Things You'll Need
Spray paint (optional)
With most storm door handle problems, the best fix is a quick and inexpensive replacement. For a few simple problems, though, you might not have to go that far. A little troubleshooting can go a long way toward getting your storm door operating correctly again and can save you few bucks.
Latch Has to be Lifted to Open
Reverse the latch installation. Storm door handles typically open by pushing down. Check the installation instructions for a picture of the handle and compare to be sure it is right side up.
Remove the handle by taking out the retaining screws, usually two located at the top and bottom of the inside handle.
Turn the handle over and, if necessary, reverse the latch nose. Replace the handle and reinsert and tighten the retaining screws.
Door Handle Won't Latch
Check to be sure the closer is pulling the door. The hold-open washer sometimes binds, causing the door to remain partially open.
Adjust the striker plate, which will have two screws mounted in adjustable slots. Loosen the screws, reposition the striker and retighten the screws. Test and readjust to get a perfect close. You want the door closed tight, but you should not have to pull.
Replace the handle if the striker and closer seem to be in working order. Purchase a similar model and follow the directions provided.
Handle Comes Off or is Loose
Tighten any loose screws.
Replace missing screws. Take old screws with you to the hardware store for identification. Purchase stainless steel to avoid rust.
Install new screws and make sure they are tight. If your handle is painted, you may want spray paint to touch up the screw heads to match.
The Push Button Sticks
Check to see if the button sticks when the door is open. If not, adjust your striker as above and retest.
Loosen your retaining screws. If retaining screws are overly tight, they can put pressure on the handle and cause it to malfunction. Loosen them a half-turn and try again. Be sure not to loosen too much.
Flip the button spring. The button handle has a spring that is roughly cone-shaped. If the small end of the spring is toward the door, it may slip into the door hole and bind. Remove the handle and check to make sure the large end of the spring is toward the door.
Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.