What to do if Somebody Glues Your Locks

So you came back home or to the office and put your key in to your lock to unlock the door. Except… your key won’t go into your lock! You look at the key hole and see the unmistakable signs of glue or silicone sealer or something! Why were you so short with the missionaries/girl scouts/stranger a few days ago who came to your door? What do you do? All is not lost…

If you are lucky there is more than one way to get into your property and the other entry lock is not glued. If that is the case then all you have to do is go in through the functioning lock. You can fix or replace the lock with glue in it. Take the cylinder out of the lock if you are able and suspend it in 100% pure acetone, available from your local pharmacy, for 24 hours. If the lock is really cheap then just buy another lock for $10, but if it is really expensive it can be fixed.

If the glued lock is securing  your only entrance then you have a big problem. Even if you call a locksmith they won’t be able to pick the lock, they may have to use destructive entry. The two possible methods that can  be used are torching the lock to burn the glue off, or drilling the lock cylinder so that it can be bypassed. Locksmiths try to drill out just the pins because then they can use a smaller cheaper drill bit and also because then they can replace just the lock cylinder. Typically anybody who uses a bit larger than a 3/16 inch bit doesn’t know what they are doing. Since the cylinder is glued, a larger bit will have to be used or a different part of the lock will have to be drilled.

How do you prevent getting locked out because of vandals with glue? Consider getting keyless entry for your door. If you buy an August deadbolt, you can unlock your door even if your key hole is filled all the way with superglue. It only costs about $200 and thirty minutes’ time to get it on the door. If you have more money you can install an Alarm Lock Trilogy that uses fobs. There isn’t anything for miscreants to glue with fobs. People walk up to the lock, hold their fob near the lock, and the door unlocks.

I recently figured out that acetone would dissolve superglue when a locksmith buddy threw three Schlage Primus mortise cylinders on the recycle heap. They retail for $70 each so I bought a bottle of acetone at Rite-Aid for about $3 and soaked them overnight. The next day I got one open, generated a key for it, and it worked on the other two. Just recovered $200 worth of Primus cylinders, though I will only sell them for half price since they are slightly scratched from being carelessly tossed on the heap.

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Bjørn Madsen

I am the Seattle locksmith you've been looking for. High Quality work at a reasonable price delivered in a timely fashion.