I have an Emtek Charleston entry door lock set that seems to have a free-spinning thumb turn with nothing attached to it. I can turn the inside doorknob to either lock or unlock (similar to how the thumb turn should work) but a slight bump can turn an unlocked door to locked. The outside doorknob does not move or spin. Using the thumbturn does nothing and doesn't seem to be connected inside to anything. Using the key works as expected.

How can I change the internal side door lock control to be the thumb turn rather than twisting the inside door handle? The door handle is too finicky and often will pop to locked from jarring it or closing the door hard. Having the indoor lock or unlock controlled via the thumb turn is what I want and seems more reliable. The key behavior should be unchanged. Is that thumbturn only supposed to be used with a bolt that comes out - if so I don't have an additional bolt on top.

Is this a simple configuration to change? I pulled it out of the Mortise to look around but I couldn't figure it out.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Sounds like something has come undone or is broken inside the door. Repair might be possible depending if parts can be found, but replacement is usually best course of action.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 11:10
  • 1
    If you're willing to take the mortise lock apart, you might find that there's a broken connecting rod between the thumbturn and the rest of the unit. Emtek might have replacement parts available, but that's not guaranteed. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Since you seem to know the mfgr & the model, I'd suggest contacting them for schematics and repair parts.

You may end up having to remove your lock from the door and slowly and carefully disassemble it (with the schematic, you'll know where the springs and tiny parts are - use extreme caution, they tend to escape to wherever it is that small parts go to die), looking for things that aren't connected as they are supposed to be or are broken.

If there are simply disassembled parts, reassemble and it should work.

If you have broken parts (or worn out springs), check back at the mfgr web site (or 3rd part sites, sometimes cheaper, sometimes not) to purchase repair parts.


That looks like a "non-standard" face plate that seems to be missing a few of the cutouts, etc. and my be hampering the function of the lock set. I may indicate that the lock set is not the original equipment.

Compare the faceplate in your photo with the manufacturer's documentation and the installation instructions.

enter image description here

  • So it may be as simple as ordering and installing a new face plate (remove and replace 2 screws). He'd have gotten there with my instructions, too. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 14:14
  • @FreeMan - While I do admire your optimism, I don't think it's that simple. I'm thinking that the "mystery faceplate" indicates that what's underneath isn't what it should be. Getting the right faceplate is probably worth a shot if it's revealed that the "guts" of the lock are correct, but I'm more inclined to think that the whole thing is cobbled together from various parts. Hopefully not.
    – gnicko
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 14:54
  • Eternal optimist. Guilty as charged! I did say it "may" be as simple as...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 14:58
  • I'd second @gnicko's suggestion. I've seen a locksmith waste a substantial amount of time and effort through assuming that the lock matched the escutcheon. Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 20:17

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