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Door Latch Sticks / Door Won't Shut

I have a problem too with my door, first ... this door is about 60 years old and when the door latch stopped working right, the local hardware company suggested we replace the lock and that they would install it.

The latch they put in was different then the orginal, they told us those types of locks are no longer made and couldn't get the orginal.

After they did there install, we paid and they left..... 3 days later the door was not closing again........... and its still not fixed

The hardware company came back, install another lockset , charged us again and left

And again after a few days..........the door does not shut

For what i can figure out is that the little metal shaft keeps sticking inside the latch and does not release when the knob is turned

The hole where the orginal latch was was quite long (7 or 8 inches) and this new latch rests in this hole is around 4 inches long.

Should i try and fill this hole with something myself and what do i do about getting the little metal shaft to pop in and out of the lockset as its supose to do?

I really do not want to call our hardware store company anymore as they have allready costed me nearlly $200 for there two trips of bad service

Any suggestions?

Re: Door Latch Sticks / Door Won't Shut

This sounds like a mis-alignment problem. The hole for the lockset or the hole for the latch are in the wrong place for the locksets that have been tried - or are just misaligned for any lockset.

Is this now a modern lockset, which uses a larger hole in the face of the door for the knobs and a smaller hole in the edge of the door for the latch? From your description, it sounds like the original was a "mortise" lock. That mechanism is a thin box which slides into a long groove. This could match what you describe.

I have seen mortise locksets on at least one episode of This Old House, but I don't remember where they bought them; nor do I know how much one might cost. You could query TOH directly for that information if you want.

If the old lock was a mortise type but you want to use a modern lockset, you need to at least fill the whole groove in the edge of the door. I would also plug the face holes. This is work that a good carpenter might be needed for, since the door groove needs to be straight, clean, and true so a patch will fit well.

You might also want to look into small claims court since you paid twice for substandard work that didn't meet the promises made.

This job is a job for a finish carpenter, not for a hardware store clerk.


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