I have an exterior door with a keyhole-in-knob deadlatch. With the
recent cold weather, the latch started sticking open when it gets
pushed in while closing the door, so the door doesn't latch shut. I
figured out that the deadlatch was sticking to the main latch, so the
main latch couldn't spring back out into the door frame.
So I rubbed a pencil (a quick source of graphite) in the groove in the
main latch which the deadlatch rubs against. It worked for about a
week and a half, and now the problem is back.
Should I try more graphite, or a different type? Will adding WD-40
after graphite gum up the works? I'd really prefer not to replace the
whole doorknob lock because of this simple problem.
The pencil lead contains clay as well as graphite, a mixed blessing for
WD-40, depending on the exact version, is mostly kerosene, which
lubricates for a short while, then evaporates, leaving behind who knows
My locksmith recommends 3-in-1 oil, but just a drop.
I recommend that you remove the entire knobset, clean it well, and
reinstall it. It's amazing how often I fix something just by taking it
apart and putting it back together.
If taking it apart and cleaning doesn't work, you may be able to just
replace the latch internals.
One of my exterior doors wouldn't close unless I turned the knob.
Cleaning and lubricating didn't help, so for $10 I replaced the
internals and all is fine. Look in the door knob section of your local
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