Double door with sticking ball catch


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Old 12-22-06, 09:59 AM
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Double door with sticking ball catch

We have several pairs of French Doors in our house that close with ball catches, and while some of them continue to function properly, others stick so badly that I have to give the door a good hard kick to open it. Is there a way to get them working properly again, or should I just replace them? They are getting so bad, I'm afraid the doors will eventually be damaged.

Thanks!

bergman
 
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Old 12-22-06, 02:08 PM
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The ball catches are adjustable. Once you kick one of them open, use a ladder and get up and over the top of the door. Looking down on the catch, you will see two slits beside the ball. Twist it CW to lower the ball into the keeper with a screwdriver, and thereby make it easier to close against the catch. Is your catch surface mounted, or is is mortised into the framing?
 
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Old 12-22-06, 02:18 PM
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Talking Love those ballcatches

Ball catches always seem to give so much trouble, but are actually real easy to keep fixed. As your home settles, doors and windows get jacked sideways and diagonal making them out of square. You might have noticed that one door is a little higher than the other. Because doors at the top should have no more than 3/16 inch gap the ball catches usually are not installed flush with the door. Sometimes the only thing you need to do is get a ladder and look at the ball catch to make sure it is completely set even with the door. If not just take a hammer and drive it flush with the door.

If your ball catch is too tight and there is little or no gap at the top between the door and the jamb. There is usually plenty of room between the jamb and the header framing over your doors. Easy method is to take a drywall screw about 3 inches long and screw it through the top jamb between the two catches on the jamb. Use a drill bit to make a slight depression where your screw is being screwed in so the head will countersink flat and not stick out. Screw it in slowly and it will jack up the jamb from the door to give you the clearance you need. The reason you use such a long screw is two fold. The 3 inch screw will have long shoulder so that when you screw it through the jamb into the framing header the threads wont conflict with each other. In other words the screw will be screwing into the header framing and the threads will be completely through the jamb itself and it will allow the screw to pull the jamb up. The second reason is that your framing header is usually about 2 inches higher than your door frame. If you use a 3 inch screw and it never hits the header then just get some longer screws. I stock 6 screws because I run into lots of weird situations.


If this does not help just reply with a more specific problem explanation.
 
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Old 12-22-06, 05:41 PM
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Thumbs up Success!

I'm surprised I didn't manage to figure that out on my own, but never having installed one, I didn't realize they were adjustable. It was not easy to screw them in, since they did not have any slot like you described, but with the help of a pliers, I got it done and they now work beautifully!

We definitely do have a settling problem too, so I will keep the idea of lifting the jamb in mind for future.

I cannot thank you enough for your help--I couldn't find an answer anywhere else and was about to give up and replace them. Now after 5 minutes, the problem is solved!

Thanks a million!
bergman
 
 

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