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Window locked shut - Lock seems broken


Needhelp51's Avatar
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05-31-16, 02:15 PM   #1  
Window locked shut - Lock seems broken

Hi. I have "crank handle" type windows. Sadly, it seems that I can no longer open my living room's window because the locking system is no longer working. I can toggle the lock up or down, it moves very freely as if it is no longer attached to anything. Of course... the window was in locked position when it decided to break. Anyone knows of a solution for this kind of window? I have included a pic that shows the inside, it's from a window with a working lock. There are screws which of course aren't accessible if I can't open the window. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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05-31-16, 02:57 PM   #2  
Your only option is to ruin the lever by drilling a couple 3/8" holes directly through the lever cover. This will enable you to stick a narrow screwdriver or awl through the hole so that you can manually push that multi point lock bar up and down. What often happens is the nylon keepers that hold the bar vertically will break, allowing that bar to fall out of the locking fork. The fork might have broke, but its more likely the nylon part.

You might be able to drill a single hole and hook that bar and pull it back in where the fork will catch it but that's a little trickier. Its already a tricky job to even get it open.

 
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05-31-16, 03:17 PM   #3  
Oh, so brute force is the only way. I guess that's what I'll use, then. Thanks for the help, it's very much appreciated.

 
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05-31-16, 03:30 PM   #4  
Yeah I wouldnt call it brute force. What I was describing is a little more like surgery. The idea is that by drilling 2 or 3 holes through the lock lever cap, you might be able to flip the lock manually without wrecking the frame or the sash.

 
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05-31-16, 04:17 PM   #5  
If I understand well, I need to buy a new lever cap and a new lever (because of the holes)?

 
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05-31-16, 04:31 PM   #6  
Yes. They come in left hand or right hand. Swisco is a good source. Amazon probably also has them.

 
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05-31-16, 07:32 PM   #7  
Correction: these are multi-directional.

 
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06-01-16, 07:57 AM   #8  
It turned out that my windows were still under warranty (6 months before expiry of a whopping 10-year warranty on mechanism). So I went to the vendor and he gave me a replacement handle and lock mechanism for free. He told me I had to do the labour myself though, because that's not part of the warranty. The part is indeed universal for left hand / right hand, you just rotate it 180 degrees and it fits both ways.

The vendor first told me that one could wiggle down the lock from the side using a very slim tool (ex: a knife) in something that resembles the Axel Foley credit card technique. A field technician happened to be there and told him that this would never - mean it - never work. They got into an argument and the vendor tried it on their window in the showroom. Indeed, it did not work, all he did was scratch the paint off the surface. So the field technician suggested exactly the same technique as you did (high five!).

So I came home and proceeded to drill the handle casing. That was not easy because of the geometry of the piece, so I started with a small hole and made a larger hole with a second bit. With that, I was able to see and access the top of the fork mechanism. I used a flat screwdriver and basically pushed down on that part (when it's up, it's in locked position). It took me two minutes of figuring out at the most to succeed into moving it. When I felt the mechanism was starting to move, I gave a good downward push and the window unlocked. I was able to access the screws to remove the broken part. It turns out that the culprit was the white metal 'cam' shown on one the last picture, it was broken from the metal lever. All nylon parts turned out to be ok. Thanks again for the help and great advice.

I thought I'd give back to the community by adding a few pictures of the intervention I have made so that it can help others.Name:  DSC_0193.jpg
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Last edited by Needhelp51; 06-01-16 at 09:14 AM.
 
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06-01-16, 09:17 AM   #9  
Nice job... finding the sweet spot to drill the hole is the hardest part. I suggested 2 or 3 holes assuming you would have some trial and error finding the right spot... looks like you did it right the first time! Thanks for the pics and feedback.

Yeah the guy that suggested the credit card probably has no real life window experience besides sitting behind a desk.

 
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06-01-16, 09:34 AM   #10  
I drilled the hole at the exact same spot where the technician showed me because on his last intervention of the sort, he said he had to turn the casing into a genuine swiss cheese and that it took him nearly 50 minutes to unlock the window. So I guess you are right, the positioning of the hole seems to be the key. The good news is that they don't see this happening a lot on their side. Good news for my ten other windows (lol). The tech said that a silicone-based spray lubricant applied twice a year on all moving parts helps prevent such breakage, so I'll go ahead and do just that.

 
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