Unwanted self-opening door

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Old 02-25-20, 05:58 AM
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Unwanted self-opening door

Recently, I replaced all the interior doors without issue except for one door. On this particular door, I changed the directional swing from inward to outward, When the door was inward swing, the current issue didn't exist; if you close the door, leaving it barely ajar, the door opens by itself. Can anyone offer a solution?
 
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Old 02-25-20, 07:20 AM
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I've done this on several occasion, but never had the problem you're experiencing. Without going into detail I suspect one or all of your hinges need to be shimmed at the frame side. I assume you transferred the hinge locations very accurately and that the hinge side is still on the same frame side.
After checking, one of my doors did get the hinge side switched. On that particular door I did not use the same door but bought a new blank door and cut new hinge locations for both the door and the frame.
One of our experts will offer better information.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 07:40 AM
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Get your level out and check that the frame and door are level and perpendicular.

Could be that this was always a problem but with the in swing it was holding the door into the frame so you never noticed it but now it wants to open the door.


 
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Old 02-25-20, 07:46 AM
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If none of the proper fixes work you can replace one of the hinges with a spring hinge.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 07:54 AM
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PD,
Good suggestion, I was going to mention that also. It's just seems like the "easy" way out.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 09:05 AM
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You can remove the hinge and tap center to put in a very slight wow which increases friction. But it also causes more wear and eventually you may see that staining the door and casing at the hinge!
 
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Old 02-25-20, 01:06 PM
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I'm unfamiliar with full-sized interior door spring hinges. As I stated earlier, if I prefer this door left slightly ajar, will the spring hinge allow for that? Most spring hinges that I'm familiar with tend to want to pull the door closed completely or at least to a point of contact with the door's framing.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 01:16 PM
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Most spring hinges are adjustable. You can set it so it's trying to open or close the door. You can also adjust the spring tension. Leaving the door slightly ajar might be difficult though as the spring will try to move the door until there is enough resistance to overcome the spring force you've set. If you want the door to stay in whatever position you leave it you really need to square & level it.

I have used friction hinges on boat cabinets to prevent them from swinging and slamming in a seaway but I have no idea if they make them as a direct replacement for a residential door hinge. If they don't you could install one as a fourth hinge just using it for its friction property to hold the door in place.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 01:23 PM
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Take one or 2 hinge pins out and slightly tap them with a hammer. will bend them a little and will hold door.May take a couple of tries to get right
 
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Old 02-25-20, 01:26 PM
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Unwanted self-opening door

The door frame is true. Horizontally & vertically, the door is proportionately off, but not by a lot. I've enclosed a pic of the horizontal. I've also checked the levelness off all the new slabs I hung; out of 9 slabs, two doors horizontal levelness are slightly off & not too different from this problem door, yet all doors hold their position, unlike the problem door.

For what it's worth, I've noticed when closing the door, that there's air pressure resistance as the door closes. If I close the door to the point of the latch catching on the striker plate, it remains closed, but the moment the ventilation blower turns on, the door pops open. The room behind this door has a supply vent, but no return vent.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 01:49 PM
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Sounds like there is nothing wrong with the door itself.

I do not think a spring would work because it will always want to close.
You might be able to rig something with a metal plate and a magnet.
You could always shut the register off in that room.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 02:11 PM
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Obviously the air pressure from inside the room could be pushing the door open. And again, obviously, that wouldn't have happened when the door swing was in the same direction as the air flow.

Slightly bending the hinge pins as has been suggested might provide enough friction in the hinges to counteract the air pressure, but the air needs a return path back to the unit for the system to work properly.

Cutting the door at the bottom (I think it is called an undercut) to provide enough area for the air to flow out of the room when the door is closed would be another way to address the problem. The area of the undercut (square inches) should be approximately the same as the area of the supply register but could be slightly less (20-30% ?) since the undercut is free area and the register has louvers.

A 1 inch undercut (measurement from floor to bottom of door) for a 30 inch door provides 30 square inches. A 4 X 8 register with 75% free area calculates to 24 square inches.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 03:28 PM
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As manden states, there is nothing wrong with the door install or levelness. If it's that important then what 2john says would most likely solve the problem.
I don't like the idea of hitting the hinges. It only causes misalignment and future problems. But it's a common fix.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 03:53 PM
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So, I'm slightly confused. Even with the furnace blower motor not running, there's still enough air pressure to possibly be blowing the door open? For what it's worth, this room is a 1/2 bathroom (8 x 3), ceiling exhaust fan, & as previously stated, supply vent, but no return vent. Another observation: When I enter the 1/2 bathroom & close the door behind me, the pressure gently rattles the ceiling exhaust fan grill.
By the way, thanks to all for your quick & helpful suggestions.
 

Last edited by bobioni57; 02-25-20 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Thanks to all comment
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Old 02-25-20, 04:06 PM
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Nothing wrong with the door? Not out by a lot? Judging by the vial of the level that door is WAY out of plumb, and that's what caused a door to swing by itself. The door frame "is not true". If it was you could set the level on top pf the door when it is wide open and it would be perfectly level. And guess what, if a 32" level shows its 1/4" out of level sitting on top of the door that means it's over 1/2" out of plumb in 80". No wonder it swings open! It's the framing that is out of plumb... and the door was probably installed flush with the wall surface. It needs / or needed... to be tweaked so that it sits plumb.

if, as marq suggested, giving the hinge pin a light tap with a hammer (to slightly... and I mean SLIGHTLY... bend it doesn't work, you can do it to all the hinge pins... or give it a harder whack with the hammer to bend it a little more. This is the best solution to this problem.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 05:52 PM
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XSleeper: The thread starter specifies that the current problem didn't exist when the door was inward swing; the door stayed put wherever it was last positioned. So, if the problem didn't exist as an inward swinging door, how can the door frame "not be true"? I'm fairly certain that I made some error in hanging the new slab & will figure it out. How do you come to the conclusion that the door framing isn't true? ......... Unless I'm confusing your reference to "door frame" as meaning the horizontal & vertical jambs.
 

Last edited by bobioni57; 02-25-20 at 05:55 PM. Reason: To make a point
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Old 02-25-20, 05:56 PM
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If the door is hung correctly you could set the level on top of the door when it is wide open and it would be perfectly level.

I dont know if you remortised it or if you turned the frame around.

Your level appears to be nowhere near level. If you mortised your own hinges... that's the problem. In the photo of the level, I dont know which side the hinges are on... left or right... if you can tell us, we could tell you which mortise to adjust.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 06:42 PM
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Unwanted self-opening door

I manually mortised both jamb & door hinges. I discovered a router & mortising jig after completing this problem door. The door is a left-hand out-swing door. Please see attached pic.


 
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Old 02-25-20, 06:52 PM
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As suggested, use pieces of thin cardboard and shim one or both hinges. This will most likely solve your problem. It might be just the picture but it seems that the top left side is slightly lower at the open end vs the hinge end. Slipping a thin shim in the lower hinge on the frame will push out the lower section and most likely plumb the door. But I do have to say the open vertical edge seems absolutely straight. Try the shim, nothing to loose and everything to gain.
 
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Old 02-25-20, 06:53 PM
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Known fact: Doors swing open when the wall is leaning out at the top. So I'm taking an educated guess when I say that your wall isn't plumb. If you had a 78" level to put on the wall that would be easy to see.

As to why it didnt do it on the other side of the wall I cant answer that. Maybe the jamb was tapered to fit the wall on one side, who knows. That's immaterial at this point.

Your level sitting on top of the door is not level, and that's why its swinging closed (and it's being helped by the wind). Doors that are "truly" plumb and level will be level in any position you check them as you swing the door... which usually means the door will stay put.

If you set your level on top of the door when the door is open 90 degrees that will tell you if the wall is leaning in or out.

If you set the level on top of the door when the door is open just an inch or so, and it's not level, that means the jamb is not plumb within its rough opening.

 
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Old 02-26-20, 08:37 AM
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I agree with the various opinions that a door out of plumb would swing open by itself (well with gravity helping) but the obvious lack of an undercut suggests that is not the case here unless the floor outside the door slopes significantly. An out swinging door that is out of plumb will scrape the floor at its outer edge unless the bottom of the door is trimmed.

The bathroom exhaust fan is providing a path for airflow such that the heating/cooling probably works OK. But the system is not getting return air from that room when the door is closed.

When I enter the 1/2 bathroom & close the door behind me, the pressure gently rattles the ceiling exhaust fan grill.
Lack of undercut is causing air to be forced out of the exhaust vent.
 
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Old 02-27-20, 11:17 AM
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2john04258: So that I fully understand you, the lack of undercut on the door is causing the door to not hold its position, but rather swing open regardless of whether or not the heat or AC is running? Meaning the pressure created by the door closing is pushing out against the door? If I almost close the door & hold its position, it stays briefly, but then begins to slowly open.
I've taken the time to plumb the door & it's level at open (approximately 1") as well as through the full spectrum of open angles through 90. I secured a 78" level from the construction department of the hospital at which I work. The wall to the immediate left & right of the door is plumb & the floor on both sides of the door is also plumb.
 

Last edited by bobioni57; 02-27-20 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Forgotten information
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Old 02-27-20, 02:51 PM
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Air pressure inside the room will only push the door open enough to relieve the pressure. In an earlier post I talked about the square inches of the supply and undercut. If you apply that logic to the height of the door, an 80 inch door will provide more than 40 square inches of opening when the gap is .5 inch. That would relieve the pressure and the door should not continue to open.

If it does continue to open then there is a problem with the way it is hung. Did you try bending the hinge pins? If there is friction in the hinge then the door should stop opening when the pressure is relieved.

There are many ways that can cause air movement through the room. HVAC supply register, back flow through exhaust fan (usually prevented by a back flow damper at the fan duct connection), window not closed. In any of those cases air could be drawn through the room if there is a negative pressure in the house and that room provides the path of least resistance for make up air.

Negative pressure results from operating other devices like hood exhausts, clothes dryers, etc. that do not have a source of make up air. Usually (especially in older houses) air infiltration around windows and doors as well as normal opening and closing provides a source of makeup air. If your house is very well sealed it is possible that a negative pressure is pulling makeup air through the register or fan causing the door to open.

If the door is undercut or even if not, the air pressure should not be enough to pull the door open more than an inch or so. Leveling, plumb, or hinge friction need to be employed.

Is the door itself plumb? (Check by putting the 78 inch level on the face of the door near the hinges when the door is closed.) If one of the hinges is not exactly aligned with the other the effect would be the same as the frame not being plumb in the wall.
 
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