to the firemen, and ask them to notify the Fire Marshal. The local BUILDING OFFICAL may get involved, inspecting the premises for other violations.

You can bring a world of hurt to the doorstep of an ignorant landlord, but you can't do it by calling a locksmith. That call, you pay for. If your really want to punish the dummy call the local news crew after calling the fire department.
 
  #11  
Old 07-01-10, 04:18 PM
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It's not that easy

Howdy, LindaSueBob! I would love to hear how you resolved this problem. In the meantime, you have my sympathy. My three-year-old son just locked us all out of our rental house's bathroom door, and I found this forum in a web search of how to unlock it.

The glib answers I've seen in my searches don't address the following problems: we didn't choose the badly designed locks in the first place and don't want to have to replace them if something simpler will work; there is no hole in the doorknob to insert a tool for emergency unlocking; there are no screws on the outside to allow the removal of the lock; there are no hinges on the outside of the door--they are inside the locked room (again, bad design!); the latch is behind the trimwork around the door, so there is no access slot to jiggle butter knives or credit cards into; and the bathroom window is locked, and covered by an added-on insulating window that is also locked, and is located above the reach of any ladders I own. OBVIOUSLY if I could solve the problem easily, I wouldn't need to search for a solution!

I suspect that the construction of this door and frame, and the style of lock, are not up to code since there is no safe, easy, quick way to get inside in case of emergency. But instead of calling the fire department and getting city officials involved and unleashing the wrath of the beaurocracy on an otherwise nice landlord, I will just tell him face to face when I see him in a couple of days that his lock is unsafe and needs replacement. Thank God I have a good landlord who will take care of stuff that he knows about.

We chose to get the door open right now and get Mr. Landlord to change the unsafe old handle later. We decided to risk having to repaint the doorframe, and wedged the little trim piece away from the wider frame board. First we used a razor cutter to slice through the paint sealing the trim board to the frame board. Then we wedged in a large flathead screwdriver and hammered it in until we saw a gap of about a quarter inch, all up and down the door frame on the side by the knob. We could see through the crack to the door latch, and widened the gap a little more right by the knob.

We thought we'd have to pull the whole trim board out, and were trying to be careful not to crack it so we could get it in one piece and reuse it. Fortunately it pulled away just enough that we could jiggle butter knives into the crack and scrape at the door latch. With a little more jiggling and also jiggling on the door handle to move the latch around slightly, we finally got the door open. Hooray! I think one of the butter knives finally caught on the latch long enough to move it just enough to let the door fall open, but of course my view was blocked by hands and butter knives.

The lock actually did not unlock--we were just lucky that the cheap construction of the door meant the latch was barely in its hole and jiggle out relatively easily. We taped the latch down until the landlord upgrades the door handle, and just tapped the little trim board back down. It didn't have to be pulled all the way off.

By the way, the doorknob locks on the inside by twisting the whole knob and pushing in on it until it catches and the knob won't turn, and then the lock is engaged. It unlocks with a twist on the inside doorknob, and a spring pops the knob out. I haven't seen a lock like that in a long time. I don't know what it's called, and I didn't see a description of how to unlock that type of doorknob anywhere in my searches. If I knew how to describe it so a search engine could find it, I could look up the building code and see if it's obsolete. Probably is, though that would be a pity since the mechanism is easier to use than a little switch that has to be grasped by the fingertips and turned, like inside door locks often have nowadays.

I hope this explanation helps others. Surely by now, LindaSueBob, your door is unlocked!
 
 

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