How to Replace a Patio Door Latch

Written by dale yalanovsky
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How to Replace a Patio Door Latch
Replace your patio door latch with either a flush mount or a mortised type. (patio doors image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

A patio door latch comes in two basic types. There is the flush or surface mount type that sandwiches the actual patio door between its latching components, and there is the mortised type, which fits inside the width of the patio door end. Flush mount types are generally easier to replace, and many generic brands are made to fit a variety of different patio doors. Mortised types, however, must be the exact size and shape to fit correctly into place.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure

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Instructions

    Flush Type Patio Door Latches

  1. 1

    Unscrew the old flush mount latch from the patio door. They are generally mounted with two screws.

  2. 2

    Determine which latching hook works with your keeper. Several sizes of hook will be included with your flush mount latch, and they will slide onto the latch axle that's operated by the key.

  3. 3

    Place the new latch against the door and determine the correct size screw needed for the installation. Two different size screws will be included with the flush mount types. The correct screw will fit the approximate width of your patio door, and will join the two halves of the flush mount latch together perfectly.

  4. 4

    Turn the key on your new mounted latch and make sure the hook latches securely onto the keeper. If your old keeper is worn, replace it with a new one supplied with your latch by removing the screws on the old keeper, and screwing in the new one.

    Mortise Type Patio Door Latches

  1. 1

    Unscrew the handle on the patio door to gain access to the mortise latch screws.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the old mortise latch and pull it out from the patio door. Most are held in by two screws, one on top and one on the bottom.

  3. 3

    Measure the length, width and height of the old mortise latch. The new mortise latch must have the exact same dimensions or it will not install correctly.

  4. 4

    Take your measurements into any hardware store, or take the latch itself in for a direct comparison. If a latch cannot be obtained off the shelf, order one from the original manufacturer.

  5. 5

    Replace the latch by pushing it into the recessed mortise. If it's an exact original or replica, it will slide into place. If there is any difficulty seating the mortise latch, it's not correct; return it for a new, correctly measured latch.

  6. 6

    Screw in the mortise latch, then reattach the handle.

Tips and warnings

  • Mortise and flush-mount latches can also be ordered online. Although the measurements for flush-mount latches are not overly critical, precise measurements are required to order an exact replacement online.

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