How do You Install a Door Closer

How do You Install a Door Closer

The door closer is a mechanical device that ensures smooth and tight closing of the door. It has become a modern alternative to springs and counterweights. The use of the mechanism allows you to reduce the noise level, the load on the door fittings, prevent premature wear of the door block and reduce heat loss due to cracks and drafts. The choice of a door closer is made based on the material, weight and width of the door. Heavy structures require the installation of a powerful device.

1. Install a door closer, the main methods and types

In door closers, two types of mechanisms are used: rack and pinion and cam. They consist of a body that transmits the force of a mechanism with a spring and a lever. In the first case, the door is moved by a pinion rod, which is driven by a hydraulic piston. Such devices are easily recognized by the levers sticking out at 90 ° to the door, connected by a hinge. They are reliable, but open hard.

In the second design, the spring acts on the opening and braking pistons through a camshaft fixed in the sliding channel. Here the levers are parallel to the canvas and are less noticeable. They have a smoother ride without significant effort.

Installation of a closer on a metal door is possible in several ways:

  • consignment note when the device is mounted at the top on the surface of the door or on the box. This option is used at residential and non-residential facilities;

  • secret, where the mechanism is built into the cavity of the door itself or into the frame. Internal installation is implemented by the manufacturer, it remains only to adjust the closer during installation;

  • floor-standing, when the automatic closing mechanism is built into the floor, which is provided at the design stage of the facility.

2. Installation diagram

When choosing an installation scheme, the direction of door opening and the location of the hinges are taken into account. Basic schemes:

  • Standard – the opening side and the position of the closer are the same. The body is mounted on the door leaf, and the lever system is on the frame in the lintel area.

  • Top or reverse – the door opens outward relative to the closer. The working part is located on the lintel of the box, and the sliding channel is on the movable canvas. The relative position of the lever and the box bar is perpendicular.

  • Parallel – when both parts of the closer are parallel to each other and to the upper beam. A mounting bracket is used for fastening.

How to put a door closer on an iron door. If the door opens towards itself, use the standard layout. When the door moves in the opposite direction (away from you), the top mount will do. In this case, the adjustment bolts of the device are located on the hinge side. For heavy structures, two door closers are required. On swing doors with externally mounted sashes, the lever is placed on the door leaf.

3. Where to put

Most often, closers are installed on external and entrance doors, as well as on wickets and entrance gates. They can be found in apartments and country houses, in office buildings and commercial properties.

In some door models, the door closer is included in the basic package. The closer must be installed on fire and escape doors, entrance areas with an intense flow of visitors, in access control systems.

On the doors, the body must be in the room. Outside installation is corrosive and adversely affects hydraulic performance. Only frost-resistant models, protected from external factors, can be used outdoors.

how do you install a door closer
Various installation options for door closers

4. Installing the template

An installation diagram or a 1: 1 scale template is included with the door closers, which greatly simplifies installation work. The stencil contains the outline of the lever and body with attachment points. Possible options for mounting the structure, left or right door, opening inward or outward, are taken into account. When creating a template, the manufacturer takes into account the purpose of the door closer and the class of the door, its weight and dimensions. Each installation method in the diagram corresponds to a line of a certain color and type, for example, solid or dashed.

Before starting work, the template is aligned with a horizontal red stripe with the edge of the door leaf, and a vertical one with the future centerline of the hinges, which must be drawn in order not to be mistaken. For fixing, you will need tape.

5. Holes for door closer

On the template, you should find the marks corresponding to the class of the device, and with the help of a core, transfer them to the door leaf and frame. With a drill, matched to the diameter of the fastener, make 4 holes in the marked places for the block and 2 for installing the lever.

Before installation, the housing and levers must be disconnected. To do this, unscrew the nuts and remove the screw connecting both structural elements.

6. Installation

Depending on the manufacturer and model, the installation of the closer may have slight differences. Therefore, before starting work, you need to study the instructions and adhere to these recommendations. The kit includes all the necessary fasteners.

First, the lever is attached and the closer is mounted. The rigid lever is put on a special protrusion at the bottom of the case and tightened with a screw and nut. To prevent unwinding, it is covered with a locking liquid or paint. The adjustable bar is installed separately. After adjusting the length, the link and arm are connected with the door fully closed. To do this, it is enough to bring them together and press down with your fingers until they click.

The plug is built into place and the operability is checked. The sash should open and close smoothly, without jerking or excessive effort. In this case, there should be no extraneous sounds such as rattling or tapping, the door should not creak.

7. Connect the lever to the rod

When the rod and the lever are fixed, it is important to give the desired position, which will determine the speed of movement of the door before closing. The position and length of the two-piece link can be adjusted with a long grub screw. It rotates and resizes at the same time.

To achieve a smooth finishing will help the installation of the traction perpendicular to the door leaf. To do this, make an adjustment and reduce its size. In the presence of a door latch, the traction must be increased to overcome the resistance. The mechanism is untwisted and exposed to make it longer.

8. Adjusting the door closer

How to adjust the door closer after installation and during operation. For this, a couple of special screws are provided, and their location may differ from model to model. In any case, the screw is rotated clockwise to increase the speed or clamping force. Turning in the opposite direction, counterclockwise, slows down the stroke and reduces effort.

When setting up yourself, you do not need to make several turns at once, so as not to knock off the balance. Severe twisting or unscrewing of the screws can break the device or cause oil leakage. A quarter of a turn or a little more is enough.

Mechanisms for adjusting the speed of opening and closing are located on the body. They can be found on the front side by opening the protective cover, or on the side surface.

Experts recommend seasonal adjustment of the mechanism in order to obtain the optimal speed of closing the door with a sharp increase or decrease in ambient temperature. This is due to the fact that in the cold, the oil thickens and the closer works slowly.

9. Nuances of non-standard installation

For massive door structures and interior doors, alternative installation methods are sometimes used using mounting plates and corners. They are included in the kit or purchased separately. How to properly install a door closer on metal doors in a non-standard situation:

  • The corner is used in deep openings where it is not possible to secure the arm bracket to the frame. In some cases, the corner is installed together with the device body.

  • In a door structure with patterned glass or carvings, when it is impossible to install the closer directly on the leaf, the fastening is performed on the mounting plate.

  • When the door protrudes beyond the frame or there is no room for the lever above the leaf, then the mounting plate helps to align the position of the body.

The choice between the plate and the corner depends on the design and features of the door and opening, the size of the closer.

10. Possible problems with door closers and how to fix them

During the operation of door closers, malfunctions and breakdowns occur, caused by various factors. Devices on the wicket, street door and gates are exposed to the negative atmospheric effect. As a result, the outer parts begin to deteriorate. Mistakes when choosing a closer lead to poor operation of the mechanism and rapid wear of parts. The deformation of the door leaf and misuse leads to sad consequences, when the door swings open wider than the permissible angle, is fixed in the open position, and excessive force is applied when closing and opening. Lack of preventive care also becomes the cause of failures.

The most common malfunctions and repair methods

  1. Oil leak.

The spring providing the closer operation is located in a sealed casing filled with oil. Insufficient oil will cause the spring to act quickly and the door slamming shut. Traces of oil leakage can be found on the housing. If this happens, then the closer is dismantled and inspected. To repair small cracks, one of the usual sealants will do. In case of more serious damage, the device will have to be replaced. After the leak has been eliminated, the body is filled with oil from a syringe or pipette. The operation is carried out through the holes into which the adjusting screws are screwed on the side of the case.

  1. Defects and deformations of the linkage.

Over time, cracks appear on the linkage attached to the door closer body, interfering with normal operation. Minor damage can be repaired with sealant or cold welding. The treated area is cleaned and covered with an anti-corrosion agent. From excessive loads, the lever is deformed. Metal items can be leveled with a hammer, and high-strength rods must be replaced. If the arm breaks, a new device will need to be installed.

  1. Broken or bent fasteners.

The front door closer may need to be repaired if the fastening screws are loose or damaged. They are replaced with others of the same diameter and length, with the same thread pitch and head shape.

  1. Mechanism adjustment problems.

If no external deviations are detected, then the reason for the incorrect operation of the closer may be in the incorrect setting. The speed of closing and final closing of the door is subject to adjustment. The operation is reduced to tightening special screws with a screwdriver.

  1. Wear of parts.

Breakage is manifested by the fact that the doors stop closing, move too quickly, with a knock or slowly. To identify and replace damaged elements, you will have to invite the master who installed the closer.


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