How to Fix a Door Handle

If your door handle is not returning to the horizontal position it is almost certainly because the spring has broken in either one or both of the handles on the door. Replacing a door handle spring is really quite simple, the only special tool you need is a pair of external circlip pliers. External circlip pliers are available on Amazon for about £3.50. These circlips pliers can be used both as external or internal circlip. These work, but they can be a bit fiddly and most people probably wouldn’t use the jaws intended for internal circlips. We generally recommend opting for a simple pair of straight nosed external circlip thegoneapp.comse note that this guide is for traditional lever handles – if you have a UPVC handle its simply a matter of removing the broken spring cassette and fitting a new one (see UPVC Door Handle Springs).

Repairing the Handle

  • Saves money – especially if you have more than one broken handle now or in the future
  • Saves the effort of finding a matching handle, with the screw holes in exactly the same position
  • Saves having to re-paint the door when you discover the new handle plate does not cover the position of the old handle plate
  • Is good for the environment
  • Gives you a sense of achievement!

So what’s involved?The first thing to do is to remove the handle from the door. Put some newspaper under your handle, as it’s not uncommon for some fine metal dust to fall on the floor as the handle is removed. If the handle was left on the door when the door was last painted it may be worth running a sharp knife around the handle to allow it to come away from the door without damaging the surrounding paintwork. After removing the handle from the door, the inside of it should look similar to the one on the left in this photograph.

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disassembled door handle with washers removed to replace spring

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At this point you should protect your eyes (see safety information below). The circlip pliers’ tips should be inserted into the holes in the circlip. Next, squeeze the handles together. This will open up the circlip allowing it to be removed from the groove in the handle shaft. Next, take out the washers as well as the cam. The cam is the metallic disc with 1 or 2 points. This defines the handle’s travel. In the picture to the left the cam has 1 point to define the horizontal position of the handle. The handle’s downward travel would be determined if the cam had 2 points. It helps if you make a note of the orientation of the cam before it is removed. The spring’s force will cause the handle to move upwards as soon as it is removed. This is due to the spring breaking. To fix this, move the handle manually so that the lever is vertical. Once you have removed any broken pieces from the spring, install the new spring as shown in this picture. The spring can be protected with Vaseline or grease to reduce wear. Once the spring has been installed, the handle will be rotated up to the vertical position. To refit the cam you need to depress the handle just past the horizontal position with one hand whilst pressing the cam onto the shaft with the other hand. Replace any washers and then refit the circlip (remember eye protection) .

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Always use circlip pliers to remove circlips. Attempts to prise circlips off with a screwdriver usually deforms the circlip. Screwdrivers slip and can cause circlips to fly off of circlip pliers. For this reason WEAR APPROPRIATE EYE PROTECTION.

Choosing the Correct Type of Replacement Door Handle Spring

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Take a look at our guide to Choosing the Correct Door Handle Spring. It contains useful information on how to determine the thickness of spring to reading the guide proceed either to Round Wire Door Handle Springs or Flat Wire Door Handle Springs

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