Hi again, and thanks for your additional information.
Because your safe is an older one, you may be dialing the combination correctly, but if it is a fire resistant/water resistant safe, it contains a pressurized gasket inside the door, which can expand with heat, humidity and age. Before dialing your combination, make sure your handle is in the complete horizontal position; after dialing your combination, pull your handle down to open. If it does not open, try turning the handle up. If still no success, lean into the door on the upper left corner, as this might help release the gasket.
Another recommendation in cases like this, is to strike the safe in the middle of the door with a rubber mallet or a hammer with a towel wrapped around the head multiple times, to prevent damage to the safe. You can hit it above and below the dial and at the upper left corner and top of the safe.
The dial may be defective and in this case, you will need to contact Sentry to ask that the safe be replaced, at no cost to you, due to this defect. Sentry typically stands behind their products and even if it's out of the warranty period, they might replace the safe after having a certified Sentry technician look at it and deem the lock or opening mechanism defective This is a long shot because your safe is 20 years old, but it's worth a try.
You can contact Sentry with this information:
For your convenience, I've listed their Customer Service phone and fax numbers:
Customer Service: 1-800-828-1438 (hours are 8AM-6PM Monday through Friday, Eastern time, but are subject to change). Fax: 585-381-2940
If this is an emergency situation and you need your safe opened right away, your only other alternative is to call a certified locksmith/safe technician. After providing proof of safe ownership/identity, the technician should be able to get your combination on the spot, if you're not sure of it, after contacting Sentry. The technician might also be able to open your safe without damaging it. This would, of course, be a more costly way to proceed, but only if you need the safe opened immediately. You can try any certified local locksmith/safe technicians in your area or this company, below, which has offices nationwide; they may have a branch in your town:
If you're not sure that your combination is correct:Please keep in mind that safe combinations are never available on the internet, or your safe and it's contents would not be protected.
You can easily recover your original factory-set combination from Sentry, by filling out and submitting the forms below, according to directions:https://www.sentrysafe.com/customercare/lost_your_combinationhttp://www.sentrysafe.com/pdfs/NotaryForm.pdf
I wish you much good luck with your safe!
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