Q: Strange Jammed Doorlock!

We have a french door off the family room leading to a screened-in porch/patio area. (The outside door leading to the yard off the porch is a modest, wooden framed screen door fastened by an eye-hook.) The french door has a dead bolt in the upper part of the lock and a handle in the lower part of the lock. Both parts are integral as one “lock” to me with no apparent set screws, etc., to remove for repairs, etc… Also, the dead bolt has a “T” handle to set it from the inside, as opposed to requiring a key on the inside…as some dead bolts do.

Anyway, the handle to the dead bolt won’t turn back, so I can’t unlock the door! Perhaps the internal parts have worn, but this lock failed without warning. (I’ve had other locks give two-weeks notice, ha-ha, btu seriously…)

Any clue what is causing this, and how to gain access to the internal parts? Can the door be taken off its hinges? I’d hate for the screen door to get torn apart…

  • Jinx :confused:

This sounds like a mortise (as opposed to cylinder) lock. Many of these can only be removed when the door is open. The screws will be on the jamb side of the door.

It is possible that the lock is actually jammed in the sense that the friction between the bolt and the door frame is greater than the handle’s ability to overcome. If this is the case, you can try pushing the door inward while you try to turn the lock.

If that is NOT the case, then it’s possible that some internal mechanism has broken and has pinned the deadbolt in the engaged position. If there is truly no way to disassemble the lock from the inside, you’ll probably have to destroy the lock to get it out. Hacksawing through the deadbolt might be an option, or drilling through the mechanism perhaps.

You could also try checking some hardware stores for a similar lock setup and see how it is assembled/disassembled for clues.


Yeah, I bet the screws are in the door “jam”, ha-ha… :frowning: for me! I’ve tried leaning on the door thinking it had swollen in the summer heat, but I believe it is an internal problem. A hack saw [or chain saw… >:) ] sounds great!

Locked in?

  • Jinx

Usually the bolt is hardened steel. Good luck hacksawing thru it.
Try lifting or pushing down on the door as well to take weight off the mechanism. If all else fails, try pushing the hinge pins out and pulling the door out of the opening. Some hinges, however, are made with a small bit of one leaf bent up so it fits into a matching hole in the other leaf when the hinge is closed so they cannot be slid apart.