Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Fix: The Backasswards Doorknob

It’s not that I don’t trust my roommates or feel the need to live a hermit-like existence locked in my room, but I think we’d all agree that having the option to lock your bedroom door is a general good thing. So when I discovered that even when I did lock my door, it still pushed open easily, I put it on my list of things to take care of.

The problem: Like I said, when I locked my door, it just pushed open really easily. When I tried to close it while the knob was still locked, it didn’t close. This might be a little weird to picture, so here’s a video to show you what was happening:

The diagnosis: First I looked at my doorknob and observed the way it moved with the door jam. What did I notice? The curved portion of the doorknob lever was facing away from the door frame, as pictured here:

After checking out a few other *correctly functioning * doors in the house, I discovered that the levers on those doors were facing the other direction, so that the curved side faced towards the door frame and moved easily across the curved section of the door jam. Basically, the doorknob lever on my door was installed backwards. This was a problem because locked the door didn't actually lock the lever, it just locked the turning mechanism in the lock, so the curved portion was allowing the lever to move.

The Fix: First, I used a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the doorknob pieces together and pulled both sides of the door knob apart. Then, I unscrewed the cover plate that was holding the lever in and the lever, leaving three separate doorknob pieces:

Then, I placed the lever in the door so that the curved portion faced the door frame. I also put the plate back on:

All I had left to do was put the doorknobs back in place. In order to do this, I took the outer knob (which had the inner pieces attached to it) and aligned the curved side with the curved opening in the lever:

Finally, I put the interior knob on and secured them with the screws. The result? A door that locks.

This quick fix only required a screwdriver and 10 minutes. If you're having the same problem with your door, I highly recommend you take a few minutes and improve the functionality of your space! If you're like me, you'll be very happy to cross that one nagging little detail off your list.

1 comment:

  1. Nice catch. I used to find this during home inspections on the kids' rooms after they had locked themselves in, or parents would reverse the whole thing and put the lock button outside in the hall....


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