Submitted by WtRingsUGotBithc t3_zp4wcd in DIY

Hey r/DIY, I’m having an issue where after pulling down too hard on my exterior door handle, the door no longer opens. I tried dissassembling the handle, but then I noticed little latches towards the top and bottom of the door. I tried to flip them up with a flathead screwdriver, but they only fold in part of the way, and I’m still unable to open my door. Included is a picture of the latch, and what I suspect is the same type of latch on another exterior door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!



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fergablu2 t1_j0qsen2 wrote

I can’t tell from that picture what I’m looking at, but I had my back door got stuck closed, and had to take it off its hinges because I couldn’t get the latch on the doorknob to release. Exterior doors are heavy, so I suggest you enlist a friend to help. Once it was off it’s hinges, I could remove the door and then knob, which I replaced. If your hinges are painted over, it will be more of a challenge. Mine was a newer steel door and I got the hinge pins out without a huge effort.


WtRingsUGotBithc OP t1_j0r3t52 wrote

I think this may be what I’ll have to do. Thanks for the response.


HairyTreeFrog t1_j0qssl1 wrote

Can you spray wd40 or something into the locking mechs? Then lift handle up and down and hopefully it'll be all loosey goosey.


cheesysnipsnap t1_j0qygmd wrote

Can confirm this as a great "go for it diy" option.
My handles got really stiff and the locks wouldn't engage properly.
Squirted wd40 in every hole I could find and gave it a good tug up and down, inside and out.
Feels like a new door now.


InitechFit t1_j0r8a4v wrote

Not sure if you’re still working on this. I had a similar problem. Oddly enough the manufacturer customer service told me to basically push so hard on the door handle you’ll think you’re breaking it. Eventually it’ll give way and loosen.

I did WD40, removed the handle, and everything else except take the door off the hinges. The aggressive push down was what finally worked.


ToolMeister t1_j0rlr0p wrote

Since it's just a latch and not a dead bolt - can't you use the old credit card trick and try to push the latch back from the jamb side? Or is the entire latch locked in place?

Once the door opens, you should have access to replace the latch mechanism


WtRingsUGotBithc OP t1_j0rnbiu wrote

I’m able to push the latch inwards a little way, but can’t manage to get it all the way retracted.


Bldaz t1_j0u9cbv wrote

The door handle has some integral flush bolts that latch in the center of the jamb. My guess is that when it was pushed downward it revolved too far. The post on taking the hinge pins out is the best bet then figure out how to release the latches once it’s off