Tubular latch springs

13 Feb 2015
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United Kingdom
I have a door where the tubular latch has always been too strong. As in, it’s quite hard to turn the knob as the spring is too strong. I’ve changed changing the latch but they all seem the same, and make it hard to turn the knob with e.g wet hands.

Anyway, the other day I noticed the knob was suddenly easier to turn. Out of interest I took the latch out of the door and a bit (about 1cm) of broken spring dropped out.

In a way, this is perfect as I can now then the knob without problem. However, I’m worried that the latch may break altogether and mean I can’t get the door open (which could be dangerous as I have small children).

I’d really like to know exactly what goes on inside a tubular latch - where the springs are, which bit is connected to which - so I can work out what might have broken and its impact. Seems impossible to find a diagram online!

Does anyone with expert knowledge of tubular latches know if I can just enjoy new easy-to-open door or if I need to replace the latch?
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You've got round doorknobs, haven't you?

Try oval ones in the bathroom.
Round. I’ve tried oval but didn’t make too much difference. The latch is still too heavy. A handle would probably be ok but we don’t want that for aesthetic reasons. It’s not the bathroom, it’s a hallway and a high-traffic area as we have to keep the door shut to contain children and dogs.
If spring too strong, shortening it will weaken it. If you want to know how the latch works, disassemble it and see.
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A broken spring will not prevent the lock from opening, it will simply prevent the latch from popping out when you close the door.

When you close the door, does the lock always engage, or do you occasionally need to push/pull the door rather forcefully? If so, the latch receiver in the door frame may need to be moved a mm away from the door stop side. An easy way to test would be to see if there is any rattle when you push and pull the door when closed.

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