We have all faced troublesome and uncomfortable situations around our household- be it clogging the drainage pipe or accidentally locking ourselves out of our homes or maybe, the bathroom. There are a number of ways to go about these things- you can either consult a professional to control such situations or you can know the tips and tricks to troubleshoot these problems yourself. So hear us out and save those extra bucks!
Locking yourself in the bathroom is not a pretty feeling when you do not know how to unlock the door when it seems to be stuck. What are the possibilities of you getting out? Let us tell you that there are many. You can, under any circumstance, almost always unlatch a bathroom door lock if you know how to pick the lock by yourself.
A bathroom door twist lock may not release for various reasons. The lock might be old and has worn out over time, causing it to become challenging to release. Or it could be that the lock is not correctly aligned with the strike plate on the door frame, preventing it from releasing.
Sometimes, something blocks the release button or lever inside the door handle. It could be that the lock is jammed or broken and needs to be repaired or replaced. In that case, you may need to contact an experienced locksmith like KJ Locksmiths to help you quickly get out of this tricky situation.
The following article provides some methods that you can apply when you fall into such unfathomed situations.
However, you should be careful of certain things before you try out the given techniques. We want you to know what kind of doorknob is installed in the bathroom. Determining this is crucial because different door lock systems have different unlatching procedures.
What are the different kinds of door locks?
Handle lock set
The handleset lock has a grip handle outside the bathroom door and consists of a deadbolt or key lock on the inside frame so that it can be locked from the inside efficiently. There are double-sided handlesets available that have grip handles on both sides of the door.
These locks are easy to use and can be installed on standard doors. They come in various designs, some with smart lock features.
Deadbolt locks are not attached to the bathroom door handles. The door handles are to perform the function of opening and closing the door while deadbolt locks are installed separately on the other side so that you can operate them from the bathroom itself. The lock is operated by a thumb-turn mechanism.
A deadbolt lock is considered more secure than a regular door knob lock because it has a longer bolt that extends deeper into the door frame, making it more difficult to break open.
Privacy door lock
Privacy function door lock is very often used in bathrooms. Since it is meant to guard the privacy of the bathroom, it does not use a key for being opened or closed. The doorknob has a circular button located in the center which can be pressed from the inside to lock the door. By pressing the lock you disable the door twist from functioning on the opposite side, thereby ensuring the utmost privacy.
Passage locks are often referred to as dummy locks since they do not have an intact lock mechanism in place. They are simply installed between rooms to open and close the doors. If you have a passage lock system, rest assured since you cannot get locked in a room whose door frame has a passage lock.
Passage locks are suitable for interior doors where privacy is not a concern and security is not a priority.
Among all the door locks mentioned above, most bathrooms use the door twist function lock. These locks have an emergency unlocking system in place that prevents children or the elderly from locking themselves inside bathrooms. However, if you cannot avail of the emergency option, here are a few methods that you can consider using in order to unlatch door twist locks.
What are some immediate methods to unlatch door locks?
Use a paperclip
Using a paperclip is the most common method of unlocking a bolted bathroom door. The first thing that you need to do is straighten the paper clip. This allows you to have a firmer grip on the clip and creates a tension wrench that can be used to unbolt the lock.
Now that you have straightened the clip, look for a hole in the doorknob. Generally, in the case of a privacy lock, expect this hole to be located on the center of the door twist or handle.
In case the hole is not centered, look around the handle and check around the curved metal of the door.
Once you find the hole, gently insert the clip and explore the nooks of the lock as if you are in search of something. Keep the clip moving until you find the lock mechanism. You are most likely to hear a click when this happens.
This technique is fairly easy and works most efficiently, just like you see in the movies!
Use a bobby pin
To pick a lock using a bobby pin, you will need two pins. The first pin needs to be stretched until it makes a 90-degree angle. You need to keep it that way. Remove the rubber from the tip of the pin to create a smooth surface. Now slightly bend the tip.
Move onto the next pin and without stretching it out, bend it perpendicularly. You will use this bobby pin as a lever.
Insert the second bobby pin inside the lock and hold it sideways to assert pressure. Use the bent end of the first bobby pin to enter the lock. Most regular locks have six seized pins out of which one is more rigid than the rest.
Wiggle the straightened pin around the lock while asserting pressure with the other to find the rigid seized pin. Keep asserting pressure until you hear a click.
This method requires time and patience since it is not always easy to unlatch rigid lock systems.
Use a laminated plastic card
Using a laminated plastic card is another effective method. It can be a gift card, credit, or debit card. If you do not have a hairpin or a paperclip with you, you may get hold of any laminated plastic sheet or card. These cards are also very efficient in unlocking doors.
All you need to do is bend one end of the card, Not too much, just bend the tip. Slowly insert the bent tip into the space between the door and the wall above the doorknob. Gently push it down till it comes across the latch.
Try moving the door handle while you push down on the latch using your credit card. This method works on doors with a latch bolt locking mechanism in place.
Use a wire hanger
Just as the above options, you can use a wire hanger for unbolting a locked door as well. Most of the time we have coat hangers in our bathrooms. All you need to do is stretch out the hanger in the shape of a long handle and keep the tip of the straightened hanger bent in the shape of a curved hook.
You will need to insert the hook onto the space between the door edge and the lock. Simply apply pressure. Try hooking the hanger onto the door latch. Once they’re attached, you simply need to pull on the hanger.
Throughout the process, keep turning the doorknob in semi-circular movements. Continue doing this till the door unlocks.
Remove the lock completely
If none of the options mentioned above are available, consider removing the doorknob in its entirety. How to do it, you may ask? The only instrument you will need for this purpose is a handy screwdriver.
Locate the screws that bolt the hand knob in place. These bolts are generally located on the side outlines of the knob and are placed perpendicular to each other.
Do not worry in case the screws are not visible. Most of the time the screws are protected by an outer lid that is attached to the body of the knob. Take a butter knife and remove the outer layer. Locate the screws and unhinge them using the screwdriver.
Now gently take the screws out and you will notice how loosely the knob is attached to the doorframe. Gently pull out the lock by gripping the doorknob. Pull inwards or push outside the door frame.
Now that the door is open, finish the job by unhinging the latch as well. All you need to do is locate the screws and unhinge the latch.
Consult a locksmith
The final solution for emergency situations is calling a locksmith. In case you cannot find anything that you can use to unhinge the doorknob, it is better to consult a professional.
However, always keep in mind that consulting a professional will require hefty spending. So only when you have left no stones unturned should you consider approaching a locksmith.
What are some other methods to unlock door twist locks?
All of the measures mentioned above are highly technical and take a lot of patience. However, if the situation is more frantic in nature, we understand that you will neither have the time nor the patience to unlock a door uniformly. In such cases, other immediate methods are present. They are the following:
- Consider breaking down the doorknob using a hammer.
- Drilling is also beneficial since it has lesser chances of affecting your door frame.
- Insert a butter knife into the door frame and push until you hear a click.
- If you want the doorknob to be unharmed, take off the door hinges and the whole door frame will come out.
We hope this article helped you in educating yourself on how to unlock a bathroom door twist lock. We suggest that you always keep emergency equipment in your bathroom. Do not panic in case such a scenario occurs. Just keep calm and follow the protocol.