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Windows locked shut - who can fix?

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Windows locked shut - who can fix?

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 11:43 am

Hi,

So the unit I'm renting had what I assume are a standard type of HDB windows that open outward and close together in the middle. Only one of the windows has the rotating handle that locks them both shut. The other one (without the handle) has a small internal latch which you can close to prevent that second window from swinging outward.

We have one set of windows where somehow that latch was half opened/closed and now both windows are stuck to each other by that latch, preventing either from opening. The only intended way to access that latch is by opening the first window, but it is hold that window shut.

We can't be the first people with these windows to have this problem. Is there some kind of trick perhaps someone here knows on how to get them open? Or is it standard to a call either a locksmith or some type of Singapore window repair man?

A few photos to hopefully explain:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:54 pm

I have similar type and I'd say you have a real problem as the right window has an overlapping seal on the outside just like the left window has an overlapping plate on the inside thereby making access from either size virtually impossible without damaging the overlapping strip. I have my doubts re: locksmith so you would probably need to call a window installer as they will probably have to do some surgery. How long has it been like that? Was it like that when you moved in or did it happen subsequently?

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Re: Windows locked shut - who can fix?

Postby ecureilx » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:59 pm

zzm9980 wrote:...


you didn't try a bit of brute force ?? LOl

well, the types of windows you shown tend to get stuck, as the lock gets a bit worn out.

A lock smith ? My 2 cents - no, it is more like hard labour to release it..

Now do see if there is a key somewhere, and if so, check it is unlocked - a few landlords tend to close the window and throw away the key, lest the tenant breaks it ..

My guess is the thing is simply locked. Then a locksmith can get it undone in like 2 minutes

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 1:13 pm

Curious, as those bolts are normally quite stiff to open and close IME.

What is the ‘excess’ on a repair, stated within your lease? This sort of matter falls under that domain, but I can see that you’d want to avoid even the excess if possible.

Most tenants (IME) would put a shoulder to the window and simply force it, and then claim they didn’t do it. But!

Might you be able to do the equivalent of ‘carding’ a rim-lock?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rsF2Hneiwc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h62f84fL3s
i.e. insert flexible card, and slide up/down-wards so as to relieve the obstruction?

I had to do this once and it was bogglingly simple to do. I’ve also seen similar done with the woven plasticised tape you find on packing cartons. Get a 12”

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 1:30 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I have similar type and I'd say you have a real problem as the right window has an overlapping seal on the outside just like the left window has an overlapping plate on the inside thereby making access from either size virtually impossible without damaging the overlapping strip. I have my doubts re: locksmith so you would probably need to call a window installer as they will probably have to do some surgery. How long has it been like that? Was it like that when you moved in or did it happen subsequently?


This was my conclusion as well; royally f-cked. I know the seams are both overlapping. I've thoroughly inspected all around and there is no other way to access that latch. It is only supposed to be accessible when the right window is open. No clue how it locked.

This happened recently, maybe in the last few months.

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Re: Windows locked shut - who can fix?

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 1:31 pm

ecureilx wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:...


you didn't try a bit of brute force ?? LOl

well, the types of windows you shown tend to get stuck, as the lock gets a bit worn out.

A lock smith ? My 2 cents - no, it is more like hard labour to release it..

Now do see if there is a key somewhere, and if so, check it is unlocked - a few landlords tend to close the window and throw away the key, lest the tenant breaks it ..

My guess is the thing is simply locked. Then a locksmith can get it undone in like 2 minutes


No keys, no keyholes. It's been like this only for a few months, they definitely opened the first few months we lived here. As this is where the "improved" laundry poles are, it will be obvious quite quickly to anyone that there is a problem.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 1:33 pm

[quote="JR8"]Curious, as those bolts are normally quite stiff to open and close IME.

What is the ‘excess’ on a repair, stated within your lease? This sort of matter falls under that domain, but I can see that you’d want to avoid even the excess if possible.

Most tenants (IME) would put a shoulder to the window and simply force it, and then claim they didn’t do it. But!

Might you be able to do the equivalent of ‘carding’ a rim-lock?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rsF2Hneiwc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h62f84fL3s
i.e. insert flexible card, and slide up/down-wards so as to relieve the obstruction?

I had to do this once and it was bogglingly simple to do. I’ve also seen similar done with the woven plasticised tape you find on packing cartons. Get a 12”

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 2:07 pm

Could try one of those laminated ID-type card holders, the clear plastic ones, either adhesive or heat-bonded. The latter are quite strong and flexible.

Alt.
You have a child right? Does it have a laminated poster on the wall 'Easy 1, 2, 3', or 'Farm-yard animals in pictures' etc. Right well that lamination is heavier gauge, and is both strong and flexible.

I can't imagine a 'butter knife' would be at all flexible enough. Absolutely ideally, you'd want something like a credit card, half as thick, bendable and also 'springy'. it needs to be able to get teased around a near right-angle whilst maintaining rigidity.

--- Yes my first experience of this entire concept happened when I one night locked myself out of my flat. Cost to call out a locksmith to 'pop the lock' c£100+ or something? What did he do? Turn up, whack in a credit card, job done in 2 minutes .... ...

--- --- it was around then I started taking an interest in how to DIY this kind of thing :)


p.s. An excess at $150, sheesh! Does your inventory describe the precise condition of that window frame? Oh deary me, these SGn excesses are something of a double-edged sword...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 4:37 pm

This is an outside reach but thin feeler guage/shim material (metal) might work. Spark plug feeler guage is what I'm thinking?

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 4:53 pm

JR8, I know exactly what you're talking about. My highschool had old-school overhead projectors and we'd cover whatever we were projecting with a thicker clear plastic, but was also flexible enough to roll up into something about 3-4cm in diameter without permanently damaging it. I have no idea where I could get that here in SG :(

SMS, yeah, I cnan think of a few things which would work if I could find it in SG. A mini slim-jim for a car, that could bend.


Btw, the butter knife I used did bend, a lot. Just didn't work.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 6:15 pm

Ok, if the child's posters was step too far (:)), how about something like this? ...

http://www.officensupplies.com/shop/off ... ile%20(doz)

http://www.officensupplies.com/shop/off ... 20A4%203mm

Thin, tough, flexible.

You could even try it with a strip of plastic milk bottle or yoghurt carton.... plus you have the advantage that you have other windows where you can consider/test any tool you improvise against the lever you're trying to lift/move - on the exposed lock-side of the window frame.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 7:45 pm

The clear plastic used on blister packs for computer accessories and the like might serve the purpose as well. Lord know they are hard enough to cut with either a box cutter or scissors.

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Postby nakatago » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 7:59 pm

Old credit, bank or loyalty cards, top-up cards (e.g. Starhub's is made of plastic). I used to keep a stack of them just in case I need to unlock a bedroom door in case someone gets locked out.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 6:30 pm

nakatago wrote:Old credit, bank or loyalty cards, top-up cards (e.g. Starhub's is made of plastic). I used to keep a stack of them just in case I need to unlock a bedroom door in case someone gets locked out.


I just tried a stack of hotel point cards (so pointless to have even mail out when everyone has the iPhone or Android apps), and none worked. The gap is too tight, even when I push hard.

Someone suggested a shoulder into it; I'm afraid I'll bend the frame before this gives, or break the glass.

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Postby durain » Tue, 28 Jan 2014 12:01 am

how about your ez-link card :D

dont ask a locksmith, ask a maid instead. :D :D


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