How To Troubleshoot and Adjust the Closer on Your Pedestrian Door

Pedestrian doors are typically fitted with a hydraulic or electromagnetic closer that controls the operation. The closer regulates the speed at which the door closes, and the pressure that latches it to ensure the door closes quietly and doesn’t cause any injuries. However, the closer requires periodic adjustments to ensure the door provides safe egress. Here’s what you need to know about making adjustments.

interior office door closer

Tips For Adjusting the Closer

There are two main types of door closers: surface-mounted and concealed. If you have a surface-mounted model, remove the cover from the closer body and unscrew visible fasteners to access the adjustment screws. If you have a concealed closer, the original door installer should have exposed the adjustment screws by drilling holes into the door frame top plate.

The adjustment screws should be marked on the closer body. There may also be a diagram inside the cover to tell you which screw adjusts which function. You can use a screwdriver or Allen key to adjust. Make sure you adjust the screw only a 1/8 turn at a time; small adjustments make a big difference.

Here are some functions you can adjust:

  • Sweep speed. This adjusts how fast the door closes from fully open to between three and 10 degrees of the fully closed position. Turning the screw counterclockwise will increase the closing speed while turning the screw clockwise will slow down the closing speed. Ideally, a standard pedestrian door should close in seven to nine seconds.

  • Latch speed. This adjusts how fast the door latches over the last 10 degrees of its closing phase. Your door’s placement and function determine the correct latch speed. For example, if it’s an outside door, you may want to increase the latch speed, so it snaps closed more quickly to prevent it from getting caught in the wind. If it’s an interior door, you may want to slow it down, so it doesn’t slam.

  • Delayed action. This feature adjusts how long the door is held open, allowing time for people to pass through the opening. Most doors will enable you to set a delay of up to 30 seconds. It’s especially helpful for increasing accessibility for people with limited mobility. Turning the screw clockwise keeps the door open longer, and turning it counterclockwise allows it to close sooner.

  • Backcheck. Adjusting this function prevents the door from opening too fast and slamming against the wall or another object. It also helps prevent someone who may be behind the door from being injured. Turning the screw counterclockwise will make the door open wider, while clockwise will make the opening smaller. The backcheck screw should never be tightened all the way.

Most closers come with instructions on making adjustments, which should be followed to ensure proper functionality. If you don’t feel comfortable adjusting your door closer yourself, a technician from the Creative Door Services™ team can visit your facility to ensure your entry functions as intended. Door closers must be particularly accurate for fire-rated openings because the door must close and latch properly during a fire.

rusted closer needs to be replaced

Signs Your Door Closer Needs to Be Replaced

Here are three telltale signs it’s time to replace your door closer.

  • It can no longer be adjusted. If turning the adjustment screws doesn’t correct the way the door behaves, your closer likely has internal damage and must be replaced.

  • It has a fluid leak. Visible oil leaks or stains on or around the door closer indicate that the unit has reached the end of its lifespan.

  • It’s physically damaged. If you see physical damage to the door closer, it’s time for a replacement. This can cause it to malfunction and injure someone.

Creative Door ServicesTM offers a comprehensive and flexible planned maintenance program to help you stay on top of ongoing care and maintenance on your pedestrian doors, including the closer. Our trained technicians will inspect your door system and let you know if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.

automatic door closer

Pedestrian Door Installation, Maintenance and Repair in Western Canada

At Creative Door ServicesTM, we carry a range of pedestrian doors that can be customized in terms of material, colour, glazing, and more. We also have accessible door hardware and accessories, including door closers, to bring together your entire entry system. We provide smart, friendly service and are always happy to advise you on which door accessories will work best for your facility.

You can find us in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you want to learn more about us or request a free quote, contact us today.

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