How to Fix a Loose Sliding Glass Door Handle

  • Thread starter KristinaW
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May 7, 2021
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Ever since we moved into our house, we've had a loose handle on the sliding glass door that goes out to the porch. I always said that I was going to replace it, but never got around to it. It’s been over two years now and I suppose enough is enough. I can be lazy sometimes, but c’mon. How can I expect my spouse to use a door with a loose handle on it? I just wasn’t raised to allow something like that to happen.

Since I had today off, I thought it would be nice to take a leisurely stroll down to Lowes in Middletown. I had to get some deer screening, posts (which I got), and the door handle for the sliding glass door. I picked up the other stuff and wandered over to the sliding glass door handle aisle. I looked at the selection and noticed that they didn’t have what I wanted. From looking online, I knew these handles were kind of expensive at $47.50 and $29.50. I always thought they were cheaper than that for some reason. I wasn’t too upset. Also, all I needed was the outside part. I grabbed something else instead…some nice stainless steel nuts and bolts.


I compared the threads with the bolts in the other door handle packages.

Before I go any further, let’s get down to the reason the handle was loose in the first place. The two screws that hold the thing together were kind of rusted in place. There was no way to loosen or tightened these two bolts. Over the years, I guess the handle loosened up and couldn’t be tightened. (Yeah, I should’ve cleaned that)


How did I get the handle off then? I drilled the two bolt heads off. Above is a picture of the door with no handle.


When I say rusted, I mean rusted. I thought that since I had that long bolt to work with, I could just grab them with my channel locks and twist. Well, I did that and here is what happened.


Hmmmm…what the heck was I supposed to do now? I had broken both bolts. They were really weak, by the way. I thought about drilling then out, by I couldn’t do that without totally messing up the handle. Instead, I got out my handy new Dremel and started cutting.


I knew the bolts couldn’t be rusted all the way inside the handle. After I ground the handle all the way down to the bolt, I twisted them right out.


What a wonderful achievement, if I don’t say so myself. Before I did this, I came very close to running down to the hardware store for a new handle.


Here is a photo of the handle back in place…this time, nice and tight. The new bolts were threaded perfectly. I had to use those washers because the bolts were a hint too long. Also, I cleaned and oiled the sliding glass door track, which allowed the door to slide much smoother and easier. Now, there won’t be so much stress on the handle when we open the door.