A doorknob that jiggles or doesn’t lock can be a minor annoyance. But a doorknob left unrepaired can eventually become a safety hazard. Fix a loose or non-working doorknob with the DIY doorknob repair instructions below.
The first step in doorknob repair is determining what type of doorknob you currently have installed. In residential homes, two types of doorknobs are typically used and held in place with screws:
- Knobs with hidden screws, and
- Knobs with exposed screws
Each kind uses a slightly different way of holding the knob flush against the door, so the repair method will differ.
Step 1A: Remove a Doorknob with Hidden Screws
This doorknob style uses a face plate to conceal the screws. Inspect the doorknob to locate the detent access hole. The detent is a spring-activated pin that protrudes out of a small slot on the side of the doorknob. When you find the pin, use a paper clip or flathead screwdriver to push in the pin. The doorknob should pop loose. Then remove the knob from the spindle shaft.
Step 1B: Remove a Doorknob with Exposed Screws
Find the set screw which is usually on the inside of the door. Loosen and remove the screw with a screwdriver. The handle and shaft should easily come loose. Also, hold the loose knob with your other hand to keep it from falling.
Step 3: Remove the Ring
The decorative ring hides the screws that secure the knob assembly. Carefully pry the ring loose while being careful not to damage the underlying backing plate.
Step 4: Locate the Base Plate Screws and Tighten
After you’ve removed the ring, you should see a couple of screws on the backing plate. To tighten the screws hold the backing plate against the door and then tighten the screws until snug with a Phillips screwdriver.
Step 5: Reinstall the Ring and Reattach the Knob
Reinstall the decorative ring to the backing plate using a firm push. It should snap into place. Reinstall the doorknob over the spindle shaft. Turn the knob until the detent slots line up then push it into place.
For more information on doorknob repair click here.
Shopping for Doorknobs, Locksets, Handles and Repair Parts
If you wish to replace an old doorknob and hardware, there’s a wide variety of types, styles, and finishes to consider. Before you head out to the home improvement store, check out the tips below.
A Few Questions to Consider Before You Buy:
Is the lockset for an interior door or an exterior door?
Will the door need to be locked?
Do you need a cylindrical lockset or a mortise lockset? A cylindrical lockset has a rounded mechanism that connects to the latch bolt. Furthermore, cylindrical locksets usually do not include a deadbolt and are mainly used for interior doors. Mortise locksets have a sturdy, rectangular mechanism that fits into a rectangular mortise cut into the door. Mortise locksets also usually have a deadbolt for added security which makes them ideal for exterior doors.
How thick is your door? Doors are most often manufactured in either a 1 3/8″ or 1 3/4-inch thickness. Choose a lockset to fit your particular door.
What is the back set dimension? To determine the backset dimension, measure the distance from the door’s edge to the middle of the hole drilled for the doorknob.
Is your door a right-hand or left-hand door? Stand with your back to the door’s hinges. A door on the right is a right-hand door. A door on the left is a left-hand door.
Look for top quality locksets that are expertly machined from fine-grade steel or brass, and that comes with a finely plated finish.
For security make sure your exterior door includes a deadbolt as part of the lockset or as a stand-alone lock. Lastly, the deadbolt should be made of case-hardened steel and extend a minimum of 1-inch beyond the edge of the door when installed.
It’s simple to repair and replace loose or non-working doorknobs with these easy doorknob repair instructions and doorknob shopping guide.
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(Photo Courtesy of: Mariusz Strawinski)