Emergency Locksmith in Newcastle Upon Tyne: Night Latch Problem

Anthony |5th June, 2024
Emergency locksmith assisting with lockout in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Recently, I helped a customer who was locked out of their home in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This case illustrates the challenges and solutions I provide at AD Locksmithing as a local locksmith, providing a range of locksmith services, anytime of the day or night.

In this scenario, I had to gain entry to a door with multiple door locks: a mortice lock, which was already unlocked, and a night latch, which required a lock replacement on this property.

It was an ordinary evening as a Newcastle locksmith.

Initial Door Locks Assessment

The door in question was a wooden door with a 3-lever mortice door lock at the bottom (ideally, a front door should have a 5-lever lock) and a rim cylinder at the top.

The Mortice lock

The mortice lock

Luckily for me, the mortice lock opened fine with the key. This was a good start, but it led me to tackle the night latch lock, and this is where the issue lay.

The Night Latch

The broken night latch rim cylinder

Although the homeowner had the key, the lock wouldn’t unlock, preventing entry and indicating a problem with the night latch lock. I have to gain access and repair or replace a new lock, as the night latch has a different locking mechanism from the first door lock.

Rim Locks and Mortice Locks

Rim locks and mortice locks differ mainly in their installation and design.

Rim Locks on Doors

Rim locks are mounted on the surface of a door and typically feature a latch mechanism, making them suitable for internal and external doors. They are typically easier to install than mortise locks.

Mortise Locks on Doors

On the other hand, Mortise locks are installed inside a door, requiring a pocket cut into the door itself. They are more secure and durable, which is ideal for external doors, such as a wooden door, for higher security. Mortise locks feature a more complex mechanism, including a curtain and anti drilling plate for 5 lever British standard mortices.

These both differ from a euro cylinder. These are locks you will find in any domestic and commercial locksmiths toolbelt.

The Problem Night Latch

Cameras view of the rim cylinder mechanism, looking at the snib.

Night latches, part of rim cylinder mechanisms, sometimes pose issues. The “snib,” a small pin that can prevent the latch from moving, might loosen with time, and eventually drop down when the door is slammed shut. This will render the key useless, making it impossible to unlock the door without intervention.

Letterbox access

The front door with the letter box access bar tool in place and door now open

In this scenario, the letterbox provided an entry point to the house lock, allowing non-destructive access. I manipulated the snib and unlocked the door using my letterbox tool with an attached camera.

I used my letterbox tool to push the night latch snib back to its original position, allowing the key to turn and the door to open.

Lock Replacement - Night Latch with House Keys

The broken night latch - broken snib

The old night latch had a loose snib, so I replaced it to prevent future lockout emergencies. After installing the new night latch, I gave the customer a one-year warranty.

All my rim cylinders come with spare keys to help prevent a lost keys scenario. This is also included with any locks changing services, whether a door lock on a uPVC door, mortice locks, garage door locks, window locks, or patio door locks.


A new night latch installed

While it’s best to avoid slamming doors, sometimes it’s unavoidable. If you notice any issues with your locks or night latches, such as loose parts or strange behaviour, contacting locksmiths in Newcastle is a good idea to prevent a lockout emergency.

My Locksmith Services

As AD Locksmithing, I am ready to help with any lock issues, day or night, in Newcastle Upon Tyne. If you need your locks changed, gaining entry on all types of doors, including wooden doors, composite doors and uPVC doors. These are all part of my locksmith services provided as a locksmith Newcastle.

 | Updated: 5th June, 2024

Locksmithing,Emergency Locksmith,Lock Replacement