How To Fix Jammed Locks and Door Knobs

October 14, 2021

Having a jammed lock or doorknob is unfortunately all too common of an occurrence. Thankfully, though, this issue is often easily fixed without the need for a professional. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed or unsure anytime when dealing with jams, please don’t hesitate to call a locksmith. They can provide you with excellent service and get the problem solved efficiently and quickly.

Different Types of Jams

There are many types of jams locks and doorknobs or handles can have. The methods of diagnosing the problem and fixing it are different for each type. In this section, we will go over the four most common issues you will experience.

Button Lock Is Stuck

If you have an interior door that locks, this most often uses a button lock. A button lock is a lock that allows you to depress a center button to lock the door. This type of lock, while convenient, is not immune to problems.

The most common problem is for the button to be stuck in either the locked or unlocked position. This, luckily, usually is quite easy to fix.

Would you mind trying the following steps if your button lock is stuck?

  1. Try to push the button and hold it in.
  2. If this doesn’t work, try releasing the button quickly.
  3. Next try pressing the button rapidly.
  4. Try turning the handle and attempt all the above methods.
  5. Lastly, try all of these methods while jiggling the handle.

With any luck, one of these options will work to allow the lock to open. In most cases, the issue with a stuck button is rust buildup. To fix the problem in the long term, remove the door handle and clean off rust thoroughly before replacing it. This should solve the issue, but if you are still having problems, reach out to a locksmith, and they can determine if you have more severe pain.

Door Knob Turns But Doesn’t Open

This is another common, albeit, frustrating issue. The mechanics behind this problem will help you understand how to remedy it. A door knob uses a spring-loaded latch. When you turn your doorknob or handle, this retracts the latch allowing your door to open. If you can turn the knob, but the door will not open, then your issue is that the handle is not doing its job. The doorknob is not working in sync with the spring inside the latch.

To fix this issue, you will need to investigate why this is happening. Follow the steps below to check for poor connections.

  1. Remove your handle off of the door including the center spindle.
  2. Use a tool such as a screwdriver in place of the spindle by twisting inside the space where the spindle goes in your handle.
  3. When you twist, watch to see if the handle retracts.
  • If it does, the issue is that your handle is not secured through the spindle correctly. Your next step will be to check for any damage or wear and tear and replace whatever is damaged.
  • If it doesn’t, the issue is with the housing for your latch. The next step will be to replace the housing.

Door Lock Stuck Open or Closed

These are the final issues we are going to cover. They are two separate issues but are fixed in the same way, so they are listed together. These issues are the most urgent that need fixing because being unable to lock or unlock your door can compromise your security and safety.

The most common cause for this is due to wear and tear, but there are other possibilities. Older locks could be rusty inside or out. Your key could be worn or damaged, not allowing it to open the lock. Your lock cylinder could be broken, and lastly, your door could be misaligned.

If you are dealing with rust, you will want to remove the lock and clean it thoroughly before reinstalling it. If you believe it may be your key, try a spare key to see if this works. If it does, then you will need to have a duplicate key made. If your lock cylinder is broken, it will need to be replaced. In this case, your best option is to call a locksmith.

Lastly, if your door is misaligned, you will need to speak with a repair professional who has experience correcting this problem.

ASAP Locksmith

We hope this article proves helpful for you if you are dealing with a jammed lock or door handle. While this situation is frustrating, thankfully, it is one of the most straightforward problems to be remedied. Please call us here at ASAP Locksmith if we can assist you, we are here to help!

Article written by Dustin Fernandez
I am Dustin Fernandez, and I'm the owner of ASAP Locksmith in Dallas. My company is a family business, and we provide locksmith services to residential, commercial, and automotive customers. I’ve been in the locksmith industry since 1995, when I was just 20 years old. I started by working for another locksmith company before eventually starting my own. Over time, my father joined me as a partner in this venture, which made him proud to help his son succeed at something he loved doing!

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