Front door knob spins and spins but does engage and will not open from outside

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-05-15, 05:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Unhappy Front door knob broken. Door not opening from outside, and difficult from inside

Hello,

My house has a front door knob that is not working. It just turns and turns and the mechanism doesn't engage. It will open from the inside with enough force but it will not open from the outside.

Many months back it started to not work properly. When opening the door from the inside, you would often seem to be locked in. To get the door to open, you had to keep turning the door knob counter clockwise, a few times and it would eventually "catch" and open up.

Here are two pics of the older hardware I have. I was told years ago by a handyman that I will not be able to find a replacement for what I have because it's obsolete. I would appreciate some input. Thank you.

Name:  IMG_0719.jpg
Views: 2330
Size:  27.0 KBName:  IMG_0720.jpg
Views: 2298
Size:  16.9 KB
 

Last edited by Ryan Robles; 11-05-15 at 07:19 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-05-15, 08:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
I don't recognize the brand or even the door prep without good photos of the door's edge, strike plate, keyhole and key, but I can say a direct replacement is not likely to be found. I'm guessing this is a mortise prep in which case if you have more money than time, a locksmith can install a new escutcheon-type mortise lock in which the escutcheons would cover up any left-over holes.

If you have more time than money I would take the whole thing apart (take photos along the way so you'll know how to re-assemble) look for broken springs, clean, re-lube and see if that works. (Lube with a light grease, except keyhole, which should be graphite)

Your specific complaints: a spinning inside knob "until it catches" tells me you have a mortise lock that uses the typical threaded "split spindle" that the inside knob screws onto, and this design is notorious for coming loose. There will be a set screw in the throat of the knob that impinges on the spindle to hold it in place. As wear takes place, this screw must be kept super-tight.

The outside thumb operator not working is a separate issue; almost always due to a combination of wear, dirt, and lack of lubrication. (and occasionally a broken part).

Don't expect a miracle by spraying WD-40 into every nook and cranny, it might buy you some time but is not a long term cure. You've got to get the dirt out and look at the parts to evaluate for wear and possible broken parts.
 
  #3  
Old 11-05-15, 09:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
@ ThisOldMan & Global: Do y'all recognize OP's lock? It looks like the old Weiser cylinder-in-grip-handle, but I think that took a modified cylindrical prep, and therefore would not use a split spindle...?
 
  #4  
Old 11-06-15, 10:19 AM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 925
What I find unusual about that set up is that the inside mechanism shows a thumbturn below the knob and no key cylinder on the outside (even in the pitcher handle).

I suggest that the grub screws are loose on the knobs and not biting sufficiently into the spindle. these grub screws stop the handle from over turning or "spinning". You might need new grub screws or a new spindle.
 
  #5  
Old 11-06-15, 04:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 304
Like rstripe, I think this is a REALLY old Weiser; cylinder in the handle, no split-spindle and weird prep. IIRC the latch was retracted by the knob in the normal fashion, but it had a slide on its exterior the thumblatch used. The thumbturn inside locked and unlocked the thumblatch mechanism. Replacement parts haven't been available for probably 40 years or more.
 
  #6  
Old 11-06-15, 09:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
OP could answer this question, but I'm thinking the black object at the top of the grip handle (not the escutcheon) might be the key cylinder, in which case I think Weiser was the only company that had that feature. Around here, I suspect nearly half these locks have been replaced by now, at least in heavily-used, continually-occupied homes. I think they were discontinued in new home construction around 1960 or thereabouts.
 
  #7  
Old 11-06-15, 10:05 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Here are some pictures of the hardware removed from the door:

Door Hardware by Ryan Robles | Photobucket

Let me know if you are familiar with it.



It appears from the condition it's all in, I should probably do what was mentioned and buy a new escutcheon-type mortise lock /handle. I don't think a locksmith could fix this, correct?

Could you please link me to the hardware that you are talking about ("escutcheon-type mortise lock /handle")? I assume I can get this at Lowe's or Home Depot? Or is there a better, more cost effective way, like Amazon or another online seller?

Thank you guys very much for your time and input.
 
  #8  
Old 11-07-15, 08:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 304
Let me know if you are familiar with it.
Wow! Maybe my memory isn't as bad as I thought.
(pictures numbered left-to-right then top-to-bottom)
Pictures 2, 4 & 5: latch was retracted by the knob in the normal fashion
Picture 1, 4 & 5: slide on (latch) exterior the thumblatch used (to retract)
Pictures 3 & 7: The thumbturn inside locked and unlocked the thumblatch mechanism.
I don't think a locksmith could fix this, correct?
Replacement parts haven't been available for probably 40 years or more.

Could you please link me to the hardware that you are talking about ("escutcheon-type mortise lock /handle")? I assume I can get this at Lowe's or Home Depot?
What I would recommend is something like this. It will cover most of the scarring on the door and provide solid mounting. Available in different materials and finishes at most big box stores.
 
  #9  
Old 11-07-15, 01:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,168
Since your additional photos reveal you don't have a mortise lock, there are fewer options, short of mortising the door for a "full-mortise" type lock, which is tedious. The additional photos also show a very worn out Weiser in need of complete replacement, as you have surmised.

There are a few residential escutcheon type locks for a cylindrical-prep (what you have) but the inside escutcheon may not completely cover the lower thumbturn holes. Check out Baldwin Hardware under "Entrance Locks" and select "Tubular" (same as cylindrical style) locks, and look at one of the styles that have the larger escutcheon plates, as these would cover the most. There are many styles and finishes to select from, but beware: these are high-end locks and are not cheap.

Because of the costs involved, most folks do what ThisOldMan suggested, although it results in a more "patched-up" look to the door; there are 2 or 3 companies that make these wrap-around sleeves and the home centers will only carry a few samples. Your local locksmith, who is called upon to put these in frequently, will likely have a full line catalogue that you can select the best configuration and finish that will be the least obtrusive looking on your door. Take measurements of your door thickness, backset centerline, hole location and sizes, etc to help decide which sleeve to get. and you need 1/8" or greater clearance between the 2 doors so they won't rub.

With a hammer and sharp chisel, it's a DIY job, if you've selected the right sleeve and lock to go with it.
 
  #10  
Old 11-09-15, 08:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Thumbs up

Thank you guys for taking the time to advise me. I appreciate it.

I am vehemently opposed to those sleeves. What I have decided to do is to buy new hardware, patch the holes and repaint the door.

Take care
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'