Inside Knob Won't Turn
This is generally encountered if your lock is a mortise lock. Many mortise locks have something called a split spindle. A split spindle is what allows the inside to work independent of the outside when it is correctly adjusted.
If the inside knob becomes loose the adjustment of the split spindle can be affected. The easiest way to get the door open is to pull firmly on the inside knob when turning. That will, in effect, restore the spindle to the correct operating position and allow the knob to turn again.
The screw that holds the knob in place on the spindle is usually the slotted type and you should find it around the 5 or 7 o’clock position. Loosen it until the knob can turn without retracting the latch and then turn the knob clockwise until it just begins to get tight. Then turn the knob counter-clockwise until the screw is at the 5 or 7 o’clock position and tighten the screw as tight as possible. That should allow the knob to turn freely and always retract the latch. If it doesn’t turn freely, loosen the screw and turn the knob ¼ turn counter-clockwise before tightening the screw again.
Usually the outer knob is permanently fixed to that side of the spindle. If the screw will not tighten or if the knob still turns without retracting the latch the inside of the spindle has become stripped or too rounded and you will need to replace it.
Your local locksmith is the most likely source for a new spindle and will exchange the outside knob for you for a small added fee and show you how to set it before putting it in the door.
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