Your interior door handles are essential to your home's design and functionality. However, they can pose a security risk and other such problems when they break.
The failure of the internal components within a door knob will make it challenging to get the door to open and access that particular room in your house. A jammed door knob could cause many problems, from getting stuck in a room to getting stuck out of it.
Door knobs can stick for several reasons. Factors such as temperature, humidity, wear and tear, a broken door lock or latch can cause a door knob to jam or break. However, temperature-related issues will fix themselves once conditions change.
Nevertheless, you will need to replace the door knob in certain circumstances.
To find out if your door knob needs replacing before calling a locksmith, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Give it a jiggle.
Sometimes, giving the doorknob a simple jiggling can loosen the stuck area, mainly if it is a simple problem with a small component. However, be careful not to use too much force or move the handle vigorously, as this may break the doorknob more.
Whilst a quick fix, this may not be a long-term option if the problem lies with the latch failing to retract or extend into the door frame.
Step 2: Try using lubricant.
Spray lubricant, such as WD-40 or a similar dry lubricant, over the top of the mechanism. Turn the handle to work it into the components.
You will want to have a good look on both sides of the mechanism for any signs of rust as this is where the problem could be.
If there are signs of rust, use a wire brush to remove it and then spray with lubricant to aid proper function.
If the problem still persists, any other small component on the inside of the doorknob could be the source of the problem.
Step 3: Check the latch.
If the above steps do not work for you, you will need to check the tubular latch as it may need repair.
A tubular latch will be installed with interior door handles on any doors that do not need to be locked. The room will still be secure as the latch bolts will hold the door in place, but the door will not be locked.
Turning the handle retracts the latch into the door by rotating the thru spindle. When the handle retracts the latch into the rear of the latch body and the doorknob will not turn, there is a chance that the latch is caught on something.
A sticking door latch may benefit from some lubrication, or it might be jamming against the strike plate that sits on the door jamb.
Before you start fixing the issue, test the door latch first to determine whether the latch is sticking inside the door or not fitting correctly with the strike plate. To test your latch, follow these steps:
- Turn the doorknob to push open the door
- Release the knob slowly
- Let go of the knob and hold the latch bolt tongue with your fingers
- Pull the latch bolt tongue gently
- If the latch bolt does not move when fully extended, your issue lies with the strike plate
- If the latch bolt moves, the latch is stuck within the door
To try and fix a door latch stuck within a door, use a flathead screwdriver or a Philips head screwdriver to free the latch.
Open the door and hold it in an open position with a door wedge.
Next, place the screwdriver at the top of the latch and use a hammer to tap the latch and remove any obstructions gently. Repeat this process on the underside of the latch.
At this point, you may want to check whether the strike plate, located on the door frame, is misaligned, as this may prevent your door from properly closing.
Test your tubular latch and twist the doorknob to start retracting the latch. Once you twist the doorknob the latch will slide into the interior of the door.
Shop our range of tubular latches today.
Step 4: Check the door lock (optional).
Not every door will need a door lock, and most of your internal door handles will have a latch instead of a lock. However, should you have a door lock fitted with your doorknob for doors you want to keep locked.
If you have followed the steps above and still have not found a solution, your door lock may be the problem. When you turn a door handle, the door handle retracts the lock bolts into the door, allowing you to unlock the door.
A door lock mechanism is complex, fiddly, and vulnerable to jamming. In wintry weather, locks can become stiff and difficult to operate, whilst moisture can create rust and cause the lock to stick and prevent your door from locking.
Like a door latch, jammed and stuck locks can be a straightforward problem to solve once you have identified the problem.
Check your key
If you have a stuck lock, you should first check the keys to your door.
Look for any breaks or burrs as a sign of a broken key. You should also inspect inside the keyhole to check whether any broken pieces are stuck in the lock if you have a broken key.
If this is the case, you can remove any broken pieces with a key extractor. A key extractor will pick out the broken parts of the key from the lock.
Try a lubricant
If you have a stuck door lock, spray lubricant into the lock's keyhole. Doing so will loosen any debris or deposits sitting inside your stuck lock and prevent your key from turning.
Insert the key and rotate it a few times to work in the lubricant, releasing the stuck part.
Check the alignment
If your jammed door lock components are misaligned, the lock mechanism will not operate correctly.
Take a look at the alignment of the lock against the strike plate on the door jamb. If the two components are misaligned, you may have to prop the door in an open position, remove the strike plate and reposition it.
Replace the lock
Do not let jammed and stuck locks get in the way. If you find that your jammed door lock is beyond repair, you will need to get a replacement.
Shop our range of mortice locks today.
Step 5: Disassemble the doorknob.
If none of the above steps worked for you, you might need to disassemble your doorknob completely to find the problem.
- Remove the screws from the doorknob and set them aside.
- Remove the doorknob by pulling it off the spindle in a sliding motion and then take it apart.
- Make sure you keep any fixings, like screws and the spindle.
- Look at the doorknob. Anything unusual may be causing the failure, such as a break or obstruction.
- Use narrow pliers such as needle-nose pliers to take out any obstructions.
- If your doorknob has a sprung mechanism, check for any loose springs.
- If you are unsure if your doorknob is sprung or unsprung, check out our article "What Is The Difference Between Sprung And Unsprung Door Knobs?".
- Return the doorknob to the door and return any loose screws to their relevant hole.
- Tighten the screws.
- Then, try to operate it to check that it is working properly.
- If this does not work or you cannot repair your door knob, you will need to replace your handle.
Time for a new doorknob?
If all the steps above do not work for you or if you find a break in the doorknob assembly, it is time to replace it.
We have a vast collection of doorknobs for you to choose from here at Hiatt Hardware and can guarantee you'll find something that is just right. But do not hesitate. Broken door handles pose a security risk to your home.
To learn how to fit your new doorknobs, read our article "what is a mortice doorknob and how to fit one" for a detailed step-by-step guide.
If you need any assistance finding the right doorknob, or have any questions, do not worry, our teams are here to help. Feel free to get in touch.
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