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How to Fix Stiff Door Handles

  • 3 min read

Are you having a hard time operating stuck or stiff interior door handles? It is surely frustrating when trying to open a stiff door handle. The stickiness of the door handles can be caused by many reasons. We will take you through how to diagnose and fix your issue, step by step. Fortunately, if your internal door handles are stuck, there are some rather simple troubleshooting techniques that you can use. You will be able to solve the problem with items you already have lying around the house.


Step 01: Remove the door handle and latch from the door.


Using a screwdriver, take off the door handle and latch. Depending on the kind of door knobs you have, this should involve taking out a few screws or bolts. After that, you remove the door handles from the door.


Step 02: Check the rear of the plates for signs of malfunction.


Now that the door handles have been taken off, look at the back of the plates to see if there are any malfunctions or other clear signs that something is wrong. Check that the handles can be moved easily by using your hand. On the back cam of the door handles, there will likely be a spring. Check to see if this spring is broken or bent, and make sure the door handle spring goes back to a horizontal position. If the spring of your door handle is broken, you'll have to replace it.


Step 03: If the problem continues, check the tubular latch.


If the door handles themselves don't seem to be the issue, then it's probably the tubular latch. Now, take the door's latch off. To do this, you should only have to take out two screws through the latch faceplate on the door's leading edge. The tubular latch should then just slide right out of the door.


Step 04: Check the latch for wear or malfunction.


Look for worn or broken parts, such as bulging or loose springs, surrounding the latch body. Put your finger on the tongue of the latch bolt and see if it comes back. If it doesn't, the spring inside the latch has broken. Check to see if the latch bolt can be pushed all the way into the latch body housing while the tongue is being pushed in. If you can't push it all the way in and the latch bolt is still sticking out, a spring or another part inside the latch has broken. In both of these cases, you need a new latch.


Step 05: If the door handles and the latches are working fine, see if the lugs are blocked.


If the latch looks like it's working from the outside of the door, there's one more thing to check. The spindle is attached through the tubular latch, which has two revolving lugs on each side of the follower. These lugs make it possible for the follower to work. It's possible that dirt or other things got stuck in these lugs. It's also possible that the borehole for the latch in your door was made too small when the tubular latch was fitted, blocking access to these lugs. In this case, you'll have to make the hole in the door wider by boring it out. If either of these things happened, it could have caused the latch to get tangled up and break some parts inside the latch casing. This means you'll need a new tubular latch.




If you need assistance finding a new door handle that is a good fit for your existing door, please do not hesitate to contact the friendly and knowledgeable experts at Manovella Design. 

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