How to fix a closet door with a spring & ball

Written by keith dooley
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Interior closet doors often feature a ball and spring latching mechanism installed on the top. The ball is held in place by a mounting plate and has tension applied by a spring mounted behind the ball. A strike plate is attached to the door frame into which the ball sits when the door is closed. Spring tension on the ball holds the ball in a small indentation in the strike plate. Adjusting the spring and ball can often resolve many latching issues.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Multipurpose oil

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  1. 1

    Inspect the door and door frame. Look at the ball and latch plate to determine if they are properly aligned.

  2. 2

    Adjust the door hinges to align the door to the frame if necessary. Tighten the door hinges with a screwdriver, or tap the pin back down into the hinge with a hammer.

  3. 3

    Oil the ball and spring latching mechanism with multipurpose oil. Apply a few drops of oil to the ball and close the door to determine if the door is still difficult to latch.

  4. 4

    Remove the ball mechanism from the door. Adjust the depth of the spring behind the ball, using a screwdriver. Reduce the height of the ball by turning the adjustment screw to the right. Increase the ball height by turning the adjustment screw to the left.

  5. 5

    Tighten the latch plate on the door frame. Tighten the screws on the latch plate to secure it to the door frame.

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