How to Repair a Doorknob That Will Not Turn

Written by ehow contributor
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A doorknob that will not turn is a problem often caused by a blockage of various causes or a build-up of rust. If your doorknob is partially located on the outside of the house or borders a leaky area of the house, then rust might be the issue. However, if the doorknob is located on a door inside the house, then the cause might be a broken part or partial blockage. Either way, you will need to disassemble the doorknob for inspection, which should take no longer than twenty minutes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Assistant

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  1. 1

    Spray lubricant into the door-jam before you decide to disassemble the doorknob. Maybe the doorknob is simply a bit rusted or dirtied from years of use. Coat the inside of the door-jam and rim of the doorknob with a sparse amount of lubricant (a simple degrease lubricant will do the trick) and let sit for 20 minutes. If your doorknob still refuses to turn, move on to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Remove any trim or molding from the doorway that may impede your ability to remove the doorknob. Unscrew the two small screws that hold the door-jam in place and carefully remove the molding or trim. Be cautious so as not to damage the integrity of the door frame or the wall.

  3. 3

    Remove and inspect the doorknob. One screw should be attached to both the top and bottom of the doorknob. Remove both screws. Be careful not to damage either, as a stripped screw will be impossible to tighten upon re-installation. Have your assistant catch any hardware that may spill to the ground. If the doorknob does not fall from its housing, manually remove it from the door.

  4. 4

    Inspect the doorknob closely to determine the cause of the problem. Apply a thin coat of lubricant to the inner workings of the doorknob. If the doorknob refuses to turn after application, inspect the hardware for malfunctioning parts.

  5. 5

    Inspect the doorknob for any out-of-place hardware that can be fixed with a simple twist of the screw or realignment. You will more than likely have to visit the hardware store for a new doorknob if any internal mechanisms are warped or damaged. Apply one final coat of lubricant and then proceed with your best option.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the doorknob following the same principles used in its removal. If you have fixed the problem, reinstall the doorknob and apply preventive maintenance every three months to avoid any future issues.

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