Locksmithing/Very old deadbolt


Old lock
Old lock  
We're renting a house with very old deadbolts.  The locking mechanism is on the inside and there is no exterior key unlock, so they cannot be unlocked from the outside.  The one for the front door seems to have stripped and no longer turns the lock.  The problem being it's stuck in the locked position and we can no longer get in the front door.  I've taken it apart but I can see no way of spinning it so it unlocks.  Before I took a drill or saw to the door or jamb to rip it out I figured I'd ask here.

Hello Joe,

Sorry for the delay, I was unavailable for the last week.

One sided deadbolts, as well as those with 2 sides, can fail in the locked position and it seems they generally do, causing major headaches.

Remove the inside assembly then use a hammer and cold chisel to break the bolt mechanism apart to get it to retract so you can open the door and replace the lock.  Unfortunately there isn't an easier way.

I'd recommend purchasing a new one first.



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I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

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