Unfortunately loose door handles and door knobs is an often occurrence with all the wear and tear that is daily put upon these household items. Whenever the handle pulls away, jiggles or just keeps turning with no purpose, you know it’s only a matter of time before it stops working completely!
Fortunately, we have put together this helpful guide to help you fix those pesky door handles and knobs so that they can be in working order!
*disclaimer, these are some helpful tips if you want to attempt to fix your door handle yourself. We would always suggest calling in a professional where possible to prevent further damage to the door.
Reasons doorknobs or handles can become loose
There are multiple reasons why a door handle or door knob might become loose, these can include:
- Wear and tear of time can cause the door handle or doorknob to become wobbly or loose so that it needs adjustments to be made tight again.
- It is an older mechanism and has been subjected to a build-up of dirt, dust and other pollutants that may affect the operation of the handle or lock.
- There might be a missing screw or a screw loose in the door plate.
- There might be an issue with the handle or doorknob mechanism malfunctioning
Popular types of door knobs
Exposed set-screw Doorknob
This doorknob has a set of exposed screws which secure the handle to the threaded spindle, and is often the most common way of attaching a doorknob. This version is often easier to tighten up a loose doorknob over that of a concealed screw doorknob as you can easily see how the doorknob is secured into place and how all the parts will fit together.
Hidden screw Doorknob
Although the screws cannot be seen there are still screws holding the doorknob to the spindle, much like the exposed set-screw doorknob. The major difference between the two is that all of the screws that hold together the doorknob are concealed behind a cosmetic faceplate.
How do you fix a door handle or Doorknob?
Step 1: Remove the handle or doorknob
If you cannot immediately see the issue the best course of action will be to remove the handle completely.
With exposed screws, you can simply locate the screw and loosen it using an Allen key or a screwdriver. Once all screws have been removed, you should then be able to remove the handle or doorknob.
If you have a handle or doorknob that has hidden screws, you will need to locate the detent access hole. The detent hole is spring-activated with a pin that sticks out to prevent the handle or knob from twisting on the door. You will need to use a flathead screwdriver to be able to press down on the pin. Once this has been done you should be able to spin the shaft which will enable you to remove the knob or handle.
Step 2: Remove the base
After removing the handle or doorknob the next step is to remove the base from the door. To remove the base, you’ll need to take a flathead screwdriver and try to slowly pry the ring loose. Be sure to be careful when removing the base as not to damage the backing plate. Should the backing plate be damaged it can stop the handle from ever going back on properly and you will need to call out a Locksmith.
Step 3: Identify the screws and tighten
After removing the base you should be able to see a set of screws, which most likely will need to be tightened. These screws run through the door and into the backing plate which is what holds the handle or doorknob together. Whist carefully holding the backing plate carefully tighten each screw.
Step 4: Reposition the base and restore the handle
After you have tightened the screws, you can put the base back onto the backing plate by clipping it into place. Once the base is in place you can place the handle or doorknob on the spindle shaft in order to line up the holes with either the screw holes (if you have visible screws) or the detent (should you have hidden screws).
The last step is to replace any exposed screws and you are finished with hopefully a fixed door handle or doorknob!
What to do if a doorknob is loose?
If a doorknob loosely spins on the spindle, the cause is usually that a set-screw similar to a grub screw, has loosened up and has lost its grip on the handle spindle. To adjust the screw or Allen key, look around the collar on the doorknob to identify the loose screw and using the appropriate screwdriver tighten the screws.
If a screw has been lost, you can take the doorknob to a hardware store to find a replacement.
DIY or Hire a Locksmith?
Depending on your skill level, repairing a door handle could be a fun weekend activity that challenges your knowledge or it could become a nightmare of a situation where you could actually end up worse than before!
Why Should You Hire a Locksmith?
- Guarantee that the problem will be fixed
- Saves time, frustration and energy
- Can provide extra advice on maintenance and upkeep
- Should a mechanism or lock need to be replaced it can be done immediately whilst the Locksmith is on site
- Requires times and patience
- Risk of the door handle not being repaired correctly
- May require a range of tools
- Inexperience could make the situation worse
Whether you decide to tackle the repair yourself or hire a Locksmith, there are many benefits to contracting your Local Locksmith to help you repair a loose handle. Not only will you get first class customer service, but are guaranteed the issue to be rectified.