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Antique Safes/Old Acme New York safe comb not working


Plz help and than u, i am freakin out...been using this safe for many years, never problem, acquired from father in law, after he used for many years...when i acquired, i contacted acme to help in changing comb...after many days of their techs looking at pics and researching, it was determined comb could NOT be changed..simple keypad on front door, starts w letter C and then all numbers, and ends with # the left of keypad is open and close knob...there are two little red lites, above and below keypad, and the combination starts with the C, then six numbers, then the pound key, then two red lites flash, u hear a click, and knob turns, door can be pulled open...ALWAYS WORKS....  Four AA batteries go in slot under keypad, that you load from under keypad...when loaded correctly, the red lites come on, and you start hearing the beeps when depressing the keys...ALWAYS HAS WORKED...HERE IS MY ISSUE....JUST CHANGED BATTERIES, LITES WENT ON, COMBINATION KEYS DEPRESSED, AND WHEN I HIT # KEY, I HEAR THREE QUICK BEEPS, LIKE AN ERROR MESSAGE, NO CLICK FOR THE KNOB, AND KNOB DOESNT TURN TO OPEN...OMG, PLEASE HELP....

Hi Stuart,

I'm getting some red flags popping up, based on your description of the problem.     I'm assuming that you are describing a digital lock.   As you didn't provide any photos and/or a lock manufacturer's name or lock model, I'm having to make some guesses.

It would probably be a good idea for you to send photos of the safe and the lock (key pad), directly to me, to ensure that we are both on the same page.
Send them to me at:

It would appear that the lock you are dealing with is possibly an AMSEC KPL series lock.    If so, these locks haven't been made in at least 10 years or more.    If you are getting an error message and/or the lock doesn't open - AND you are using the correct code, then either you have a bad keypad or the lock memory (circuit board issue) is gone.

First red flag - you indicated that the "safe techs" spent many days looking at photos.    If my techs spent more than 5 minutes looking at photos to determine what you have, I would be kicking their butts - which means that whom ever you had doesn't know what they are doing.

Second red flag - ASSUMING that your lock is an old KPL type lock, combination changing is easy, however the safe door MUST be opened, HOWEVER if the lock is bad, changing the code may not remedy the problem.    The combination CANNOT be reset or recovered from the outside.

Question:   In the past 10-12 years, how many times have you changed your cell phone???   two or three times???   Digital locks are not really different, and I'm really surprised that you have an old KPL style which lasted that long.    It possibly should have been changed out several years ago.
Just because it "ALWAYS WORKED" before, doesn't mean that it won't go bad!   Welcome to the world of electronics - they DON'T last for ever!

You didn't indicate in your description, whether or not the service techs have actually been to your safe or not, just that they spent days looking at photos and researching it.    Hopefully you didn't have to pay them for all of this wasted time.
If you have a failed digital lock, then the safe may have to be drilled to open it up, and to replace the lock.

Third Red Flag:   Sorry, but I feel like I'm only getting half the story here.    While I understand your frustration, if the real reason that the safe isn't opened and repaired by now is that you don't want to pay to have it opened, then you are going to have a locked up safe for a long time.
There is no magic to electronic locks - they either work or they don't.    Sometimes it may be a simple key pad failure.    Replacing the key pad may resolve your issues, HOWEVER as old as the lock is they may not be available - again, this is why I need photos of your safe to see what you actually have, so that I can offer some solutions.
If it is a lock failure, and "IF" you want the safe opened, you are going to have to pay someone to open it correctly AND repair it, AND install a new lock.

Send the photos directly to me, so I can see what you have.    Also, let me know where you are located (zip code is fine).    If you don't have a local safe company that you can use, I'll see who I might know, and/or recommend in your area.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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