How To Fix Drooping Door Handles

Drooping door handles are a common problem and there are a number of reasons why a door handle might be sagging.

  • Incorrect door latch
  • Mortice Bar/Spindle issues
  • Overtight Fixings
  • Dirt/Debris in mechanism
  • Worn Springs


Drooping Door Handles


Drooping Door Handle Checklist


1. Incorrect Door Latch

The most common reason for drooping door handles is having an incorrect latch type. If you are fitting new handles, first check that your door handles and latches are compatible. New lever handles are more likely to be sprung and only require a standard tubular latch. Unsprung handles need to be fitted with a double sprung, heavy duty latch. Unsprung door handles fitted with standard latches will result in handles not returning back to the horizontal after use.

Another common issue with new handles is the spring can sometimes be a little stiff. This can result in the handle being difficult to operate or not returning back to the horizontal. A light application of lubricant onto the mechanism will resolve this issue.

Lever Door Handle and tubular latch


2. Mortice Bar/Spindle Issues

A drooping handle can sometimes be caused by a mortice bar that is misaligned or too long for the door. The current industry standard cross section size for mortice bars is 8mm, however they can sometimes vary in length from different manufacturers. If a mortice bar is even slightly too long, it will cause the spring to bind when the door handle is fixed to the surface of the door. This can be easily resolved by trimming the mortice bar with a junior hacksaw.


Standard size mortice bar


3. Overtight Fixings

If the door handle has been tightly fixed to the surface of the door, this will cause binding of the spring and possible drooping handles. To solve this problem, loosen the screws a little and you will find the handle realigns to the horizontal position.


4. Dirt/Debris in Mechanisms

Checking for dirt and debris may seem obvious, but this can cause problems with the spring return mechanism. Check the spring on the inside of the handle and the spring mechanism within the tubular latch. A simple clean of both mechanisms could resolve this issue.


5. Worn Spring in Door Handle

If you have checked all of the above action points and there is still a problem, it is most likely that the spring in your door handle is worn or at fault. New handles with faults can normally be replaced by the retailer, but for handles that are older you can replace the spring. Handle springs can be purchased from a general hardware store, however there are many different types and you will need to make sure that you are buying the right one for your door handle. For old door handles that have had many years of use, it may be that you will need to buy a replacement.


Back of handle and spring mechanism


We hope you found this helpful. Join us next time where we will be discussing whether to choose door knobs or door handles for your doors.



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  • Suffolk Latch Company on Sep 12, 2023

    Hi Heath, The spindle will need to go in square, meaning the end of the bar should be in the shape of a square when going into the latch, rather than a diamond shape. this will keep the handles in a neutral position.

  • Heathclyff on Sep 12, 2023

    Does the spindle have to be in a particular position for the door handles to stay up? I do remember reading this somewhere bit was unsure as to its acccuracy

  • Judith Irvine on Feb 21, 2022

    Hello, I have lived in my house for 36 years and following painting the hallways decided to clean my 1930’s original brass and copper handles. Upon gently screwing back the shiny handles I have noticed some of them are drooping and have lost their spring. Your webpage is helpful but I can’t work out how to take the plate over the spring off this old mechanism. I can supply photos if needed. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Judith

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