BROKEN TAILPIECE ON KWIKSET DEADBOLT
One of the worst kinds of calls to get is the one where a customer
locked out because suddenly their deadbolt key just spins in the
failing to activate the latch and they have no other way in.
means the tailpiece has broken a malady that Kwikset locks
to have more than any others due to the hollow metal tailpiece
that can suffer fatigue and break right off.
Before you pull out your drill and attempt to totally annihilate the
so you can get to the latch itself, consider this little trick. This
worked for me on several occasions and has failed only once. You'll
to return later to install a trim plate, or better yet, stock a few
sizes in varying finishes in case you run into this. They can always
sold as extras after a while because a lot of people like the look
a small hole in the door, about 3/16", right at the edge of the
where it meets the door. This can be done whether the door is wood
metal, because you're just going to drill into the cross bore area
the latch is. Place your mark at 12 o'clock and drill in a slightly
angle, as though you were trying to hit the top of the latch. As
as you feel the bit penetrate the skin of the door and you know
entered the latch area, stop.
insert a stiff, slightly curved wire in the hole. It must be stiff
to not bend readily. Coat hangar stock works, especially of the
wire variety (the cheap ones that bend if you look at them to long
not good for this!) It helps to put a little chisel edge on the end
going into the hole, because you're going to fish for the hinge pin
the latch that moves up and back when the bolt is retracted. Keep
and keep moving the probe in a little up-and-back arc. When you
the pin in just the right way, you'll retract the bolt and you can
the day and the deadbolt, too.
If you are new to locksmithing you might consider buying a kwikset
bolt and studying the bolt, this will help you see in your eyes mind
you are fishing for.
It will be of great help if you can fashion a handle of some kind,
as out of a wooden dowel, to the wire. You might think about making
tool up while you have the time to do a good job of it, drilling a
in a dowel that is barely the size of the wire and then epoxying the
the following diagram for an idea of the tool's shape.