How to Fix a Stuck Old Doorknob

A sticky doorknob may not be the most important update to your home, but fixing it can improve your quality of life every day. As the equipment ages, the handles can become loose or other problems that prevent the latch from snapping or disengaging when you turn them. While the inner workings of a door latch may seem mysterious and enigmatic, it’s actually quite easy to fix.

When to start

The most useful tool when repairing and installing door handles is the flat-blade screwdriver. (You may need a Phillips head driver if your hardware is newer.) Depending on the type of problem, you can try a few different things, from tightening loose screws to replacing parts, but first you need to determine the source of your problem.

Inspect your equipment

Begin by inspecting the latch hardware. Locate the set screws at the base of the handle, near where it connects to the door. This is usually a relatively small flat head screw. Check if the set screw on both sides of the door is tight. If it loosens, try tightening it. Test your pen to make sure it works best. If so, then you have solved your problem. (Congratulations!) If not, loosen one of the set screws and the handle should slip off immediately. Once this is done, you can slide the handle and shaft out from the opposite side of the door.

Turn your spindle

Now that the handle is cleaned, take a look at the spindle or quad shaft that goes through the door when the handle is in place. If it shows signs of wear, you can rotate the knob to the other side of the shaft to lock the knob. If the spindle metal appears to be dented or pitted, you can try pushing the doorknob back into the door and simply tighten the set screw on the other side of the shaft. Did it work? If not, then a little more investigation should be done.

Replace set screws

It is possible that one (or both) set screws are worn to the point that they are not holding the handle securely to the shaft. They are fairly easy to replace. There are many suppliers on the Internet who sell replacement door handle set screws, also known as set screws. You can also find them at your local hardware store. If you think the set screws are the problem, replacing them should cost less than $ 5. If you are still having problems after this fix, there are a few more simple things you can try.

Replace your spindle

If your knob spindle is rounded due to wear over time, it won’t fit snugly into the square hole known as the hub and won’t be able to rotate the latch. If this is the part that is causing you problems, it is not difficult to replace it. You can also purchase them from almost any hardware store or online. You simply loosen both set screws, remove the handles, attach one handle, replace the spindle in the hub, and reattach the second handle. If this does turn your latch, you have repaired it.

Check your latch

If you’ve tried these tricks and still don’t get results, take a look at the latch plate on the door frame. If it loosens, try tightening it. You can also try closing the door to see if the latches are latching or the part of the latch that protrudes from the door aligns vertically with the latch plate. If it’s a little out of order, you can try unscrewing the latch plate and moving it up or down to align it before screwing it back in. Many latch plates leave little room for sliding. Once everything is lined up, it should snap into place without any problems. But if not …

Install a new doorknob

If none of these fixes worked, it might be time to buy a doorknob kit from a hardware store. Fortunately, the setup is pretty straightforward. Remove the handle as described earlier, and then unscrew and remove the plate that rests against the edge of the door. You will then be able to remove the old hardware and install the new one by changing the process in reverse. Check the labels on the new equipment to make sure it is the same type as the old one. If you are unsure, it is worth bringing old equipment to the store for comparison. And with that, you can finally close the door to another successful home renovation.


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