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Frequently Asked Questions - Door Closers

  1. Q. What is an ADA compliant door closer?
  2. Q. Why can't I find door closer hinges in your door closer section?
  3. Q. I see some of your door closers say they are tri-packed. What does this mean?
  4. Q. I want to install a new over head door closer and I'm not sure what method to use. What are the benefits of each method?
  5. Q. What is back check?
  6. Q. What is sweep speed control?
  7. Q. What is the latch speed?
  8. Q. What is a Hold Open or Hold Open Arm?
  9. Q. I need to replace my door closer and I don't want to drill more holes in my door. How can I find a closer that will bolt up to the existing holes?
  10. Q. What does the power or spring size of the closer mean?

  1. Q. What is an ADA compliant door closer?
  2. A. They are door closers that meet ADA (American Disabilities Act) requirements for door opening force. Click here to learn more about ADA Compliant Door Hardware.

  3. Q. Why can't I find door closer hinges in your door closer section?
  4. A. The trade term for hinges that can self close a door is "Spring Hinge". There are 2 types, Single Acting Spring Hinges (for doors that swing open in one direction only) and Double Acting Spring Hinges (for doors that swing open in both directions). We have them listed in separate sections under Door Hinges.

  5. Q. I see some of your door closers say they are tri-packed. What does this mean?
  6. A. Over head door closers can be installed in 3 methods, Regular Arm (Standard), Top Jamb or Parallel Arm mounted. A tri-packed door closer is packaged with all the hardware for all 3 mounting methods.
    Our best selling tri-packed Door Closer

    door closer mounting methods


  7. Q. I want to install a new over head door closer and I'm not sure what method to use. What are the benefits of each method?
  8. A. Here are some of the positives and negatives of each mounting type to help you decide which is best for your application.
    • Regular Arm: This is the only pull-side application where a double lever arm is used. It is the most power efficient application for a door closer.
    Since the arm assembly projects directly out from the door frame, the Regular Arm mounting may present aesthetic issues.
    • Top Jamb: For efficiency reasons this application provides the best alternative to the Regular Arm mounting. Top Jamb mounting provides the best door control for doors in exterior walls that swing out of the building.
    The entire door closer and arm assemble project from the frame, similar to the Regular Arm mounting.
    • Parallel Arm: This application provides the most appealing appearance for a over head surface mounted door closer having a double lever arm. It is also beneficial in abuse (vandalism) prone areas. It is on the push side of the door and the arm assembly extends almost parallel to the door. When the door is closed there is very little hardware projecting from the frame face.
    Parallel Arm application will also allow the door to swing 180 degrees.
    Due to the geometry of the arm, it is approximately 25% less power efficient than Regular Arm or Top Jamb mounting.

  9. Q. What is back check?
  10. A. Backcheck slows the door in the opening swing to help keep it from hitting an adjacent wall or having wind throw it out of your control. Backcheck resistance should only be felt near the fully open position.
    Notes: Backcheck is not a door stop. Most of our Grade 1 door closers offer fully adjustable Backcheck.

  11. Q. What is sweep speed control?
  12. A. Sweep speed (door closing speed) is the time frame form the start of the door closing to a couple inches before the door hits it latch point. The last few inches of closing are controlled via the latch speed valve if one is included.

  13. Q. What is latch speed?
  14. A. The Latch Zone is the last few inches before the door hits it latch point. This closing zone is controlled via the latch speed valve.
    Note: A properly adjusted door closer latch speed should never slam the door closed causing stress on the door and frame.

    door closer adjustable speeds

  15. Q. What is a Hold Open or Hold Open Arm?
  16. A. Hold Open is the ability of the door closer to hold the door in the open position. Most over head door closers achieve this function via a special type arm (Hold Open Arm).
    Warning Note: Most local building codes do not allow the installation of any type of door hardware that holds "Fire Doors" in the open position.

  17. Q. I need to replace my door closer and I don't want to drill more holes in my door. How can I find a closer that will bolt up to the existing holes?
  18. A. Click here: Door Closer Mounting Hole Chart. The chart on this page list door closers by mounting hole dimensions so you can find a direct fit replacement.

  19. Q. What does the power or spring size of the closer mean?
  20. A. Door Closers are rated by opening/closing force "Size". The Size ratings are from #1 to #6, with Size #1 the weakest strength and Size #6 the strongest.

    • Size #1 = 2 pounds of closing force, minimum
    • Size #2 = 3 pounds of closing force, minimum
    • Size #3 = 5 pounds of closing force, minimum
    • Size #4 = 8 pounds of closing force, minimum
    • Size #5 = 11 pounds of closing force, minimum
    • Size #6 = 14 pounds of closing force, minimum

    Many of our most popular door closers have an adjustable Spring/Power setting.
    Example: If a door closer is listed with a Spring Size of 3-6 then it is adjustable through the Power range of #3 (5 pounds of force) to #6 (14 pounds of force).

    If the door closer is non adjustable Spring/Power, meaning it is a Fixed Size, there is no way to adjust the door to open or close lighter/stronger.




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