A door handle that doesn’t latch can be a real pain. It’s also something that you’re going to have to deal with sooner or later – no matter how hard you try and evade it.
The good news is fixing a door handle is one of the easiest do-it-yourself repairs around. In this article, we’ll go through step by step on how to fix a door handle that won’t latch.
How To Fix A Door Handle That Won’t Latch
Step 1: Remove the Old Handle
First, you’ll need to remove the old door handle. If you’re using a screwdriver, grip the handle and twist it counterclockwise until it pops out.
The handle should come off easily – so don’t force it. Take a moment to assess how things are looking. Are there any signs of rust or other damage? Anything that looked questionable before may still look questionable now.
If so, you may have to pull out the replacement door handle sooner than expected. Consider the damage to be your cost of doing business.
Step 2: Remount the Handle
After you’ve removed the old handle, it’s time to put it back in place. To do so, simply snap the handle into place by pushing down on it clockwise.
Once you’re done, tighten the screws by turning them counterclockwise. The screws should only take a little bit of force to turn.
If they’re still too difficult to turn, use a flathead screwdriver instead. Also, be sure to tighten them evenly.
Step 3: Assemble the Fixing Screws
To finish up, you’ll need to assemble the fixing screws. The hardware should come with enough of them for you to have enough screws to fix your door handle.
Place the screws into their respective holes in the frame of the door and into their corresponding holes in your handle.
If there aren’t enough screws, feel free to insert a few extra – just make sure that you’ve got one screw in each hole. Also, don’t over tighten the screws, as this can cause them to break.
Step 4: Test the Door Latch
Now that your door handle is fixed, it’s time to test it. In order to do so, open the door and grab the handle until you feel resistance.
If everything went right, you won’t feel anything. If you do feel something, make sure to tighten all of your screws down again before reassembling your door handle. After that, you should be good to go.
Step 5: Preventing Future Breaking
Preventing the door handle from breaking in the first place is easier than fixing it. The key to preventing a door handle from breaking is to use it as little as possible – and not because you’re lazy.
The more you use it, the more likely you are to break it. If you can’t help but use your handle, try to be careful and not slam the door. You can also try lubricating your hardware with silicon spray or other grease of your choice.
Also, make sure that your handle is clean and dry. In order for you to keep your handle in good condition, you can also coat it with lubricant or silicone spray.
Why Do Door-handles Break?
Door handles are exposed to a lot of abuse. They take a beating because they’re opened and closed so often and are subject to extreme exposure from the elements.
Not all door handles are created equal. Cheaper handles may break sooner than higher quality ones.
Like any other part of your doorknob or door frame, door handles can get rusty. When that happens, they tend to break at the rust and are easier to fix than if you waited too long after it got rusty.