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Door Knob Won’t Turn: How To Fix It

on June 9, 2016

Various reasons can make a door knob not to turn. One of the common reasons is when the latching mechanism becomes seized or when a component breaks. Most of the latching mechanisms today contain many plastic parts that can break easily. So, when you realize that your door knob won’t turn, you will need to diagnose the problem, and if you can’t fix it, then you will have to replace the entire system. To get started, you will need graphite, slotted screwdrivers/power drill and a replacement door knob.

Check Why The Door Knob Won’t Turn

The first step is to look out for obvious reasons why the door knob won’t turn. The regular wearing of knob components can lead to damages making it not to turn. In the case of bending, the knob causes the lock to bind. You can try to straighten the bend area with a screwdriver and test for proper functioning. If the knob is severely damaged, then you will have to replace it. Overtightened screws can also cause the knob not to turn. You, therefore, need to loosen the screws on either side of the base of the knob. Test it to see if it will turn when the screws are loose. If it functions, tighten the screws without overdoing it, test for proper functioning and make the necessary adjustments.

The other thing you could try is to lubricate the knob lock with graphite. Squirt some graphite into the seam surrounding the lock while wiggling the lock toggle to ensure that it gets into the mechanism. If it doesn’t work, then you have no other option rather than replacing it.

Remove The Old Door Knob That Won’t Turn

Start by removing the two screws that keep your door knob in place. Some door knobs will have screws on the cover plate, and you must remove them first to loosen the knob. The knob will come out in two pieces. Once it’s out, remove the underlying plate with the help of your screwdriver.

Remove Old Screws And Latch

After removing the plate, you will find the old screws which run through the door to hold the whole assembly together. You should remove these using your screwdriver or power drill. You will also have to get rid of the latch by removing the screws that hold it.

Replace The Damaged Knob

If the door knob won’t turn even after troubleshooting, replace it. Follow the same removal procedure when installing the new door knob. In most cases, your existing holes will match with those of the new knob. Be sure that you place the new striker in the correct direction so that the door will open and close properly, and use new screws to put the plate in place. Then, screw your new latch by first setting the screws with your hands and tightening them with your screw driver or power drill. Get the two pieces of the knob and set them in place by pushing them through the striker from either side and don’t over-tighten as this may lead to binding. You can then test your new door knob to ensure that it turns and locks properly and make any other necessary adjustments.


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