How To Fix A Doorknob That Does Not Turn

Need to know how to fix a doorknob that does not turn? Fixing a doorknob can be frustrating no matter what type it is. Your average, everyday doorknob can easily be removed and checked to see why it no longer turns. There are two main reasons why a doorknob stops turning: the latching mechanism has either seized or a component has broken. Today's latching mechanisms contain a lot of plastic parts that could easily break, therefore these are considered disposable. Classic doorknobs are similar in characteristics, and considerations must be made whether they are worth repairing, finding a replacement or buying a completely new system.

To fix a doorknob that does not turn, you will need:

  • Philips and/or slotted screw drivers
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Spray or drop lubricant
  • A replacement doorknob, if necessary
  • A doorknob drilling kit, if necessary for updating
  1. Simply remove the outside screws and pull both sides of the handles/knobs out and off. They should pull freely, but you may have to depress the latch slightly to release the controlling knob. If the latch does not budge then you already know where the issue is: in the broken knob.
  2. Remove the two screws holding the latching mechanism in place and pull it free from the door. Lay the latch on towels, douse it with lubricant and allow it to set for a few minutes for proper penetration. If it was a situation of simply needing to be lubricated and released, this will be the test. If there is no release, then go on to the next step.
  3. Inspect the mechanism and look for any bent or broken pieces. It should be quite evident if there is something amiss. If any bent areas are clear, try to straighten them with the needle-nosed pliers. If a piece or pieces are broken, then it may just be much easier to simply replace the doorknob completely.

Use your best judgment when trying to repair a doorknob that does not turn. If you get the broken doorknob repaired or freed up, then simply replace it in the reverse of the removal. If the doorknob is un-repairable, then replacing it is the only option. If you are replacing a classic or antique doorknob with a new one, there may be some simple drilling required. Kits for drilling to new standards are available at your favorite home improvement center. Follow the instructions on the new doorknob for upgrading and installation.