Door latch won’t retract. Nobody wants to get locked out of their house, especially if it means hiring a costly locksmith to come out and fix the situation. It is possible to repair a stuck door latch on your own.
If you have the correct tools and supplies, repairing a stuck door lock is not difficult. It is first necessary to comprehend how door locks function. The basic anatomy is described by the Great Valley Lock shop.
The first is the lock body (cylinder), which houses the key. When the cylinder is locked, spring-loaded pins hold it together and prevent it from spinning.
The right key raises the pins, allowing the cylinder to open and the latch to slide.
Door latch won’t retract | How to fix
The latch normally only sticks when you try to close the door if the strike plates are out of position. This could be due to the door’s wood shifting or a problem with the home’s foundation being unstable.
If either of these factors is present, consulting a professional may be the best course of action.
Check to determine if the latch’s angled part is making contact with the plate on the door frame.
Likely, the plate is now impacting the latch on the non-angled part owing to thermal expansion or contraction of the door or frame, preventing it from retracting.
Rusting of latch
If the latch moves the same way whether it’s rotated or pressed in, it’s conceivable that it’s stuck due to rust or another material buildup. To fix this, follow as:
- You can disassemble the latch.
- Soak the parts in a 5 percent vinegar solution for 24 hours.
- Then, using a small brush, scrape out all of the nooks and crannies and wipe everything down before putting it back together.
This will make the door latch move freely. If not, then move to the following solutions.
Lubrication of the door latch
The problem could be with the keyhole or the door latch, but front door locks can become stuck. If your door latch is stuck or won’t retract entirely, consider using lubrication.
According to Your Mechanic, graphite lubricant is the best lubricant for door locks since it does not attract dirt or dust that can damage the door’s locking mechanism.
Graphite lubricant is offered as a powder and is commonly packaged in squeeze bottles or spray cans with narrow straws. You can blow it through the keyhole directly.
Alignment of the door
On a physical level, this means that when you try to retract or extend the latch further into the borehole of the strike plate, the metal latch does not slide into the hole perfectly.
This can result in scraping, as the latch must be retracted against the friction of metal moving against metal. Because it cannot extend into the hole it was designed for, this is likely to come with a stuck door latch. There is short term fix and a long term fix:
Short term fix
- The strike plate can be moved to a better line with the jammed door latch as a temporary repair.
- You can note the point on the door frame where the latch makes contact by closing the door.
- You can then either expand the hole in both the wood and metal or unscrew the strike and reinstall it in the right location.
Long term fix
- If the issue is wood expansion, commonly known as a seasonal affective disorder, you may want to consider repainting your door’s finish to prevent moisture-related impacts from affecting the shape of your door.
- If the problem is with your foundation, you should investigate whether you need repairs, foundation rescue, or even merely remove the tree whose roots are pushing up from under the house.
Internal Mechanism Fault
When a portion of the lock brakes, numerous things can go wrong with the lock. Because the latch is disconnected, the doorknob could get stuck or turn without opening.
Changing locks is the simplest approach to fix a damaged lock with a faulty component. You can get replacement parts from your neighborhood locksmith business.
Certain replacement components have varying pricing, and this form of replacement also necessitates knowing what you need to replace.
The easier it is to replace the broken elements of the lock, the better you can diagnose the problem. When a lock is too damaged to repair or is wrecked, it’s a wonderful time to enhance your security.
You can spend more money on higher-quality lock products that will not only give more security but also require less maintenance and will not break down as frequently as cheaper ones.
Door latch won’t retract | Easy Fix