A Guide To Installing A Storefront Door Overhead Concealed Closer
A concealed door closer is a type of ADA closing device designed to mount inside of the door frame transom. For this reason, concealed closers are often referred to as overhead concealed closers, center hung closers, or transom closers. These closers are very popular in storefront doors because it hides the closing device. Surface door closers can mount on the face of a storefront door's top rail or door frame transom, making it visible to the public eye. Overhead concealed closers are also center hung, meaning the pivot point of the door is at the door's center line. This allows storefront door to use center hung bottom pivots as it's hinge mechanism. Unlike, storefront doors with surface closers which utilize offset pivot hinges or butt hinges.
Step 1: Remove Defective Door Closer BodyBefore installing a new overhead concealed door closer, the older defective closer body must be removed. For more information regarding this please see our guide, "How To Remove A Storefront Concealed Closer."
Step 2: Install New Closer Body Into Mounting BracketsOnce the closer body has been removed, the mounting brackets will still be in the door frame header. Insert the new closer body into the mounting brackets and fasten it in.
Step 3: Attach Arm In Channel Of Top Door RailAttach the side load or end load arm in the channel of the top door rail. For more information on this please see either our guide "How To Install A Side Load Arm" or "How To Install An End Load Arm".
Step 4: Load The Closer BodyUsing a crescent wrench turn the spindle to the full open position. For hold open door closer models turn the spindle until the closer is in the hold open position. For non-hold open closers turn the spindle to the full open position and close the main closing speed valve by screwing it in. This will keep the closer in the full open position. Note the closing speed valve should not be overtightened as it can damage the valve. The adjustment valves are always made from brass, which can deform if overtightened. Simply turn the valve slowly until the closer body's spindle stays in the same position.
Step 5: Set The Door Into Place
While the closer is in the full open position, carefully lift the storefront door perpendicular to the door frame and set it on the bottom pivot.
Be sure the bottom pivot is locked into the door shoe. You can check this by pulling up slightly on the door. It should be engaged with the door shoe and you should be unable to lift the door off of the bottom pivot. Next position the spindle into the top arm. Using the arm clamping block to sandwich the arm spindle between the top arm and the clamping block. Tighten clamping block so the top arm is secure.
Step 6: Adjust Door HeightCheck the top clearance between the door and frame. There should be a 1/8" clearance gap. If the gap exceeds 1/8", then the bottom pivot assembly will need to be adjusted. On most storefront doors at the bottom of the door is a threaded type bottom pivot with a locking nut. Simply unscrew the pivot to the proper height and lock it in place with the nut.
Step 7: Let Door Close FullyNext, for hold open door closers, push on the door closed so that the closer body leaves the hold open position. For non-hold open closer models, slowly turn the closing speed valve counter-clockwise until the storefront door closes.
Step 8: Check Door AlignmentOnce the door is in the full closed position it's time to center the door. On most storefront doors at the bottom of the pivot stile will be a hole. This hole lines up with the adjustment screw on the bottom door shoe. This adjustment screw controls the door sag of the door from the bottom of the door. Carefully turn this screw clockwise or counter clockwise to center the door in the frame. The gap between the locking stile of the door and frame should be even all the way down the door and frame.
For Side Load ArmsBefore beginning, be sure the holding screw at the center of the side load arm is loosened. Next the centering screws should be unscrewed so that each screw head is firmly pressed against the top rail of the door. The centering screws control how far out or in the door leaf sits within the door frame. It is ideal that the door sits flush within the door frame. If the centering screw heads are not pressed against the web of the top door rail, the closer body's arm will be loosely attached to the door resulting in the door not closing or opening all the way. This will also eventually round out the closer body arm spindle.
Sideload arms have an additional door sag adjustment screw located at the end of the arm. This door sag adjustment screw on the side load arm should be adjusted with the bottom pivot sag adjustment screw to line up the lock stile of the door with an even gap between the frame. In some cases only the bottom pivot sag screw may need adjustment. In other cases only the side load arm sag adjustment may be needed or in some case cases both door sag adjustment screws will need to be adjusted. Once the centering screws and door sag adjustment screw have been set properly, the holding screw at the center of the arm must be tightened to ensure that the adjustments will not move or change in the future.
For End Load ArmsWe recommend that the three main mounting bolts at the center of the end load arm are loosened. Next the centering screws should be unscrewed so that each screw head is firmly pressed against the top rail of the door. Both centering screw head's should be firm against the door rail web. Once the door is centered within the door frame, tighten the three main bolts holding the end load arm to the top door rail.
Important Tip: Be sure not to overextend the two centering screws. They should be unscrewed so that the screw heads are firmly against the top rail of the door. However, overextending the screw heads can put excessive pressure on the top web of the door, causing it to deform or bulge. Be sure not to do this!
Step 9: Adjust The Storefront Concealed CloserCheck that the concealed closer operates properly. The door should swing closed very smoothly and be adjusted to meet ADA compliance. The closing speed, latch speed, and back check will need to be adjusted. For adjusting the storefront door concealed closer please see how our guide "How To Adjust A Storefront Door Concealed Closer."
ConclusionThere are some tricks to installing a concealed door closer such as being sure to properly load the closer spring. However, with this step by step guide you can have confidence on exactly how to install a new concealed closer on any commercial storefront door. If you need a new storefront closer body we recommend Liberty concealed closers. The Liberty concealed closer is heavy duty grade 1 closer body designed to match the same foot print as all storefront door concealed closer body models making installation and replacement the easiest on the market. Other competitor brands out there offer concealed closer bodies that look the same, however the foot print is slightly different and new mounting brackets and holes will need to be drilled, tapped, and installed to get the product installed. Avoid all that extra work and use a Liberty concealed storefront door closer. Shop today and receive FAST, FREE shipping!
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