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Door doesn't latch easily or gets stuck when latched

Door doesn't latch easily or gets stuck when latched


  #1  
Old 01-07-22, 06:21 PM
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Door doesn't latch easily or gets stuck when latched

I'm attaching a pic of a door handle on an exterior door. The door also has a deadbolt which is not shown, as it is not involved in the discussion. It used to be that when the door was slammed shut, it used to latch by itself. Thereafter, it could be unlatched by pushing down on the exterior lever or turning the knob from the inside. I'm also attaching a pic of the inside knob. These days the behavior has changed. Most of the time, when the door is shut, it does not latch, with the result that the door can be flung open either by wind or a knob pull (without turning) from the inside or a door push (without depressing the lever) from the outside. In such a case, the lever stays in the down position. I can manually move the lever up which does cause the latch to take hold when the door is shut. There are also times that when the door has been successfully latched, the outside lever is hard to press down and it can take repeated attempts to unlatch. How can I fix this?



 
  #2  
Old 01-07-22, 06:30 PM
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It's probably just a simple strike plate adjustment. No way to tell you how when we can't be there to see it operate. But looking at the rub mark on your strike plate, it appears your latch is not exactly centered, so check to see if the latch is too low relative to the mortise in the strike plate. That would explain why it's not latching... the latch isn't falling into the hole because it's too low. That would happen if the door has sagged a little. The gap above the door (when closed) might be larger on the left than it is on the right.

A rotary file (or rasp) on a cordless drill is one way to slightly elongate the mortise if the latch is catching on the strike plate. It's often better to just file one side rather than try to move the strike plate 1/8".
 
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Old 01-07-22, 10:58 PM
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the lever stays in the down position. I can manually move the lever up which does cause the latch to take hold when the door is shut. There are also times that when the door has been successfully latched, the outside lever is hard to press down and it can take repeated attempts to unlatch
So the way I read this is that it's the door latch mechanism that is binding not the engagement into the striker?

You can take the handle apart, clean and lubricate and reassemble watching how much torque you apply to the screws that attach the interior knob to the lever. Sometimes uneven torque can distort the assembly and cause binding of the internal mechanism.

It also could just be old and worn out and needing to be replaced.

If it's a name brand some have lifetime replacement warranties.
 
 

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