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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 21294
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
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I have followed instructions exactly. The "open padlock"

Customer Question

I have followed instructions exactly. The "open padlock" symbol appears, open, and when I press the lever to open the safe it does not open.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Claudette and welcome.

What is the make (manufacturer) and model number of your safe?

Is your keypad rectangular or round?

Does it also require a key to open, in addition to the combination?

You said you are following printed instructions, so I assume you have your user's manual?

Thanks for all your additional information.

Warmest wishes,


Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Claudette.

I was hoping to get some additional information from you, but for now, I can advise you to change your batteries and see if this will enable you to open the safe. Since I don't know who the manufacturer is or the model number, I can't give you instructions on how to do this, but if you have your user's manual, the instructions should be in there. Even though your padlock icon is in the open position, your batteries may have enough power to light up your keypad, but not enough power to open your door. This is not uncommon and the 'low battery' light doesn't always come on when the batteries are running low.

Also, if your safe also comes with a key to open it, in addition to the combination, and the key is round and hollow, use that first, to open the lock and have the cylinder inside pop out, then REMOVE the key before entering your combination. Pull the handle down, but if it won't go down, try pulling it up.

If neither of these ideas work, take a rubber mallet or a hammer with a towel wrapped around the head, and hit the door on top of and below, the keypad. Also, hit the safe around all the edges of the door and the top and concentrate on the upper left side of the door. The rubber gasket in water/fire resistant safes tend to swell in heat and humidity.

It's also possible that something inside has fallen against the locking mechanism, so tilting the safe to the sides and back, might help dislodge anything that is pressing against the opening mechanism.

Make sure the handle is completely horizontal before beginning the opening process and don't leave more than 5 seconds in between number entries for the combo. Also, if you try various times in a row, the safe may have a built-in safe mechanism that locks you out for anywhere from 2-20 minutes.

I hope this helped.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Warmest wishes,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have tried your suggestions , but still have not been able to open the safe. We will keep trying over the weekend, and if still no success we will call. Thank you…. Claudette
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello again, Claudette and you're most welcome.

Thanks for your reply.

I'm sorry you still have not been able to open the safe. You never mentioned who the manufacturer was; is it Sentry? If so, what is the model? If you tried everything, you may have a defective opening mechanism or handle.

I hope you have replaced the batteries, too.

If you need to call after the weekend, please let me know what the company tells you. Thanks!

Warmest regards,



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is a Sentry Safe, model number DA3831. Yes, we have replaced the batteries. We will keep trying. Thanks for your continue help. Much appreciated. Claudette
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Claudette and you're so very welcome!

Thanks so much for that information.

When you replaced the batteries, did you use AA ALKALINE or lithium for electronics batteries (which last longer)? You cannot use rechargeable batteries.

You mentioned you were following instructions, so I assumed you meant you had the owner's manual and inside or on the outer covers, the combination is printed, so, there's no doubt about you having/knowing your original, factory-set combination, correct?

Just in case you were not referring to the owner's/user's manual, I'm including a downloadable copy that has all the information you need, except, of course, the combination.


If there is any doubt whatsoever about your combination, you can get that from Sentry by going to the webpage below and following all instructions:


Do you have a key and is it working? If you have a key, are you using it FIRST, to turn and pop out the cylinder, then REMOVE the key and enter your combination on the keypad. Make sure your handle is completely horizontal before you begin.

Let me know how it goes, if you keep trying. I know how frustrating this is. It may not be you at all. The safe may be defective and you might be able to get a replacement, free, even if it's still not under warranty!

Warmest wishes,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are still trying your suggestions, but to no avail. I don't feel I can rate you until we can open the safe and the problem has been resolved. Any more suggestions? Claudette
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Claudette and thanks for your reply.

Also, thanks so much for your patience; I was offline at an appointment, when you posted back and I have just returned.

Did you call Sentry to double check on your combination (if you have your manual which contains the combination) and/or ask them to help you troubleshoot, from your description of the situation?

As I mentioned, if you have a defective handle or opening mechanism, you can request the part be replaced, at their cost, or request a replacement safe at no cost to you.

I understand that you can't rate me until the problem has been resolved, so don't worry about that; just press the manufacturer to help you find the problem and resolve it.

Please keep me posted. Thanks!

Warmest wishes,


Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Claudette.

I don't know if you sent me another reply and it didn't come through, but the system is telling me it's my turn to reply, so I will just send this.

Warmest regards,


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