For some reason, I have trouble with the hydraulic door closers. These are
the heavy duty ones used commercially, usually in apartment buildings and
condos. When they no longer close the door the way they are supposed to:
1)a somewhat rapid first closing, 2) a slower closing as the door gets
near the jamb, then 3) with enough power to pull the door into the jamb
and set the latch, I try adjusting them, but with less than 100% success.
Mostly the closer no longer pulls the door into the jamb. I know there are
adjustment screws on them though usually they aren't labeled and since the
closer is old, and I didn't install it, no one has the instructions handy.
Are there rough guidelines for adjusting these so the closer works as it
did when it was new? When closers age, do they break and or leak so that
the adjustments no longer work, or can I adjust the close rate screws and
get them working again? After making an adjustment, I've tried putting the
closer through sereral cycles to make sure, then if I need to, try to
I'm going to try to google for instructions for the ones I'm working on
now, but I'd appreciate some general guidelines.
The normal adjustments are:
swing speed - how fast the door closes from full open toward the
latch speed - a position just before latching that slows the door
so it does not slam
back check if so equipped - a position at full open that increases
the resistance to opening so you don't rip the closer arm off the
Some closers have a single strength, some have an adjustment to
increase the power of the closer. If you don't know closers, I
would not recommend this adjustment.
It sounds as if you might need to let the door swing faster and
reduce the latch slowing speed. With the appropriate Allen wrench
turn one of the Allens one full turn -it should be quite obvious
which adjustment you are modifying.
You may get some good information here:
scroll about 1/2 way down to the section titled proper door
I agree that there are times when replacement may be the best
solution, but would point out the original LCN closers installed
in the late 1800's are still working fine. If you are buying new
closers, I would recommend LCN. We had hundreds of Yale pot
closers that only lasted 50 years.
(top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
I'd be happy to think that as well, but since I don't do them frequently,
don't know this is the case. Also, since I run into several different
models, adjustment may not be the same in each case. I'm looking for an
overview that will let me be a little more confident that I'm adjusting
For instance the current ones are LCN 4041 and similar. The main
adjustment is labeled, but the closing speed and latch speed aren't. It
seems to take just a small adjustment of these last two to make a
difference, but the difference isn't consistent. It would be good to have
an instruction like "the latch speed adjustment is on the lower left,
adjust it one half turn ccw, then cycle the door 5 times" and so on.
I suppose I may be asking for 20 years of experience to be distilled to 20
minutes of typing, but I thought I'd ask.
Oh, and I googled for a diagram that labeled the adjustments, but all I
got were sites selling the things.
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