We had just finished supper tonight when hubby went to check outside. The problem was, he couldn't get the door to unlock. The knob turned but the latch didn't move. There are worse things that can happen, we could have been locked OUT by a broken lock, but it's definitely one of those things that's in the "need to fix immediately" category.
Now some guys are at a loss as to what to do in this kind of a situation, but I'm fortunate to be married to my own Mr Fix It. He's not the Tim Allen kind of guy who immediately looks for an excuse to get out the power tools and sends saner people running for cover. He's the genuine article. If it's broke and he can't fix it, it can't be fixed, or it just isn't worth the man hours involved.
So how do you get to a lock that's broken inside the door? You hacksaw through the deadbolt using the blade of a hacksaw without the frame. The blade would pass between the door and the frame, but nothing else would. Now remember, the door is closed and on the other side of the deadbolt is the framing for the door that stops drafts and deadbolts are meant to keep people out so they are made of hardened steel. So after removing the blade from the saw, he proceeded in tiny motions to cut through the deadbolt. Forward half an inch, hit the frame and back half an inch. Little by little the steel bolt was cut through and the door opened.
The joy of freedom at last, was soon replaced by the knowledge that now we needed to replace the hacksawed deadbolt. The lock when it was removed revealed a sheered off section which pulled on the bolt to retract it into the door. The part had broken and fallen down inside the mechanism in such a way that the only way to get it out was to turn it upside down. Easy to do with it removed from the door, but impossible while still installed.
We made an emergency run to Home Depot and got a replacement lock. Unfortunately, the new round deadbolt doesn't fit in the old rectangular hole. He can make the hole round, but we're thinking that maybe there is a model available that won't require alterations to the door to fit. So tomorrow we'll be on the hunt for a new lock.