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Broken window key

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David Tocher31/07/2021 10:15:10
36 forum posts
1 photos

Not sure if this is the correct forum to post my query. Maybe the mods could move it if required.

I broke a key in the lock of a uPVC window handle. It's non-ferrous - cheap and nasty! The end of the remaining bit is slightly below the surface of the barrel. I've tried using very thin pointed pliers without being able to grip it enough to pull it out. I haven't yet removed the handle as I don't want to damage the plastic cover concealing the retaining screw/bolt and anyway I'm not sure if would help.

Any suggestions?

Cornish Jack31/07/2021 10:22:41
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Recently saw (on Youtube) a clip explaining that these locks can be easily by-passed, since they don't lock the mechanism, just interpose a 'stopper' on the handle. It is possible to insert a thin strip to depress the 'tongue'.Apologies for rubbish explanation, but a Google search for 'window locks' or similar should unearth the clip.



martin perman31/07/2021 10:42:58
2042 forum posts
86 photos

I recently broke a brass key on my caravan leaving the piece inside the lock, two scriber points in either side of the broken piece pulled it out.

Martin P

Speedy Builder531/07/2021 12:40:31
2594 forum posts
208 photos

Use an air compressor, with the blow gun, squirt it down the side of the key and see if it "blows" out. I have seen it done on a car lock before

donkey31/07/2021 12:49:06
82 forum posts
5 photos

try melting the end of a glue gun stick and put that on the lock. then you can pull it off and hopefully pulls the key with it.


Peter H31/07/2021 18:25:25
10 forum posts

Grind a junior hacksaw blade so you have a narrow point with few teeth on it.

Slide it down the side of the broken key. Twist so the teeth grip the key and pull out. It should pull the key out.

David Tocher02/08/2021 21:03:08
36 forum posts
1 photos

I tried the hacksaw blade idea but the key is too good a fit in the lock and it doesn't fit. A fretsaw blade wasn't stiff enough to be able to hook it out. The barrel is countersunk where the key enters so I can't use the points of needles to lever it out or hot glue. One thought I had is to drill a fine oblique hole into the key to gain some purchase - not an easy job! As the lock is in the open position I'll probably leave well alone.

Thanks for the ideas.

Adrian R203/08/2021 08:17:48
161 forum posts
5 photos

If this is an "espag" then they are easily removable (2 screws under those plastic covers) and then dismantleable from the rear. They are also cheap to replace providing you have the patience to search around and find the one that matches yours.

Nicholas Wheeler 103/08/2021 08:18:26
913 forum posts
87 photos

Have you considered unscrewing the handle and gently tapping the back of the spindle to vibrate the key out? While there's a good chance it won't work, it will only take a couple of minutes easy 'work' to find out.

Circlip03/08/2021 09:13:46
1502 forum posts

"If this is an "espag" then they are easily removable (2 screws under those plastic covers)"

Same applies to "Shootbolt" Bite the bullet and peel the screw cover off, if you're careful the original twinstick adhesive will work. Ultimately you may have to replace the handle but it's easier to work with off the window.

As another aside. Both Kitchen and Bathroom windows were/are normally held on "Night latch positions. Came to "open" kitchen window, wouldn't unlock but NOT the window lock, handle was lifting partially. Transpired one of the shoot bolts had corroded in guide sleeve in opening window frame One side worked but the window lock broke on the seized side, fortunately enough room to distort window and allow stuck side to unhook. With window open, relatively easy to strip frame parts down and rectify. Needed new lock (Fleebay) but other parts were cleaned, lubricated and reassembled. Total cost, about £8 (free postage) would have been £15 for same lock from local supplier and a total messing time of about an hour.

Shootbolt locking pins are the two bits that poke out of the window frame ends when locked, round Brass bars with anti-rotation flats top and bottom. Open window and then "Lock" it. NOW apply Vaseline or a waterproof grease to the ends and work the lock open and closed to make sure the guides are coated. No, brass doesn't rust but the monkey metal guides corrode.

Prevention takes a couple of minutes, alternative could cost £500 ish, the whole window frame could need replacement.

Regards Ian.

Edit. Now TRYING to free Bathroom window.

Edited By Circlip on 03/08/2021 09:15:38

Samsaranda03/08/2021 09:54:03
1408 forum posts
5 photos

In our house a number of top hung vents are always left open for ventilation, ( wife has an obsession for fresh air) consequence is that the locking mechanisms invariably seize solid with corrosion. The monkey metal pieces always corrode as do the plated steel pieces, I don’t know what they plate the steel with but it seems to corrode quicker than the steel it is supposed to protect. I now do an annual anti corrosion check where I coat the parts with preservative and oil the mechanisms with silicon spray. Dave W

David Tocher03/08/2021 10:56:47
36 forum posts
1 photos

Success! I removed the handle and tried tapped the window side of the handle to shake it out as suggested by Nicholas - no joy. I gave up and refitted the handle but dropped it onto the window cill while aligning the screw holes - the broken bit of the key fell out.

The problem is caused by the keys being made of very poor material and it the key is left in the lock it's too easy to catch it on something, like the curtains, and thus bend or break it. All keys are left out.

Nicholas Wheeler 103/08/2021 12:46:17
913 forum posts
87 photos

So you needed to knock it rather than tapwink 2

Getting it out was the important thing.

Locking window handles are not there to stop thieves getting in, because they can break the glass or pry the frame apart. The locks are more to stop unauthorised people inside the house opening the window.

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