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Don't like my new doorknob.
Old 03-31-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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Don't like my new doorknob.

Front door doorknob wore out last fall. Bought a replacement and installed it. All my other doorknobs (all have the twist-lock in the center of the knob, as does the new one), when you lock it the knob won't turn on the outside (as expected) or on the inside either--that way you know it's locked. My new doorknob, whether locked or not, opens from the inside. After I got it, locked myself out a dozen times---have a key hid on the front porch so it wasn't any big deal, but still irritating. Son-in-law says they're all made that way now for safety in case granny or a guest are visiting and a fire breaks out, they don't have to spend the extra second to figure out how to unlock the door. Is this true? Too cheap & lazy to replace it, but curious just the same.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:04 AM   #2
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I like that kind of doorknob, for fire safety.

A few years ago I had two Katrina-destroyed doors replaced. These were doors to exterior closets that do not connect with the rest of the inside of my home, and are intended for tool storage. I refused to have the type of doorknob put on that wouldn't open from the inside always, because I was concerned that neighborhood kids could lock themselves inside there and not be able to get out (if they were too little to figure it out). Living alone, I might not even hear them if that should happen and they would die. Even if this happened years in the future after I moved out, I would still feel responsible if I was the one to put those more dangerous locks on those doors. So, I got doorknobs with no locks at all, even though I keep all my gardening tools in there. Sounds like the doorknobs you got would have been perfect for me in this case.

Sometime in the next couple of years I plan to have a keypad entry lock installed on my side door. That would be an easy way to make sure you don't lock yourself out of the house. Another attraction (to me) is that with a keypad entry I could go for walks without having to carry a key somewhere.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payin-the-Toll View Post
My new doorknob, whether locked or not, opens from the inside. Son-in-law says they're all made that way now for safety in case granny or a guest are visiting and a fire breaks out, they don't have to spend the extra second to figure out how to unlock the door.
Sounds like an NFPA means of escape safety code that's found it's way into building codes etc. What's the downside of having doors open when the knob is turned whether locked or not? Imagine being in a fire...a small inconvenience that could save someone's life IMHO.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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Only downside I see is a small child (2-3) could open the door and get out of the house, whereas if the knob stayed locked on the inisde, they might not be smart enough yet to figure out how to twist the lock.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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We installed new door hardware and could not avoid the same problem. Because the locked door can be opened from the inside without first unlocking, our doors are constantly being locked out by guests. I never go out without a key.

To make matters worse, on the inside we installed all latches, just in time no have grandkids. Latch handles are so much easier for toddlers to open...
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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I'd say get a doorknob or lever that doesn't lock, and use a deadbolt to secure the door. Impossible to lock yourself out, hopefully more challenging for a small child to get out, and more secure than a door knob lock. The deadbolt should turn without a key from the inside for escape in an emergency.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payin-the-Toll View Post
Front door doorknob wore out last fall. Bought a replacement and installed it. All my other doorknobs (all have the twist-lock in the center of the knob, as does the new one), when you lock it the knob won't turn on the outside (as expected) or on the inside either--that way you know it's locked.
Have you tried just pushing the button in rather than twisting it? I have knobs that work both ways. When you twist it, it is locked permanently from both sides of the soor. When you push the button in, and you turn the knob from the inside it should pop out and you have unlocked the knob from both sides of the door.

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Old 03-31-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
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OK, I'm an idiot. How does being able to open the door from the inside, even if locked, cause someone to get locked outside? There is obviously something I'm missing cause I don't get it.

W2R - I had a keypad look on our side door (the one we used day to day) at our old house. It also had a "regular" deadbolt look in it so if someone had a key but didn't know the code they could use it. You could theoretically set temporary codes for a temporary visitor, etc.

It ended up not being as wonderful as it sounded. Setting up a temporary could was much more difficult than it was worth doing. We just very rarely did it since it meant taking off the panel on the keypad, getting on your knees to move move tiny buttons to set a new code, having to find the instructions, use a flashlight to see everything.

The bigger issue was that it just often didn't work. Some days I would leave for work and I would try and try and try and it just wouldn't lock. We would change the batteries, etc and it just wouldn't work. It would seem to turning what it needed to turn to lock the deadbolt but it just wouldn't catch the door and actually lock it. Less often, but rarely I would put in a code and it wouldn't unlock.

This was a lock bought about 7 years ago so maybe they are better now.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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I solved that by using a latch set with no lock and a separate deadbolt with a knob on the inside to lock the door. Impossible to lock myself out since the key is required to lock the door from the outside. The deadbolt is more secure than a regular lock set. It requires drilling additional holes in the door for two pieces of hardware but works great.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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OK, I'm an idiot. How does being able to open the door from the inside, even if locked, cause someone to get locked outside? There is obviously something I'm missing cause I don't get it.
In many cases the lock stays on even after opening it from the inside, so if you walk out the door without your key and shut it behind you, you are locked out. Of course you can hide a key outside, but there's the risk that someone else will find it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:01 PM   #11
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Ah, OK. I get it. I have had for forever (well it seems like it) doors where the deadbolt is separate and the latch doesn't have a lock at all. So there is no way to open a door and have it still stay locked.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I'd say get a doorknob or lever that doesn't lock, and use a deadbolt to secure the door. Impossible to lock yourself out, hopefully more challenging for a small child to get out, and more secure than a door knob lock. The deadbolt should turn without a key from the inside for escape in an emergency.
This is what I do. I cannot safely stash keys outside, and although I have given spare keys to a couple nearby friends often they would not be home when I needed the key.

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