Door Closer Not Closing All The Way
Door closers are designed to gently close the door from the full open position to the latched position. If the door does not close all the way the door closer, door, frame, or hinges will need to be adjusted. In this article we explain why the door closer is not closing all the way and how to fix it.
Door Closer Is Undersized
Door closers come in a variety of spring power sizes ranging from 1-6. If the door closer is not closing the door all the way it may be undersized. Refer to the door closer spring size chart below. If a door closer has too small of a spring size such as a 2, and it is installed on a large exterior 48" wide commercial door, it likely will not have the power to close the door. Similarly, if you are looking to install a door closer yourself, always make sure you install the correct spring size door closer. If a repair technician installs or replaces a door closer, verify the spring size, since small spring door closers are much less expensive than bigger spring door closers. Door closers come in fixed spring models and adjustable spring models. The fixed spring models, come with a non-adjustable spring and can only be used for a specific door size. Adjustable spring door closers, however, have spring adjustment to change the spring tension for a variety of door sizes. If the door closer has an adjustable spring, the door closer spring tension can be increased by tightening the spring adjustment screw.
Main Closing Speed (Sweep) Is Not Adjusted Properly
All commercial door closers come standard with 2 closing speeds: the main closing speed known as the "sweep" and the latch speed. The main closing speed range is for the majority of the door closing cycle from when the start of the door closing cycle to approximately 12 degrees. The latch speed range is from the last 12 degrees of closing to the full closed position. The main closing speed can be increased by loosening the closing speed valve counter clockwise. When making any valve adjustments always go 1/8 or 1/4 turn at a time. Never fully loosen any door closer valve, as it result in loss of hydraulic pressure and oil will leak permanently damaging the door closer. According to ADA guidelines the door should take atleast 5 seconds to close from the 90 degree door position to the 12 degree door position. As long as the ADA guidelines are followed, the door closer speed can be increased to check if the door will close all the way.
Latch Speed Is Not Adjusted Properly
If the door closer closes fine for the main closing cycle, but does not close during the latch range of the closing cycle, then the latch speed can be increased. Just like the closing speed valve cautiously loosen the latch speed valve an 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time to increase the latch speed. The door should never slam closed. A slamming door is dangerous to pedestrians.
HVAC Wind or Stack Pressure
The simplest way to check the door is a victim to stack pressure, is to gently hold the door open to approximately 5 degrees (door is slightly cracked open). Feel if air or wind is pushing through the door small door opening. If it is, then the door has stack pressure and the HVAC system should be equalized. In a situation where that is not an option, the door closer can be adjusted but should always follow the ADA guidelines and recommendations set forth by the manufacturer's instructions.
Door, Frame, or Hardware Needs Adjustment
With the door closer arm disconnected from the door or frame, slowly swing the door open and closed. Are there any obstructions. Does the door swing freely with no resistance? Does the door latch properly? An improper door lock and strike installation can cause the door to not fully close properly. Similarly, a tweaked door or frame can cause excessive rubbing at the top or bottom of the door frame, causing the door to not fully close. If the door or frame is rubbing against one another, then there will be visible wear on the points of the door and frame that are rubbing together. Another component to check are the door hinges. Defective door hinges can cause excessive friction, making it difficult to open or close the door.
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