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How to Open Thermostat Lock Box Without Key? (6 Steps)

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open thermostat lock box without key

A lock box enclosing the thermostat sounds appealing if you want your temperature setting untouched. But it can be your worst enemy if you live in an apartment complex or when you’re in the “I lost the key to my lockbox” situation.

It will disturb your comfort as the temperature keeps going against your liking, yet you’re restricted from adjusting it.

Do you want to know what to do? Read through this guide to learn how to open thermostat lock box without key.

How Do I Open the Thermostat Lock Box Without Key?


The idea of breaking into your ac thermostat lock box seems overwhelming. But there is always a way— and one of those is picking the lock until it opens.

Knowing the primary lock mechanism and having the right tools will help you in this journey. So, here are the things you need to prepare and the steps you need to follow to open a strong box without key.

What to prepare

#1. Study the Basic Mechanics of the Lock.

Some may ask, “Are thermostat lock box keys universal?”

Well, the answer is no. But fortunately, the majority of the lock has the basic pin tumbler structure— whether a padlock, door knob, deadbolt, or any keyed lock used in locking a thermostat box.

So, the picking tricks that the locksmiths often use for doors can also aid your situation.

In lock picking, you must know the basic mechanics of a lock and how the key operates for you to mimic the key and manipulate the pins inside.

#2. Get your Pick Tool Set or Improvise Using Bobby Pins.

Having the tools that suit your skills will do you a favor. You can use either a rake or a hook tool and a tension lever to open a thermostat lock.

If you don’t have those tools, you can still break open lock box by making your own set of picking tools by doing these steps.

  • Get a bobby pin and make it thinner by removing the round tip of the straight end using any cutting tool.
  • Pull apart both sides of the bobby pin to a 160-degree angle using your hand. Ensure the wavy end is slanted while the straight end is flat.
  • Alter the tip of the straight end into a hook-looking pin by bending about 1 centimeter of the tip using the plier—this will act as the picking tool.
  • For the tension lever, get another bobby pin and angle an inch of the closed end to a 90-degree angle.

If you don’t have a plier, you can alter the sides of the hairpin by inserting and bending it into the keyhole while keeping in mind the given measurement instructions.

Read more: Pick a lock in a minute with a bobby pin

#3. Use your Tension Lever like a Key.

Your lever will act as the key, exerting the rotational force to move the plug. To do this, install the lever as deep as it can go and turn it where you usually rotate the key.

You can try turning the level on both sides to ensure that you are putting the tension in the right direction. If it clicks, you’re pushing it in the wrong direction.

Hold the lever in this position for the whole process while ensuring that the tension in your lever is consistent.

Knowing how to use your tension lever will play a vital role in your lock-picking task. Too much or little-to-no tension will hinder you from pushing the pins upward.

#4. Feel the Feedback of the Pins.

Connecting with the pins—as they say, is also an essential step to break into a lock box without breaking it.

Failing to feel the resistance and springiness of the pins might result in a faulty picking job or worse, breaking the lock. With this, communicate with the lock by interpreting the feedback it gives to figure out the binding (or picking) order.

If a pin stack is resisting your picking, you should focus on it and ignore the springy ones.

#5. Push the Resisting Pin Upward.

Since you can already react to the feedback of the lock, you must start pushing the resisting key pins upward. Lighten the tension in your lever to do it smoothly.

And before you let go of the pin, you need to tighten the pressure of your lever again. This way, the tension will bind the pin with the shear line, which is the crucial stage to break into a lock box.

However, if you are using a rake picking tool, you should insert the tool in the keyhole, move it in and out, and up and down for 3-4 minutes while keeping the tension in your lever.

Always use both of your hands harmoniously for a high success chance.

#6. Repeat Steps #4 and #5 until the Lock Opens.

Repeat the process for all the remaining pins: feel the feedback to know the next pin to pick, push it up, and coordinate with the tension lever.

Remember that when you push a resisting pin upward, the ignored stringy pins will give resistance; hence you can start working on them.

Once you have kept all the pins above the plug, turn the tension lever in a key-like motion to unlock it. If the lock reacts, you successfully open your lock box without breaking it.

But if it doesn’t open, adjust the tension in your lever and start again.

Additional Tips


If you’re concerned about the materials’ availability, picking a lock is still possible without a bobby pin or any picking tool. You can use a longer and thinner tool to bypass the lock box for thermostat.

In this method, your cable will act as your key. Insert it to the keyway, reach the back, and manipulate the lock’s actuator. The tool must interact with the mechanism to stimulate the lock’s cam, which will open your thermostat cover box.


Following the steps on how to open thermostat lock box without key will not just save you from the hassle and money for the locksmith, it will also give you the pleasant temperature you’re comfortable with.

Although some say picking a lock sounds evil, it is undeniably an excellent measure to solve some of your locked-out problems. So it is better to practice.

Just remember to always use this for a good reason!

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