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How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock (10 Easy Steps)

How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock

How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock, remove the screws holding the lock in place and replace any broken parts. Push bar door locks are commonly found in commercial buildings, and they provide an easy way to exit quickly in case of an emergency.

However, like any other mechanical device, push bar door locks are prone to wear and tear over time. Thus, it’s crucial to know how to fix them when they malfunction. Fixing a push bar door lock is relatively easy, and it can be done in a few simple steps.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to fix a push bar door lock by identifying the problem, troubleshooting the issue, and making any necessary repairs. We’ll also look at some common problems associated with push bar door locks and how to avoid them. So, let’s dive in!

How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock

In this guide, we will be exploring the steps necessary to fix a push bar door lock. These locks, also known as panic bars or crash bars, are most commonly found in commercial establishments for quick and easy emergency exits. Over time, these door locks may experience wear and tear, leading to malfunctions. Fixing them is crucial to maintaining the safety and security of a building. Whether it’s a mechanical issue, an alignment problem, or a broken part, we will provide you with practical advice on how to diagnose and resolve these common issues. This guide will help you restore the functionality of your push bar door lock, potentially saving you the cost of a professional locksmith or a complete replacement. Please remember, though, if the problem persists after your repair attempts, it’s recommended to seek professional help to ensure safety and proper operation.

The fix a push bar door lock, you will need the following materials:

  1. Screwdriver Set: A set of both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers in varying sizes will be useful. These will be used to loosen, remove, or tighten screws involved in the assembly of the push bar lock.
  2. Wrench Set: Some parts of the lock might be held together by bolts. A set of adjustable wrenches will come in handy.
  3. Lubricating Oil: This will help smoothen the operation of the lock mechanism, especially when you’re dealing with stuck or rusted parts.
  4. Clean Cloth: This will be used to clean any debris or excess lubricating oil during the repair process.
  5. Replacement Parts: Depending on the extent of the problem, you may need to replace certain components of the lock. These could be the latch, springs, or the entire push bar assembly itself. Make sure to identify the specific model of your push bar lock to get compatible replacement parts.
  6. Safety Goggles and Gloves: Safety should be your utmost priority when working with tools and hardware. Goggles will protect your eyes from flying debris, while gloves will help protect your hands.
  7. Multi-meter (Optional): In case you’re dealing with an electrically operated push bar lock, you might need a multimeter to check for electrical continuity and resistance.

Remember, it’s essential to understand the problem with your push bar door lock before you begin the repair process. This way, you will know what materials and replacement parts you need.

Step 1: Diagnose the Problem

Before attempting any repairs, it is essential to identify the specific issue with the push bar door lock. Common problems include a loose bar, sticking latch, misalignment, or worn-out components. Examine the lock mechanism carefully to determine the exact cause of the problem.

How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock

Step 2: Remove the Lock Covers

Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully remove the lock covers on both sides of the door. These covers are typically located near the handle and are designed to conceal the locking mechanism.

Step 3: Inspect the Lock Components

With the lock covers removed, visually inspect the internal components of the push bar door lock. Look for any loose screws, bent parts, or signs of damage. Pay particular attention to the latch, bolts, and springs.

Step 4: Tighten Loose Screws

If you find any loose screws during the inspection, use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten them. Make sure to tighten all screws securely to ensure the lock mechanism operates smoothly.

Step 5: Lubricate the Lock Mechanism

Apply a suitable lubricant, such as WD-40 or graphite lubricant, to the moving parts of the lock mechanism. This will help reduce friction and enable smoother operation. Spray or apply the lubricant to areas such as the latch, pivot points, and sliding components. Follow the lubricant manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Step 6: Align the Lock

If the push bar door lock is misaligned, it may not function correctly. To realign it, loosen the screws on the mounting plates located on the door frame. Gently adjust the lock until it is properly aligned with the strike plate. Once aligned, tighten the screws to secure the lock in place.

Step 7: Check the Door Alignment

In some cases, the issue may be with the door itself rather than the lock. Check if the door is properly aligned with the door frame. If the door is sagging or misaligned, adjustments may be necessary. Consult a professional if the door requires significant adjustments or repairs.

Step 8: Test the Lock

After completing the repairs and adjustments, test the lock’s functionality by operating the push bar. Ensure that the latch engages and disengages smoothly and that the door opens and closes correctly.

Step 9: Replace Worn-Out Components (if necessary)

If the lock still does not function properly or if you notice severely damaged or worn-out components during the inspection, it may be necessary to replace them. Contact the lock manufacturer or a reputable locksmith to obtain the appropriate replacement parts. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional assistance for component replacement.

Step 10: Reassemble and Secure the Lock Covers

Once the lock is functioning correctly, reassemble the lock covers on both sides of the door. Use the screwdriver to secure them in place.


Fixing a push bar door lock requires careful inspection, diagnosis, and the appropriate repair techniques. By following this step-by-step guide, you can effectively address common issues with push bar door locks and restore their functionality. Remember to exercise caution and seek professional assistance if needed. With a properly functioning push bar door lock, you can ensure the security and smooth operation of your commercial space.

Types Of Push Bar Door Locks

Push bar door locks come in various types, including:

  • Rim exit devices: These are commonly used in single doors where the push bar is mounted on the door’s surface and the lock latch engages with the strike plate mounted on the door’s frame.
  • Mortise exit devices: These are suitable for double doors and are mounted inside the door frame. These locks have two lock latches, one for each door.
  • Vertical rod exit devices: These are primarily used for double doors and have two lock latches, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door.

Pros And Cons Of Having Push Bar Door Locks

Push bar door locks have several advantages and disadvantages. Here are some factors to consider:


  • Easy to operate in an emergency.
  • Suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Fail-safe, meaning the door will unlock in an emergency without a key.


  • Can be expensive to install and maintain.
  • May not be suitable for residential properties due to the cost and complexity.
  • The press bar can be vulnerable to damage by vandals, making the lock inoperable.

It’s essential to understand the basics of push bar door locks to fix and maintain them correctly. Knowing the mechanism, types, and pros and cons will help you make an informed decision when choosing these locks for your building.

Common Issues

Push bar door locks are essential in controlling the entry and exit of people into buildings. These types of locks are widely used in high-traffic areas and hence, are susceptible to damage. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to fix a push bar door lock for common issues faced by users.

Most Common Issues Faced With Push Bar Door Locks

Push bar door locks are easy to use and low maintenance. However, like any other mechanical tool, they may malfunction over time. Below are some of the most common issues with push bar door locks:

  • The door doesn’t open from the outside
  • The door doesn’t open from the inside
  • The push bar lock is jammed
  • The push bar lock is loose

Reasons For Malfunctioning Of Push Bar Door Locks

Whether you’re facing issues with the push bar lock not opening from the inside or outside or it’s jammed or loose, the root cause for the malfunction is often one or more of the following:

  • Obstruction in the push bar lock mechanism
  • Debris buildup in the locking mechanism
  • Broken parts in the push bar lock mechanism
  • Overuse or misuse of the push bar lock

To fix these issues, follow the simple steps outlined in our “How to fix a push bar door lock” blog post. Remember to always proceed with caution and seek professional help if needed.

Though push bar door locks are durable and convenient to use, they require proper maintenance. Understanding the common issues and reasons for malfunctioning can help you fix the lock yourself or seek professional help, as needed.

Diagnosing The Lock Issues

Push bar door locks are critical in enhancing the security of homes, offices, and commercial buildings. However, over time, even the most reliable locks can malfunction. When that happens, fixing the lock promptly is essential to ensure they continue providing optimum security.

Diagnosing the lock issues is critical in determining the specific flaws and making appropriate fixes. Here are the key steps to diagnosing a push bar door lock issue and the tools required for the task.

Steps To Diagnose The Push Bar Door Lock Issue

  • Start by examining the exterior of the lock, including the locking mechanism, to see if there is any visible damage or corrosion.
  • Next, open the door and inspect the inside of the locking mechanism for any visible damage or wear and tear.
  • Check if the latch mechanism moves smoothly and easily.
  • Check if the lock is orientated in the right direction based on the door’s swing.
  • Finally, observe all the operations of the push bar door lock to see if any parts need fixing.

Tools Required For Diagnosing The Lock Issues

To diagnose a push bar door lock issue, you will need the following tools:

  • Screwdriver set (Phillips and flathead).
  • Allen wrench.
  • Pliers.
  • Lubricant.
  • Replacement parts if the lock is severely damaged.

When diagnosing a push bar door lock issue, it is essential to be cautious and avoid causing further damage to the locking mechanism. With the right tools and procedures, fixing the lock becomes easy, and once again, you can rest assured that your property is secure.

Fixing The Push Bar Door Locks

You’ve probably found yourself in a situation where you can’t lock your push bar door, which could cause security concerns. Don’t panic, as this problem can be solved easily. Here, we will discuss possible quick fixes, how to replace damaged parts, and tips on maintaining and troubleshooting push bar door lock issues.

Quick Fixes For Push Bar Door Locks

Some push bar door lock issues can easily be resolved with simple adjustments. Here are some quick fixes you can try before considering a replacement.

  • Check if the push bar is properly aligned with the locking mechanism. If it is misaligned, it won’t lock correctly. Align the push bar and try locking the door again.
  • Check if the lock mechanism is properly lubricated. The push bar could be sticking due to a lack of lubrication. Lubricate the lock mechanism and retest the door.
  • Check if there is an object obstructing the lock mechanism. An object obstructing the mechanism can cause issues with locking. Remove the object and retest the door lock.
  • Check if the latch is fully extended. If it isn’t, it won’t lock properly. Use a tool to extend the latch, and try locking the door again.

Guide On How To Replace Damaged Parts Of Push Bar Door Locks

If the quick fixes didn’t solve the problem, you may need to replace damaged parts of the push bar door lock. Here is a simple guide on how to do it.

  • Identify which part of the push bar door lock is damaged and needs replacing.
  • Purchase the required replacement parts.
  • Remove the damaged part. If you’re unsure how to do this, refer to the door lock manual.
  • Install the new part making sure it is securely attached.
  • Test the lock to ensure it is working correctly.

Tips On Maintaining And Troubleshooting Push Bar Door Lock Issues

One of the best ways to maintain push bar door locks is by keeping them clean and lubricated. Here are some tips on addressing push bar door lock-related issues.

  • Regularly clean the lock mechanism. Dirt and debris can cause problems with locking.
  • Keep the lock mechanism adequately lubricated using lubricants such as wd-40.
  • Test the lock frequently and quickly to address any issues that arise. Fixing problems early can prevent small issues from becoming larger problems.
  • Contact a professional locksmith to solve complex problems, or if you are unsure how to fix the problem yourself.

By following these quick fixes, replacement guides, and troubleshooting tips, maintaining and fixing push bar door locks will be easy and straightforward. Remember to stay alert and regularly check your door locks to prevent security concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Fix A Push Bar Door Lock

How do you secure a push bar door?

Here are a few steps you can take to secure a push bar door:

Install a sturdy lock: Choose a high-quality lock that is specifically designed for push bar doors. Make sure it meets relevant safety standards and offers reliable security.

Implement access control: Consider integrating an access control system, such as a keypad or card reader, to limit entry to authorized personnel only. This adds an extra layer of security to your push bar door.

Install surveillance cameras: Place security cameras strategically to monitor the area around the push bar door. This can act as a deterrent to potential intruders and provide evidence in case of any security breaches.

Reinforce the door frame: Ensure that the door frame is strong and well-maintained. Reinforce it with additional metal plates or security strike plates to prevent forced entry.

Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the push bar door, including the lock mechanism, hinges, and other components. Repair or replace any damaged parts promptly to maintain the door’s security.

How do push bar doors work?

Here’s how they work:

Emergency exit mechanism: Push bar doors incorporate a horizontal bar or a vertical touchpad that spans the width of the door. This mechanism allows occupants to quickly push against it to unlatch and open the door from the inside.

Mechanical linkage: Inside the door, the push bar is connected to a mechanical linkage, which activates the latch or bolt that holds the door closed. When pressure is applied to the push bar, the mechanical linkage releases the latch, allowing the door to swing open.

Reverse operation: Push bar doors are designed to operate in a reverse manner compared to standard doors. Instead of turning a doorknob or lever, individuals simply need to push against the bar to initiate the unlocking and opening process.

Smooth and fast exit: Push bar doors are intended for emergency exits, such as in crowded public spaces or buildings. The design ensures a smooth and efficient exit, allowing people to evacuate quickly and safely without the need for individual manual unlocking.

How do you remove a push bar from a door?

Follow these steps:

Locate the mounting screws: Look for the screws that secure the push bar assembly to the door. They are typically located on the inside of the door or on the faceplate of the push bar itself.

Remove the screws: Using a suitable screwdriver or Allen wrench, unscrew and remove all the screws securing the push bar assembly. Keep the screws in a safe place for reinstallation later.

Detach the push bar assembly: Once the screws are removed, carefully detach the push bar assembly from the door. This may involve lifting it off its brackets or sliding it out of the mounting slots, depending on the specific design.

Inspect and perform necessary tasks: With the push bar assembly removed, you can inspect it for any damage, clean it, or make repairs as needed. If you plan to reinstall the same push bar, take note of its orientation and positioning for proper reassembly.

Reinstall or replace: After completing any necessary tasks, reattach the push bar assembly to the door following the reverse steps of removal. If you are replacing the push bar, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional assistance to ensure proper installation.

How do you adjust a panic bar latch?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to adjusting a panic bar latch:

Identify the adjustment points: Examine the panic bar latch to locate the adjustment points. These can vary depending on the specific design and manufacturer. Common adjustment points include screws, set screws, or Allen wrench fittings.

Loosen the adjustment screws: Using a suitable tool, such as a screwdriver or Allen wrench, loosen the adjustment screws on the latch mechanism. This will allow for adjustment without resistance.

Adjust the latch position: With the screws loosened, carefully adjust the position of the latch to the desired level. For example, if the latch is not aligning properly with the strike plate, you may need to adjust it horizontally or vertically.

Test the latch operation: After making the adjustment, test the latch by operating the panic bar. Ensure that the latch engages and disengages smoothly with the strike plate. If necessary, make further adjustments until the latch functions correctly.

Secure the adjustment screws: Once the latch is properly adjusted, tighten the adjustment screws securely to prevent any unintentional movement or misalignment.

How Do I Know If My Push Bar Lock Needs Fixing?

If you’re having trouble locking the door or the door won’t open, it’s time to investigate. Check for loose screws, damaged parts, or signs of wear and tear. If you notice anything unusual, it may be time to repair your push bar lock.

Can I Fix A Push Bar Lock Myself?

Yes, it’s possible to fix a push bar lock yourself if you have the right tools and some basic knowledge of locksmithing. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to hire a professional locksmith to do the job.

What Tools Do I Need To Fix A Push Bar Lock?

You’ll need a screwdriver, pliers, a wrench, and possibly a drill and saw. It’s also a good idea to have replacement parts on hand in case anything needs to be replaced.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Push Bar Lock?

The cost of fixing a push bar lock depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage and the cost of replacement parts. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $200 for a professional locksmith to fix a push bar lock.

How Long Does It Take To Fix A Push Bar Lock?

The amount of time it takes to fix a push bar lock depends on the extent of the damage and the tools and experience of the locksmith. In general, a simple repair can be completed in under an hour, while a more complex repair may take several hours or even a full day.

How Can I Prevent My Push Bar Lock From Breaking?

Regular maintenance can help keep your push bar lock from breaking. Make sure to keep the lock and hardware clean and lubricated, tighten loose screws, and replace any worn or damaged parts as soon as possible. Additionally, avoid slamming or forcing the door, which can put extra stress on the lock.


The push bar door lock may seem like a daunting challenge, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be fixed with ease. Starting with the basic troubleshooting steps of checking for battery life and lubricating the internal parts, you can move on to more advanced solutions such as replacing key components or calling in a professional locksmith for assistance.

Remember to exercise caution and patience when working with the lock, and always prioritize safety to prevent any accidents or injuries. Be sure to also keep up with regular maintenance to prolong the life of the lock and avoid any future issues.

Armed with these tips, you can confidently tackle any push bar door lock problem that comes your way.