Identifying the problem
If you have been experiencing a loose lever door handle, you know how frustrating it can be. It can make getting in and out of a room more difficult, and it can also be a safety concern. If the handle falls off completely, you could be locked in or out of a room.
Before you can fix a loose lever door handle, you need to identify the reason for the problem. There are several potential causes, and you may need to try a few different things before you find a solution that works. Here are some of the most common causes of a loose lever door handle:
One common cause of a loose lever door handle is misaligned screws. Over time, the screws that hold the handle in place can become loose or move out of alignment. This can cause the handle to wiggle or jiggle when you try to turn it. To check for misaligned screws, you will need to remove the handle from the door. This can usually be done with a screwdriver.
If your lever door handle is very old, there is a good chance that the parts inside have become worn out. This can cause the handle to feel loose or rattle around. You may need to replace one or more of the parts to fix the problem. Some of the most common parts that wear out include the handle itself, the latch, and the spindle.
If the latch on your door is loose, it may cause the handle to feel loose as well. You can usually tell if this is the case by pushing on the door to see if it moves. If it does, you may need to tighten the screws on the latch. This can usually be done using a screwdriver.
Finally, it is possible that the problem is simply loose screws. Over time, the screws that hold the handle in place can become loose or fall out completely. This can cause the handle to feel wobbly or even fall off completely. To fix this problem, all you need to do is tighten the screws using a screwdriver.
Once you have identified the cause of your loose lever door handle, you can move on to fixing the problem. Each of the potential causes requires a slightly different solution, so be sure to choose the method that corresponds to your specific problem. If you are unsure how to fix the problem yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional locksmith to assist you.
Tightening the Screws
If tightening the screws is your chosen solution to fixing a loose lever door handle, then congratulations! You have chosen the easiest and most straightforward of all the methods at your disposal. Tightening the screws is often the go-to solution for most homeowners since it requires minimal effort and skills.
To get started, you will need a screwdriver; preferably a flathead screwdriver as it is the easiest to use. First, check the screws on the lever handle to see if they are loose. If the screws are loose, take your screwdriver and tighten the screws by turning them clockwise. Apply some force to the screwdriver while turning, but not too much, as you do not want to strip the screws or damage the lever handle.
Now, the question is, how tight should you tighten the screws? The answer is until the screws are snug. Do not over tighten them; doing so can cause the lever handle to seize up or lock into position, making it difficult to move the handle.
Also, keep in mind that there are two screws that hold the lever handle in place. Take care to tighten them both equally since having one screw tighter than the other can result in a crooked lever handle.
If you have tightened the screws and your lever handle is still loose, you may want to try tightening them again, but this time with a little more force. However, if the handle is still loose after applying more force, then it may mean that the screw hole is stripped. In that case, fill the stripped screw hole with some toothpick shavings and try again. If the handle is still loose after that, then it is time to move on to the next method.
In conclusion, tightening the screws is the easiest and most straightforward way to fix a loose lever door handle. With a screwdriver and just the right amount of force, you can have your lever handle fixed in no time. If, however, tightening the screws does not work, do not worry as there are other methods you can try, which we will discuss in the following subtopics.
Using a shim
If the set screws and spindle are tight and the loose lever door handle persists, then it is necessary to use a shim to prevent movement. Shims are thin, flat pieces of metal or plastic that can be placed behind the mounting plate to provide additional support and stability. Make sure to purchase a shim that fits the size and shape of the handle plate on the door.
Step 1: Remove the loose handle by following the instructions mentioned in the previous section. Identify the gap between the handle plate and the surface of the door where the handle is mounted.
Step 2: Cut a thin piece of cardboard or plastic to match the size and shape of the gap. This can be done by tracing the shape of the handle plate onto the cardboard or plastic and then cutting it out with scissors.
Step 3: Apply some adhesive to the back of the shim and carefully insert the shim into the gap between the handle plate and the surface of the door. Make sure that the shim is applied straight and flush with the edge of the handle plate.
Step 4: Reattach the handle by reversing the steps mentioned in the previous section. Tighten the set screws and spindle firmly against the shim and check to see if the handle is still loose.
Step 5: If the handle is still loose, then it may be necessary to add another shim to provide more support. Repeat steps 2-4 with another shim, if needed.
Step 6: Once the handle is securely attached, test it to make sure that it operates smoothly and does not move or wobble.
Using a shim is a simple and effective way to fix a loose lever door handle. It is important to make sure that the shims used are the right size and shape for the handle plate and that they are applied securely against the mounting surface.
Replacing the handle
If you have tried the previous methods and the handle is still loose, it may be time to replace it. This is a bit more involved than the previous methods and may require some tools. However, it is still a doable project for most people.
The first step is to purchase a new handle. Make sure that it is the right size and style for your door. You can usually find replacement handles at your local hardware store or online. Make sure you purchase one with the same spacing as your old one, as this is important for the screws to line up properly.
Next, you will need to remove the old handle. This can be done by unscrewing the screws on the inside of the door. Once the screws are removed, the handle should come off easily. You may need to use a screwdriver to pry it loose if it is stubborn.
With the old handle removed, it is time to install the new one. Begin by holding the two pieces of the handle together and lining up the screws with the holes on the door. Slowly tighten the screws, alternating between the two to make sure they are even. Do not tighten them too much, or you may strip the screws or damage the handle.
Once the screws are in place, test the handle to make sure it is secure. If it is still loose, you may need to tighten the screws a bit more. Be careful not to overtighten, however, as this can cause the handle to warp or crack.
Installing a new handle is a bit more involved than some of the other methods, but it is still a relatively simple process. With the right tools and a bit of patience, anyone can do it.
Remember, if you are unsure of your ability to replace your door handle yourself, it is always best to call a professional. They can ensure that the job is done properly and safely.
Seeking Professional Help
If you have tried all the DIY tricks and the door handle is still loose, it’s time to call a professional for assistance. A skilled and experienced technician will diagnose the problem and provide the right solution for your door handle. Some repairs may require specialized tools and equipment, which may not be available to a regular homeowner. Furthermore, if you are dealing with a high-quality or antique door handle, you may not want to risk causing further damage by attempting to fix it yourself. Seeking professional help ensures that the door handle is fixed correctly, quickly, and safely.
When choosing a professional for door handle repair, it’s important to consider their qualifications, experience, and reputation. A qualified technician should be licensed, insured, and experienced in handling different types of door handles. They should also have a good reputation in the industry, with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers. You can check for reviews online or ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had similar repairs done.
It’s also important to get a price quote upfront before hiring the technician. A good professional should be able to provide a detailed estimate of the repair cost, including the cost of parts, labor, and any additional fees. Make sure to ask if there are any warranty or guarantee policies, in case the problem recurs after the repair. A reliable technician should stand by their work and offer a guarantee or warranty for a period.
In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace the door handle altogether rather than repairing it. A professional technician should be able to advise you on the best course of action based on the severity of the damage, the type of door handle, and your budget. They may also suggest preventative measures to avoid similar problems in the future, such as regular maintenance or upgrading to a sturdier door handle.
Overall, seeking professional help is the best option when dealing with a loose lever door handle. It saves time, money, and effort, and ensures that the repair is done correctly and safely. Just make sure to do your due diligence when choosing a technician and ask all the necessary questions to ensure that you get the best service for your money.