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Help - How to loosen door knob / handle?


enilno's Avatar
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04-29-17, 12:09 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Help - How to loosen door knob / handle?

Hi all,

The handle / door knob in the attached picture is very difficult to open (turning anti-clockwise). Rather than it feeling stiff like it was rusty its almost as though there's a very strong spring that stops it from easily being turned (unlike other doors in the house with the same type of lock/handle).

Does anyone know what would cause this and how to make it easier to open?

Thanks.

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CarbideTipped's Avatar
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04-29-17, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)  
First try loosening the screws holding the knob a little and see if the knob turns easier. If it does, just reposition the knob (usually a little higher) and tightening the screws again.

If loosening the screws doesn't help, remove the knob entirely, then press in on the spring latch and see if it moves easily. If not, it is likely the spring bolt needs to be cleaned and or lubricated. Remove the two screws on the edge of the door that hold the bolt in place, and slide it out of the door. Look for any broken parts. Clean it and lubricate the moving parts with light oil.


Paul

Inside every small project is a big project waiting to slug you over the head and take all your money and time....

 
enilno's Avatar
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04-29-17, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Hi CarbideTipped,

Thanks for your quick and descriptive reply.

I tried loosening the screws holding the knob but it didnt make it easier. I can press the spring latch fairly easily but its the turning the knob that's difficult (even when the lock is removed from the door as photographed below).

Looking at the lock i'm not sure what to do next? (the internals seem concealed, however i can see a few screws on the lock and also a contraption that expands when i turn the knob/pole through the lock.

Please advise.

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Thanks.

 
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04-29-17, 05:51 PM   #4 (permalink)  
You have a full mortise lock, and it looks relatively new. If you are up for it, you can remove the three screws and carefully lift off the cover. At this point take a couple of pictures because there are lots of parts. Look for any loose pieces or other indications that something is broken. If not, then all it likely needs is cleaning and lubrication.

If you are hesitant about being able to remove all the pieces and get them back correctly, the you might be better off taking it to a locksmith. Otherwise, disassemble it, clean all the pieces, give them a light coat of oil, and reassemble.

There are a few videos out there on disassembling mortise locks; you may want to watch a couple. Likely your lock will be slightly different, but the idea will be the same.

Good luck!


Paul

Inside every small project is a big project waiting to slug you over the head and take all your money and time....

 
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04-29-17, 07:39 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Good to see the British still making decent lever locks...Adding to Carbide's advice, after removing the 3 lid screws, hold the hub (square-hole thing where spindle passes through) in place with a finger, while removing the lid...this helps insure pieces don't fly out of place. Some parts will be under spring tension, so remove slowly.

After examining all parts for freedom of movement (with springs removed to more easily judge) apply a little grease to all bearing surfaces where friction occurs, except the lever tumblers. Re-assemble and try.

 
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04-29-17, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)  
BTW, out of curiosity, what does the "open" & "close" screw do? Is it a hold-open for the latch? Never seen that feature before.

Also, as additional info, most residential mortise locks' latch-retraction mechanism, has a greater mechanical advantage when turning the knob one way vs. the other, and so the latch will retract a little easier one way vs. the other.
Nature of the beast. But it should not be HARD to turn.

 
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04-30-17, 09:39 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Lever not knob

If the knob only turns counter clockwise then the mortise box was likely designed to be used with levers not knobs. Stronger springs are needed to return the levers to level. I would advise against removing the cover.

 
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05-02-17, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)  
FranGT may be on to something; this may be one of those universal replacement locks designed to accommodate levers or knobs, the difference being a spring strength adjustment done before installation. As Fran said, it might be set for levers. That curious adjustment screw might effect the change...?

 
enilno's Avatar
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05-09-17, 12:55 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Hi all, thanks for the replies.

The knob only turns anti-clockwise. I will try the adjustment screw to see if it makes a difference and would not be comfortable opening up the lock so failing the screw will try a locksmith / replacement lock.

 
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