Broken Service door

image showing a hand holding a small access door that has fallen off its hinge

On one of our hops across the country while hooking up our fresh water, the door fell off in my hand. The problem turned out to be a broken retracting plastic pin on one side of the door hinge.

The door attaches to the utility cabinet with one fixed pin and one spring retracting pin. Both pins are plastic, the retractable one is the one that broke. When it broke, the spring and remaining bits of pin disappeared into the gravel, never to be seen again. I made a few inquiries as to how to get a new one but since we were traveling I secured it with some tape and forgot about it.

We made it to our summer location and work calls started flowing in so I continued to rely on my good brown tape to hold my access door in place.

At the end of the season I decided that it was time to fix this little project once and for all. I had a MacGyver moment and came up with a solution.

Using an old retractable ink pen that was nearing the end of its useful life, I used the spring and inserted it into the retracting pin hole.

I cut down an 8-32 bolt to the size needed to function in the pin socket. It fit right into the socket and extended and retracted smoothly.

Using a dental pic I was able to retract the new pin and allow it to re-extend into the hinge socket.

Once again we have a working utility access door and it only cost an old pen and one bolt.

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