Asked on Feb 15, 2015

Doorknob latch assembly stuck - can't open door

Andrew S
by Andrew S
This doorknob was not working so I removed the knob but when I took it off I could not remove the latch assembly so the door is stuck shut. I tried removing the hinges but since I can't open the door, I can't get at the them. Any ideas?
Stuck latch assembly
  9 answers
  • Andrew S Andrew S on Feb 15, 2015
    I should note that I tried putting the knob back on but it doesn't work
  • Shaza Lee Shaza Lee on Feb 15, 2015
    use need nose pliers. there is a small rod inside that channel... turn it and the door will open. that is the part the knob would have turned. I had the same situation.. the knob fell off.
  • The sliding part or bolt as its called is inside that tube with the square opening. It appears that your latch is missing some parts or something broke off which is why putting knob back on did not work. Because the rest of the latch is not there you can try to use a small screwdriver and push between the door and the jamb and wiggle it sideways so it clears the latch. This is probably the best way to do this. You can use a larger screw driver to push the gap between the door and the jamb wider then use the smaller screwdriver to move the latch sideways enough to free it from the jamb plate. I see the trim is off the door, You can use a long 1/4" drill and drill at a long angle to the center of where the latch goes. Once your though you should be able to push the latch to the open position.
  • Andrew S Andrew S on Feb 15, 2015
    Thanks guys. Of course I had forgotten to return one of the pieces to the knob. I tried it again with the piece and it worked. Doh!
  • Rebouchage Rebouchage on Feb 16, 2015
    Panic over Andrew. You could of course have acted like a burglar and pushed your credit card between the door and the frame to push the latch inwards and and hey presto door opens.
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Feb 16, 2015
    Pull the pins out of the hinges and remove the door that way.
  • Gra1005888 Gra1005888 on Feb 17, 2015
    We just went through this exact same problem, me locked upstairs! I climbed out a window and the next day we cut the mechanism out with a hole saw and put a new doorknob above it. Not pretty, but we can get upstairs without climbing onto the kitchen roof! Good luck!
  • Beverly Hullender Beverly Hullender on Feb 23, 2015
    This happened to me at a friend's house and I was stuck inside...and needing desperately to go to the bathroom! Using a small object such as a pocket knife or needlenose pliers, (the curved ones would work wonderfully!) insert them into the cylinder as much as you can pointing them upward and pulling back the opposite direction (that would be AWAY from the wall it's into). Now, this might take several tries to accomplish and may take a few attempts with different tools as well. There is a "catch" in the mechanism that you have to find and continue to pull away from the door frame. A crochet hook may be a valuable tool in this operation as well. It just takes perseverance and patience. It WILL come open. If you need to take a break and collect your patience don't think you've failed. I was ready to ask for a hose to be put through the opening or a baggie! Finally made it out--and to the bathroom in time!! Lol Good luck!
  • Nefty Martinez Nefty Martinez on Feb 19, 2018

    Thank you guys, I had the same issue - understanding the mechanism totally helped!