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Locksmithing/Door latch that latches but then can be pushed open without turning knob


Bedroom door in 1920 built house with glass door knob used to latch, sometimes stick. Had to lock a large cat in this room and because the door is not a tight fit, he was able to rattle door by reaching under neath and pulling. Now the door latches but can be pushed open with a strong push or sometimes a light push without turning knob. But since it will actually latch and usually stays closed if not pushed, is that an alignment problem or is it the hinges? The top hinge  is not set in as close to the frame as the bottom I noticed.  Very old painted hinges.  Any advice ?

Hello Kay,

Check the strike on the frame where the latch goes into.  If you see wear on the strike that is not in line with the hole, the alignment is off so the strike needs adjustment or replacement.

Sometimes the strike shows no wear because the latch is going into the hole and is lined up but there isn't enough room horizontally for it to go into the hole fully.  This can be adjusted as well with a file.

The gap difference is likely the cause but generally difficult to adjust so adjusting the strike is generally the best option.



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I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

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