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How to Open a Schlage Lock with a Dead Battery (4 Solutions)

how to open a schlage lock with a dead battery
Last Updated on April 28, 2023
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Being locked out due to a dead battery in your Schlage lock can be quite inconvenient and nerve-wracking. You might have overlooked the warning signals or simply forgotten to replace the batteries. Fortunately, there are several methods to unlock your lock without the need for a functioning battery.

Here's a guide on how to open a Schlage lock with a dead battery:

  1. Utilize the Key
  2. Perform a Battery Jumpstart
  3. Find Access to The Inside Panel
  4. Contact a Professional Locksmith

While some of these solutions might appear straightforward or may not seem suitable for your situation, this article aims to present the most effective ways to unlock your lock.

How to Open a Schlage Lock With a Dead Battery

1. Use the Key

If your Schlage lock has a keyway, try using the physical key that came with the lock. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget that we have a physical key as a backup option. If you don't have the key handy, this may be a good reminder to put it on your keychain, just in case.

In the case that the lock does not belong to you, you should contact the owner to see if you can get access to the key, as it will be the best way to get it open.

2. Jumpstart the Lock

If your Schlage lock doesn't have a keyway or if the physical key doesn't work, then you could check if your model has the battery jump procedure. Some Schlage locks, like—the Touch—come with a battery backup feature that allows you to temporarily power up the lock with a 9-volt battery.

When your lock has this capability, there will be two obvious circular connector points at the bottom of the lock face. This is only available on a few models but can be a lifesaver in the event of a dead battery.

Battery Jump Procedure on a Schlage Touch Lock:

  1. Firmly press a new alkaline 9-volt battery to the contacts at the base of the lock.
  2. Wait for one red light and then three green lights with three beeps.
  3. Enter a valid user code.
  4. Rotate the bolt and turn counterclockwise to open the door.

If this works for your lock, you will want to immediately replace the battery and test that the lock is in working order.

3. Find Access to the Inside Panel

Before throwing in the towel on the operation and calling a Locksmith, rack your brain for any other options to access the inside panel of the door. There may be someone else that has access through a different entry, or a window that was left unlocked.

If there is simply no other way to access the inside to change the battery and you would rather not spend the money on a Locksmith, check out our ideas for unlocking a deadbolt without a key. If you have another less secure door with a standard deadbolt or a regular door knob lock, it may be a better option when trying to force entry.

4. Call a Locksmith

When the battery is dead on your Schlage lock, and there are no other options for getting it open, you will need to call a Locksmith to help you get in.

Here are a few tips to help make the process a bit smoother when you need to call a locksmith for assistance:

  • Research: Do some research to find a reputable locksmith in your area. One good tactic is to ask friends or family for recommendations.
  • Be prepared: Before calling a locksmith, find the model name and number. Let them know the exact problem you are facing.
  • Check for certification: Make sure the locksmith you choose is certified and licensed to operate in your area.
  • Get a quote: Before the locksmith does any work, ask for a quote for the specific service. Get an estimate that includes all fees and charges, so you know exactly what to expect.
  • Get a receipt: Once the work is done, ask for a detailed receipt that includes the services performed and the total cost.

If you are thinking about replacing the lock, or a Locksmith wants to charge more than the lock is worth, you may consider breaking into the lock yourself. That said, using a professional might be the faster and safer approach.

See how much a Locksmith costs for some more helpful insight that may help you make your decision.

How To Change The Batteries on a Schlage Keypad Lock

When you have access to the inside of the door, you will want to replace the dead battery. The process for replacing batteries on Schlage locks can vary depending on the specific model but we will cover some general steps to follow that will work for Schlage locks.

What Kind of Battery Does a Schlage Lock Take?

Most Schlage locks operate on either four AA or two AAA in a rectangular compartment or one exposed 9-volt battery, which will be in a clip cover either on the top or bottom.

Here's How to Change the Battery on Your Schlage Lock:

1. Access the battery compartment

taking off cover of schlage lock

Open up the inside panel by either pulling up on the top black plastic portion or using a screwdriver to loosen the screws that secure the cover in place.

2. Unclip the Battery:

disconnect schlage battery

Before taking out the battery, unclip it to avoid damaging the wires in the removal process. If your lock has a battery compartment with multiple AAs, be sure to unclip the wire before taking it out.

3. Swap the Battery and Reclip it

Replace the battery with a fresh alkaline one and then reclip it. When replacing AAs, be sure to double-check that they are installed in the correct direction.

4. Replace the Cover

Once the new batteries are in place, replace the battery cover by aligning it with the grooves on the lock housing and tightening the screws.

5. Test the Lock

Be sure the lock will both open and lock by entering the user code.

Here's a video to help in case you have a smart lock:

If you are having trouble with your lock after replacing the batteries, you can try resetting the lock to its default factory settings.

To reset your Schlage lock, remove the battery pack from the lock and press and hold the Schlage button while reinserting the battery pack. Continue holding the Schlage button until the lock beeps and the keypad flashes green. The lock should now be reset to its default settings, allowing you to enter the default access code and unlock the door.

See our Schlage Lock Resetting Guide for more help with this process, as not every model is reset the same way.

FAQ: How to Open a Schlage Lock with a Dead Battery

What Happens If Schlage Battery Lock Dies?

If a Schlage lock battery dies, it can only be locked or unlocked manually with a key or by jumpstarting it if it has that feature. The battery must be replaced before the keypad or touchscreen can be used to open it.

How Do You Know When a Schlage Battery is Low?

Most Schlage locks come equipped with a low battery warning system that provides ample notification when the battery is running low. A low battery signal includes a delay before unlocking or beeping sounds followed by a flashing red and green light. If you notice a quick red blinking light and haven't entered any codes, the battery is dead and requires immediate replacement.

How Long Do Batteries Last in a Schlage Lock?

The AA batteries in Schlage locks usually need to be changed once a year, while those that use 9-volt can last for two years. This depends on the frequency of use, and high-traffic locks may need to be changed more often.

Summing It Up

To help you avoid this situation again, here are some tips for avoiding a dead battery in your Schlage lock:

  • Use high-quality alkaline batteries that have a maximum battery life
  • Replace the batteries regularly or as soon as you see they are low
  • If you have a smart lock, use the app to check the battery level

If you can't open the lock because it has no power and you don't have access to the key, you will need to find another way to access the inside of the door so that you can unlock it and replace the battery. If there is no other way to get to the inside panel of the door, you may need to call a Locksmith.

In closing, a dead battery on your Schlage lock doesn't always have to leave you stranded outside your home. Whether you were able to gain quick access or had to call in professional reinforcements, I hope this helped you somewhere in the process.

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