Why is my door handle not springing back?

Problems with a drooping door handle?

This week we have a useful Troubleshooting Workflow as part of the More Handles 'How To...' Series for if your door handle is not springing back correctly.

 

Dear Door Doctor,

I fitted your door handles and everything looked great for about a week, but now the door handle lever doesn't spring back properly, and instead of the door handle being at a perfectly horizontal angle it has developed a little 'brewer's droop' and hangs down at a slight angle.  Needless to say I am not happy with the look and my wife finds it very frustrating - Can you help?

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Dear DIYer,

Do not worry - Help is at hand for this embarrassing issue.  Droopy door handles is a fairly common problem but is usually quite easily rectified.  The problem maybe something quite simple such as more lubrication being required or a stronger latch action is required.  We have a useful troubleshooting workflow below that helps you identify the likely problem and soon have your door handle sitting straight up and working properly.

drooping door handle not returning straight

If your door handle is not returning correctly it is likely to be one of a few issues;

1 - The fixings have been overtightened causing the lever bearing to bind against the door face, or causing the door to compress the latch mechanism inside the mortice and stop it from operating correctly.

Loosen the screws slightly and operate the handles they should now return to the horizontal position.

2 - The spring mechanism is not properly lubricated, preventing the handle from springing back to horizontal.

Remove the levers from the door and holding the backplate in one hand operate the handle.  If it is grinding or seizing apply 
a little grease and operate again to work the grease in to the mechanism.

3 -The levers are not aligned with each other correctly, resulting in the spindle going through the door at an angle and therefore not operating correctly.

Visually check and measure the alignment of the handles and refit if not true to horizontal or vertical.

4 - The latch or lock has not been mortice into the door at a straight angle again putting the levers under stress and not letting the door handle spring back fully.

Remove the levers and check operation of the latch.  Check alignment of the latch and refit if not true to horizontal or vertical.

5 - The latch or lock mechanism is of inferior quality with a light spring action that is not sufficient to return the lever to horizontal, this can be the case with particularly good quality solid heavy levers.

In general a good place to start is to remove the handles and holding them in your hands check if they operate correctly.  If they are springing back ok then the issue must involve the fitting or the latch mechanism.

See our Troubleshooting workflow below to help you identify and fix the likely problem.

 

door handle levers not returning to horizontal

 

If there is still an issue with your door handle not springing back properly please give one of our experts our call and we will pleased to help.  

More Handles has a huge range of door handles and door locks and latches to fit any situation. Our Door Handle and Door Lock 'Doctors' are available Weekdays bewteen 9-5 on TEL - 01228 516516, and we welcome all questions however embarassing you think they are!

the door doctor