Wolfhard Homma has a nagging problem that just won’t go away: The patio door lock on his house. He writes:
“The door is locked in place by a metal knob in the jamb over which the movable slotted latch in the door slides. This pinnacle of American engineering suffers from two problems: First, bad material selection or insufficient dimensioning causes the spring holding the latch in its upper position to break. Often.
Once the spring is broken, the latch has to be manually forced to the open position when closing the door. Failure to do this (and you’d be amazed how easy it is for that to happen!) causes the latch to be pushed into the door, which makes it necessary to remove the entire handle assembly. It is a ten-minute operation made particularly aggravating because the long machine screws holding the handle plates have no guidance to find the tiny holes at the far side of the handles.
Second, in order to replace the lock I have to lift the whole heavy glass door out of the sliding tracks and then remove the aluminum side panel.
And last, but not least: It took me three trips to Home Depot to identify, order, and receive a replacement (after three weeks), which, needless to say, is broken again after a few years of use.”