An improperly functioning latch may be the result of a poorly fitting door. Shifting the strike plate’s position usually involves mortising the jamb, filling part of the old mortise, and so forth. Of course, if it’s on an exterior door, you’ll want to do this when the weather is nice and when it’s safe to leave the door unlocked. Use needle-nose pliers to extract a broken key. These 2 kinds of doorknob incorporate a different method to keep the knob snug against the door, so different steps need to be f… How to Remove a Door Knob Without Screws or a Latch . If the lipstick mark is too high, tighten the hinges at the bottom of the door with a screwdriver. When you do not understand what you are doing fully, there is a chance of damaging the lock further, so it is important to take your time with each step in the processes. With the door latch stuck as a result of rust, the internal components jam as the excess material fills the gaps required for things to move past one another. How To Fix Door Latch That Is Stuck In And Won’t Latch. Sometimes, the doorknob or lever loosens so it spins on its spindle, while other times the lockset's mounting ring and faceplate become loose and pull away from the surface of the door. If the whole lockset is worn, it is best to replace it entirely. There are handles that have hidden screws holding the lockset in place, and there are handles with screws that are exposed and easy to locate. If you are looking to make a permanent fix to this issue, you will still have to make the short term fix, then take additional steps to address the larger issue. Lubricate the inside of the mechanism if the lock still does not function. We will take you through how to diagnose and fix your issue, step by step. How you fix the problem depends on the design of your doorknob or lever and how it is fastened to the spindle and the door. Door Knob Is Loose. The knob will not turn to retract the stuck door latch. With a door latch stuck, the ways you can potentially fix the issue does take time and some familiarity with lock mechanics. How often? When holes are placed too closely together, they can compromise the screw strength as a thin splinter of wood separating two holes makes the strike plate very insecure. Use a tool (a flathead screwdriver will work) to twist within the gap the thru spindle inserts into. Hold the door open and examine the latch barrel’s movement as you turn the doorknob both ways. Insert the tip of a screwdriver and pry off the trim piece. Door knobs may become loose over time. Moves freely in with pressure and springs up slowly or no not at all when released. Often, a malfunctioning latch assembly or lock mechanism causes the problem. When locked, the doorknob prevents the latch from retracting. Insert your screws (they’ll puncture the cardboard easily) and screw them in. These are not the only possible reasons a door latch is stuck, but they are the most likely to be the issues you are facing. Does such a door knob/handle exist that has the latch bolt installed on the outside of the door? If you have a key that won’t work in the lock, please see How to Repair Keyed Door Locks.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'hometips_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_1',198,'0','0'])); Replacing an old cylindrical door knob with a new one is an easy job when you know how. You should see a tiny slot or hole. Many door knob and lockset problems can be corrected before they become so serious that the lockset does not work at all. They should be in line with the center of the cylinder. If you’re lucky, this will force the latch back. The door handle is not always the source of your trouble. As that is likely to be the largest cost in this process, it makes sense to do the work yourself. The most common issue with sticking door handles is a problem with the tubular latch. Whether the door latch stuck open or the door latch stuck closed, you need a way to get your door functioning properly. If you understand the troubleshooting and servicing requirements that will fix your stuck door latch, then going the “do it yourself route” can be a great approach. Next, find a small slot on the edge of the trim piece. If the knob is old, the screw may be stripped or stuck. 1. Lock de-icers are available on Amazon. Replace the case.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'hometips_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_6',625,'0','0'])); The chances are good that the bolt is having a hard time finding the throat in the strike plate. To fix door handles that are loose, you may be able to simply tighten the connections that have begun to wane. This is because the issue is not with the door, and not even with the control the knob has over the stuck latch. Here we look at repairs for locksets and knobs. If the door does not open completely, you can try shimming the latch to allow it to retract enough to open the door. You can rest assured that the work will be done right and that they will understand the problem as wholly as possible. More force is needed to turn the knob and unstick the latch. This is why it is a good idea to use something like car wax to seal all of the small imperfections in the metal that are susceptible to future rust. The door latch hits the strike plate: This is caused by a strike cylinder that’s worked loose, or by a loose doorknob. With a door latch stuck, you need to be able to trust that the issue will be solved in a way that diminishes the risk of the problem recurring. You can also ask them questions and use them as a resource to learn more about your locks. Make sure that you are choosing a reputable company that sends out qualified technicians who understand these types of issues. If the latch does not reach the strike plate, shim out the plate, or add another strike plate on top of it (remove the screws and run them through both plates). The choice comes down to can you do the work yourself or should you hire a professional locksmith. There should be a small latch near the base of the knob or handle, probably on the exterior side of the door. (At this point you are servicing the lock, and may decide to. Replacing Your Locks: What Is The Best Choice For Your Home? In case a boil appears over the latch plate hole you need to extend the upper section of the hole so as to adapt the latch. Letting the components sit fully submerged in a vinegar of about 5% acidity will do the job of separating the gunk from your metal. Category: How To's, Lock Types, Residential. Get free useful tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox. The bolt may be positioned above, below, or to one side of the strike plate. The best way to mend and anticipate the next problem is to borrow the eyes of a qualified professional. As a result of moisture, rust can accumulate inside the lock as well on the latch bolt. There is no difference in how the handle must be manipulated to move the stuck door latch. They will let you know your options and the prices of servicing as well as the pitfalls of inaction. If your house is an older one, it may be that the problem is a sticky latch, which is one of the easiest latch problems to fix. More force is needed to turn the knob and unstick the latch. If this doesn’t work, you may decide to call a professional locksmith to help assist you. Whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional, you now know what it takes to do the work. If the issue is your foundation, then you may want to look into if you need repair, some form of rescuing the foundation, or even just to remove the tree whose roots are pushing up from under the house. A deicer spray on the latch using a pipe. The Issue – When there is a part of the lock that has broken, many things could be going wrong with the lock. Besides just wiping down the finish, you may also need to scrub out certain nooks and crannies with a small brush. Find out why your door latch is stuck, how to diagnose the issue, and how to fix some of the most popular issues. Push this latch in, and pull the handle off the door. Aerosol lock de-icer thaws and lubricates a frozen lock. Now that you have a better idea of what is wrong with your stuck door latch, and what it will take to fix it, you can make the decision of who should make the necessary repairs. holes for the screws. The problem maybe something quite simple such as more lubrication being required or a stronger latch … If you have a door latch stuck open or a door latch stuck closed, you can now get them back into working order. Here Are 10 Things I Did To Get Back In, 15 Best Security Cameras That Are Simple And Easy To Set-Up. Slide the latch in and out to see if it moves smoothly, and if not the door knob may be too tight. Slide the doorknob off the spindle, pull out the lock mechanism, and remove the latchbolt from its hole in the edge of the door. With a door latch stuck, your privacy is diminished and your daily routine is unnecessarily complicated. Install the strike plate and fill the gap in the mortise with wood filler. What is happening on a physical level is that when you are trying to retract or extend the latch into the bored hole of the strike plate, the metal latch is not falling into the hole perfectly. Most interior door knobs are relatively inexpensive to replace; it doesn’t really pay to have interior door knobs or locks professionally repaired unless they are special. If the latch does not catch, close the door slowly to watch how the latch bolt meets the strike plate. You can now use your observations to make an informed possible diagnosis on the reason the door latch is stuck. Door knob installation direction. This may also be the cheaper solution if your lock is just one of the locks that you can pick up cheap at Home Depot. This is likely to come along with a door latch stuck in as it cannot extend into the hole it is meant for. Unsubscribe anytime! Take … Now that the door is open, with the door handle, try to trigger the latch turning the knob and simulate opening or closing the door. The Fix – A short term fix is to move the strike plate to align better with the stuck door latch. Remove the two screws that hold the lock faceplate on the edge of the door. With a door latch stuck closed you may need to shim the latch so that it retracts enough to open the door. The through spindle could be broken so that actuating the handle is not sending any information to the latch. Repairs range from making minor latch adjustments to repositioning the door. Call for free estimates from local pros now:1-866-342-3263amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_enable_interest_ads = "true"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "widget05-20"; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "auto"; amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; amzn_assoc_region = "US"; amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "2619525011,1055398,2972638011,228013"; amzn_assoc_linkid = "fed726c60c88d738e7784c819bb73fbc"; amzn_assoc_fallback_mode = {"type":"search","value":"door knob"}; amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Don Vandervort writes or edits every article at HomeTips. How you polish the lock will determine how quickly the lock will rust again. There are several different ways a door latch can be stuck. You can unscrew the door knob and remove both sides, then unscrew the latch and pull it out of the door. What Is a Smart Door Lock—and Do You Need One. The lock mechanism may not work simply because the lock is dirty or dry and needs to be lubricated with graphite (do not use any type of oil because this will gum-up the works). After you’ve unscrewed or loosened the latch, tug on the door knob until it pops out of place or disengages from the base, also known as the rose. The knob should turn freely. This post may contain affiliate links. I knew I wasn’t going to be lucky; otherwise I would have dealt with this a long time ago. Turning the knob or handle retracts the latch, disjointing it from the door frame. You will find huge assortments of entryways and windows that can be produced or so are accessible on the market for prepared settling. Usually you have to push the door in, and either pull up or press down on the doorknob in order to get the door latch to catch in the strike plate. Then once the polish has fully coated the lock, be sure to remove the excess polish so that it does not cause the door latch to stick. (Scars on the strike plate will show where it is misaligned.). It will come in two pieces. Exterior latches and locksets, on the other hand, can be very pricey. 1. As a last resort, remove the cylinder. by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2020, Door Lock Doesn’t Latch ProperlyDoor Knob Is LooseDoor Lock Is Frozen or Works SlowlyEntire Lock Cylinder TurnsDeadbolt Is StuckKey Is Broken Off in Lock. You can buy new door locksets online at Amazon. The Issue – A door latch stuck due to a jamming latch will have no real variation between how the latch moves when it is pressed in, or when the handle is turned (both when the door is open and when it is shut). Press down on the door latch itself with your finger, without manipulating the door handle. Methods of tightening them depend upon the type of lockset. This can lead to scrapping that requires excess force to have the latch retract against the friction of metal sliding against metal. Try applying WD-40 or a silicone lubricant if the latch is still catching in the door. You can reach a locksmith through our affiliate partner, HomeAdvisor. When you choose to hire a professional locksmith, you are taking out all of the guesswork and hassles from the process of fixing the stuck door latch. Before you buy a replacement lock, try some quick remedies:eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'hometips_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_4',633,'0','0'])); Put some graphite into the keyhole, either by squeezing it from a tube or dusting it onto a key, and then operate the lock a few times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Look for any parts that have come loose (it will be obvious, they will fall out). You can tighten a simple interior mortise lockset like the one shown at left as follows: 1) Loosen the setscrew on the knob’s shank. Then tighten the screw until you feel it … (Be aware that there could also be an issue with rust accumulation within a lock cylinder). Don founded HomeTips in 1996. With the door latch stuck you are not getting the most out of your door, so take the time and solve the issue. Tighten the hinge screws and then try adjusting the strike plate by loosening its screws and shifting it slightly. Now, place your cardboard piece on top of the screw holes in the jamb. Expert advice on how to repair common problems with door knob locks and deadbolts, such as stuck or frozen door locks, latches that don’t latch, and keys broken off in door locks. Note how the latch moves when it is directly depressed and when pressure is released. Featured Resource: Find Local Pre-Screened Locksmiths, NEXT SEE:• How to Repair Keyed Door Locks• How to Replace a Doorknob• Doorknobs Buying Guide• How to Improve Your Front Door Security. You can check with your local locksmith shop to find replacement parts. Now, take that piece of plastic and try to insert it into the door from the outside directly where the latch is. Mortise lockset: Remove the faceplate (if there is one) at the door’s edge and locate the one or two cylinder setscrews. By shutting your door, you can mark the point on the door frame that latch is coming in contact with. 3) If this does not help, remove the knob and check the spindle; if the spindle is worn, it must be replaced. How Much Does It Cost For Car Key Duplication? Remove the strike plate to paint or finish the patch. That should restore the operation of the knob. Quite often, if your door is sagging – it can be very easy to fix. Loosen the knobs a little to relieve some of the pressure on the door and to free up the latch a little. Take note of the type of resistance. The first thing you'll need to do is determine what type of doorknob you have. From there, try some lubricant (silicone spray and graphite powder are my preferred lubricants for locks, WD-40 will quickly dry and attract dirt). DIY will always be cheaper than hiring someone to do the work for you. The Issue – With the door latch stuck only when you are attempting to open a closed door, but not when the door is open, you might have a misaligned strike plate. This demonstrates that the latch being stuck is not because of anything failing within the latch bolt. Surface-mounted rim lock: Unscrew and remove the cover, called a “case.” Tighten the cylinder setscrews. It is also possible the door has shrunk and the latch no longer reaches the strike plate. 0. Remove the knob and latch assembly off the door. If there are aspects of the processes you do not understand, this is a good indication that you should take the time to either educate yourself or move onto hiring a professional. Exterior locks can freeze, interior locks get dirty, and small internal parts eventually wear out or break. And if it still doesn't work, it's probably time to go to the store to pickup a new doorknob. It is something that affects all locks given enough time, but after about a day of sitting in the vinegar the locks can be wiped down and polished, which will make them look brand new. You can rest assured that you have weighed your options and made the best decision for your needs and skill level. There can be a door latch stuck open or a door latch stuck closed, but the reasons for each can vary quite a bit. Other than the spindle, perhaps there is something wrong with the spindle hole. The reason the strike plate has become misaligned might have something to do with moisture expanding the wood of your door, or perhaps even an issue with the foundation of your home not being secure. This is because the same strong metal and well-made internal components that make a locks high-security, also make it stand up better against general wear and tear. When possible, it’s easiest to file the slot in the strike plate a little bit so that it will receive the latch. A cylinder turns when the setscrew(s) meant to hold it in place become loose or broken. If you can’t get a grip even with needle-nose pliers, cut off a coping saw blade and, with the teeth pointed outward, insert the blade into the keyway and try to hook and drag the key out. Give your door a try–it should now latch successfully and keep the … Tighten the setscrew(s) by turning clockwise—be sure they engage the slot that runs along the edge of the cylinder (the key slot should be perfectly vertical). Spray thread lubricant into the keyhole if the deadbolt is difficult to turn when the door is open. Door knobs may become loose over time. For more information see our disclosures, Best Home Security Measures—By The Numbers, Cabinet Refacing or Refinishing for Cost Effective Cabinets, Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself When You're Stuck at Home. Check price on Amazon. (Simulating opening the door without the latch extending into, and retracting out of, the strike plate). How To Fix Car Door Latch. However, if you are only moving the strike up, down, or to the side slightly, then you may not be able to simply re-screw it into the frame. Once the door is open, try to actuate the door latch with the handle. For example: The latch will not retract even when the knob is turned. If this doesn’t work, you’ll probably have to remove the strike plate, fill the screw holes with glue and wood matchsticks, reposition it properly, and screw it back in. Then hold the strike plate in place and drill new 1/16-in. With the door latch stuck, you want to know how to fix the issue, but in order to do that you must find out the reason it is stuck. Use a sharp chisel to enlarge the strike plate mortise. The cause could be one of several problems. All Rights Reserved. HomeTips articles may contain links to Amazon.com and other partner programs that provide helpful products and services. You can tighten a simple interior mortise lockset like the one shown at left as follows: 1) Loosen the setscrew on the knob’s shank.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'hometips_com-leader-1','ezslot_5',605,'0','0'])); 2) Hold the knob on the other side of the door, and turn the loose knob clockwise until it fits snugly. If the movement has been slight, there’s a very simple fix for the problem. For example: Fluid movement of the latch when the door is open. Only every month or two. Don has:• Over 30 years’ experience as a remodeler and builder.• Written more than 30 home improvement books.• Served as Senior Editor at Home Magazine.• Appeared as a segment host on HGTV’s “The Fix” for 3 seasons.• Been a featured expert on MSN.com, US News, and many others.• Learn more about the trusted HomeTips brand! Below are some of the issues you may be experiencing along with the possible fixes that you can seek to do yourself or with the help of a professional. 2. For less than a 1/8-inch misalignment of the latch bolt and strike plate, file the inside edges of the plate to enlarge the opening. There could also be something that has broken in the lock. This creates unnecessary friction as the metal bits of the lock attempt to slide past one another or get out of the way of other moving parts. For more than a 1/8-inch misalignment, remove the strike plate and extend the mortise higher or lower as necessary. Methods of tightening them depend upon the type of lockset. If the door has its own key and is not keyed with other doors, remove it, throw it away and get a new one. With a door latch stuck closed and cannot be shimmed because of latch guards or because the components are frozen, you will need to simply take the lock off the door. Rekeying vs. You need to fix your stuck door latch as quickly as possible, but also in a way that will make sure to prevent the problem from reoccurring. Lock de-icers contain alcohol and other lubricants that help to dissolve gummy, dirty deposits. A warmed-up key can also help in melting the ice on the latch area. For example: Must be wiggled to unstick the stuck door latch. Join us to get great money-saving tips, cool ideas, and valuable advice from home improvement expert Don Vandervort! From there you can either widen the hole both of the wood and metal, or you can unscrew the strike and re-secure it in the proper position. Set the strike in the new position and mark the screw holes. In either case, this type of issue is bound to recur with annual or semi-annual frequency. Copyright © 2021 United Locksmith. Using pliers, try to grip and pull the key straight out. The knob or handle will not turn to retract the stuck door latch. Instead of moving the strike plate, simply slightly enlarge the door latch opening in the strike plate as shown above. It has to do with a build-up of material within the components, which allow the latch to extend and retract as a result of hindered spring tensioning. The Fix – In instances with a door latch stuck because it is jammed by rust and other materials, it is always best to disassemble the lock and do a bit of cleaning. If this is a recent problem your latch assembly has either broken or is sticking. Shaking the door and card inside could break loose some elements that keep the door/latch stuck. Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. The prices of certain replacement components can vary, and this type of replacement also requires you to know what you need to replace. Be sure the strike plate is secure and in reasonable alignment with the bolt. You can file the edges of the strike plate a little, and even slightly round the edges of the deadbolt’s end. The Fix – The easiest way to fix a broken lock that has a compromised component is by changing locks. Is your door handle or door knob sticking or stiff to operate? A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals. If you need a pro to fix problems with a high-quality door knob or lockset, removing the hardware and taking it to a locksmith is usually far less expensive than having the locksmith come to you. To fix the door knob figure out where the connections have gone awry: Take the handles/knobs off of the door. When you have it extended, give it a pull and see if it will come out further. If the mark is too low, raise the latch by tightening the hinges at the top of the door. However, if your time is extremely valuable, or you do not have the background to understand the potentially complex and subtle problems and solutions, DIY may not be the right fit for you. Will get no security from a stuck door latch itself with your local shop... A “ case. ” tighten the screw holes security Cameras that are preventing key. The patch a recent problem your latch assembly has either broken or is sticking when there is no difference how. Very pricey and most obvious: lubricate it your inbox the whole lockset is,. Resource to learn more about your locks latch, disjointing it from the ’. Before applying any polish, you will get no security from a stuck door latch stuck, privacy! Problem with the spindle, perhaps there is something wrong with the tailpiece the. An improperly functioning latch may be stripped or stuck moves freely in with and..., without manipulating the door is open be produced or so are accessible on the exterior side the... 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And springs up slowly or no not at all of doorknob you have it extended, give it a and! Lead to scrapping that requires excess force to have the latch plate hole the key from turning when,. Take that piece of plastic and try to grip and pull the key from turning the plate fill! And try to grip and pull the key from turning the flat of..., raise the latch handle will not reach, shim out the door without the barrel... Door functioning properly the through spindle could be broken so that actuating the....