Adjusting/repairing automatic door closer

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  #1  
Old 02-04-03, 02:51 PM
ramccord
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Question Adjusting/repairing automatic door closer

I have an office door that has an automatic door closer, much like you would find on a screen door on your home, but of the industrial variety. I was hoping someone might be able to tell me how to adjust or repair it or where I might find some information on this. The door slams shut after someone has opened it.

Thanks for any help.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-04-03, 04:09 PM
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Model / Brand?

What Model, Brand etc? Have you checked their web sites? Checked yahoo search with "door closures"?
 
  #3  
Old 02-08-03, 09:18 PM
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Since they vary per manufacturer, I can only be general. Heavy duty commercial closers will usually have 3 adjustment screws-latch speed, swing speed and back check.

Latchspeed controls the closing speed at the end of the cycle. Normally you would turn the screw in to slow this speed. Be careful when adjusting as you can cause a leak if you turn the screw too far the wrong way on some models.

If the adjustments do not work:

A slamming door can also be caused by a closer that is leaking oil. Air in the cylinder will compress(unlike the oil which flows through internal valves). This problem requires a rebuild.

The best way to repair an expensive closer is to send it back to the factory. I know LCN provides this service for their heavy duty models. It is usually cheaper to replace the less expensive models.

As Sandy2000 pointed out there is much info. available on the web. Some manufacturers of commercial closers are LCN, Norton, Sargent, Russwin, Dorma.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-08, 09:54 AM
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More detailed instructions

As noted in a previous reply, most door closers have 3 adjustments. Some only have 2. Typically on one end of the closer there will be two adjustment screws, one labeled 'S', the other labeled 'L'. The 'S' stands for sweep. This refers to the closing speed of the door. The 'L' stands for latch. This refers to the speed at just before latching closed. On the opposite end of the closer you may find a third adjustment screw labeled 'BC'. This stands for Backcheck. This refers to the opening speed of the door. To slow the door down in its sweep (closing speed), turn the 'S' screw clockwise. To slow the door from slamming shut at the last moment, turn the 'L' screw clockwise. If the door is hard to open, i.e. feels heavy, turn the 'BC' screw counter-clockwise. Bear in mind the 'BC' adjustement is rarely needed as factory settings are generally adequate and, in fact, this adjustment may not be possible on some models.
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-08, 10:18 AM
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Don't you have a maintenance man to take care of such things ?

If you remove the cover to the closer there should be a sticker on the inside telling you which screws do what. You will need a set of small allen wrenches to adjust it. If you remove the cover and find oil then it's pretty much shot.

When adjusting only turn the screws about a 1/4 turn each time. They can be sensitive.

One other thing to check is the air pressure in the office. Hold the door about an 1" open and see if you feel alot of air blowing through the door.
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-08, 04:07 AM
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And in 5 years, if they haven't gotten their door adjusted, it ain't gonna happen.
 
  #7  
Old 12-08-08, 09:13 AM
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Sargent 803H Lost Oil

Well, since the topic has been revisited this year I guess I'll add my question.

I have a Sargent 803H and adjusted the back check yesterday after living with it for 12 years (in fairness, I don't use that door very often and really didn't think about it much).

I came into the office this morning to find oil running down the door and all over the carpet in my reception area (and I was expecting tons of gratitude from the staff for fixing the door!).

So . . . it looks like pretty much all of the oil is out of the closer. I don't find any info on the net relating to this particular closer from Sargent. I'd just break down and buy a new one, but we have several identical ones in the office and I'd like to keep them all the same (and I don't want to drill new holes in the door or frame).

Since I know the closer didn't fail (I just backed out the screw a bit too much ), can I just refill with hydraulic fluid and call it a day? If so, what fluid specifically and how much? Do I just pour in through the BC screw hole where it all came out? How do I purge any air inside?

Geeez, this will be the last time I try to fix something that doesn't benefit me - and on a Sunday too!

Thanks all.
 
  #8  
Old 12-11-08, 10:46 AM
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re post

Sounds like a tough job, maybe try to get it as close as you can, then call the maintenance man....may be a bit cheaper
 
  #9  
Old 12-12-08, 05:31 AM
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by Miescha View Post
Well, since the topic has been revisited this year I guess I'll add my question.

I have a Sargent 803H and adjusted the back check yesterday after living with it for 12 years (in fairness, I don't use that door very often and really didn't think about it much).

I came into the office this morning to find oil running down the door and all over the carpet in my reception area (and I was expecting tons of gratitude from the staff for fixing the door!).

So . . . it looks like pretty much all of the oil is out of the closer. I don't find any info on the net relating to this particular closer from Sargent. I'd just break down and buy a new one, but we have several identical ones in the office and I'd like to keep them all the same (and I don't want to drill new holes in the door or frame).

Since I know the closer didn't fail (I just backed out the screw a bit too much ), can I just refill with hydraulic fluid and call it a day? If so, what fluid specifically and how much? Do I just pour in through the BC screw hole where it all came out? How do I purge any air inside?

Geeez, this will be the last time I try to fix something that doesn't benefit me - and on a Sunday too!

Thanks all.
miescha

expert in closers here,

sargent 803h, familier with those, technical school i went to during high school years (1999 til 2002)used them.

about your backcheck, should not unscrew it any more then 4 complete turns from completely closed to open all the way.

depending on how much oil came out, when door operates does closer make any gurgling noises as its reaching jamb (almost latched) or click or gurgle as its opening???

if so, then what to do is remove closer from the door, and place it in a vice (not too tight so you dont crush the aluminum alloy cylinder (some older ones are cast iron)with sweep and latch screws up, remove both sweep and latch valves and with mineral oil or hydraulic jack oil (some use a small funnel, some use a syringe) put the oil in through the latch screw while moving arm slowly until the oil is at or near end of other valve hole or both holes, depending on age of closer and condition of the black o-ring on the valve it may be good idea to replace them with new o-rings and do same with backcheck (hoping you dont forget what holes the sweep and latch and backcheck screws go into, some are differantly shaped.

after done with replacing o-rings, clean the oil off closer and door and test a few times to check for leaks and reinstall on door and adjust valves (alittle at a time, and dont back valves out past surface of closer body.

if this is confusing or cannot get to a workbench or vice (at home or a garage) some places allow you to send the closer back to factory for replacement of oil (norton and LCN ) for example, or send closer to a rebuild service (such as New England Door Closer) or a machinist

hope this helps, good luck and please feel free to pm me about the closer (803H)

-door(closer)doctor
 
  #10  
Old 12-09-09, 06:52 PM
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Question Listed Door Closer has lost its spring...

Hi, I have a PowR-Closer 685A (there is a label saying it was manufactured by Leigh Metal Products Ltd., London, Ontario) attacned to the door leading to my garage from inside my house.

Over the last 3 or 4 months, we have noticed it is not closing as it should/used to. It hasn't been a problem until now (I've been using the garage for home reno work over the summer and only now want to park the car inside to avoid scraping snow and ice off it). There is a large nut over the shaft on the top of the closer that holds the arm. I found the nut to be a little loose, put a wrench on it and (oh s--t) turned the wrench the wrong way! The door doesn't close automatically any more.

I cannot find a manual for this particular closer. Leigh Metal Products Ltd. is probably out of business.

This closer does not look like the ones on DIY. The body itself is almost a cube with the shaft holding the arm coming out of the top centre. There is no cylinder that I can see, nor are there any screws visible. HELP! (if you can).
 
  #11  
Old 12-14-09, 08:57 AM
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hey Krudag, i have a feeling of what you may be talking about, they are marketed as rota-closer, the one your explaining is their "heavy duty" version, the MP803 they call it here (have not yet seen one being sold in any hardware store)

MP-805 Powr® Closer by MPOWR available at RotaCloser.com

as for "owners manuals", rota closer only provides installation guide for 2 arm installation positions.

that nut that surrounds the shaft on top, thats NOT the spring adjustment, thats just the arm bearing/o-ring nut to hold the arm shaft (in door closer terminology its referred to as a spindle) inside the closer. many of these little closers it also serves as a spring anchoring point (inside) so this means when you put the wrench on it and started turning, you did was disengaged the spring from inside the closer,

basically the inside of one of those mp-* closers its just a coil torsion spring with one end mounted in bottom of body and other end on spindle in middle (some may also have hydraulic dampening as well)

the ones with no screws, those mostly are shipped from factory "presized" (no spring to adjust or scews to turn) this means spring tension is done at the factoy and cannot be adjusted by the end user (you) over time these little ones can lose their spring tension and cannot be adjusted (its now the manufactuere makes their money, if they marketed those commercial ones (such as BRITON and LCN and norton) to household use, they woudl never break and the manufactureres would not get as much money from people buying a new one all the time to replace an old or broken one.

2 options I can think of, remove the closer from the door and remove the nut and try to repositon spring on the nut and tighten nut back on closer shaft(basically rebuild it), or well.......... get a new one


Leigh metal products, i seem to not be able to find anything online about the company, but it soudns to me that they are just a 3rd party that sold the MP powr closer different countries use different names for sometimes the same product, as for canada the MP closer may be made by Leigh products as the USA it may be made by rota-closer.

good luck
 
  #12  
Old 12-18-09, 05:02 PM
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Manuel door closer - groaning

Hi there dear experts. Here's another question, if I may.

We have a fire door with a manual door closer, meaning you push the door open and it closes by itself.

It makes an awful groaning sound as it is pushed open and when it is closing. Have used WD40 to oil all the viewable moving parts. It sounds like that the noise is actually coming from inside the seemingly sealed mechanism.

What can be done to make it quiet?

Thanks so much for any thoughts on the subject.

Sincerely,
Hope
 
  #13  
Old 12-21-09, 04:13 PM
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hello hope,

the groaner, a few questions about the moaning closer,

how old is it?
what brand (is it the kind with an arm?)

is the door SLAMMING shut or doing any hissing noises along with the groaning

is there any LEAKING oil on the upper or lower pivot or adjustment screw (usually on one end of closer or under a slide cover or a plastic box shaped cover (depending on brand and series) if possible, can you upload a picture of the groaning closer?

few causes of the groaning noises:

1. low on hydraulic oil many are refillable through the closer's valve (please let me know if you want to know how to refill it, some brands are alittle different)


2. overwound/underwound/loose spring

cylinder wear (happens over the years, friction build up, common in aluminum alloy body closers (such as norton 1600 "storefront" closers)

FIXING this problem, WD-40 is not going to really help in fixing a hydraulic problem with an arm-and-body type closer,

1. useing a wrench (some use allen key, some use a regular hex wrench) try adjusting the spring tension alittle weaker or stronger (if its overwound or underwound spring)

2. adding more oil (process is in a way similar to bleeding brakes on a car, which ill explain after i find out what brand and model you have)

3. send closer back to factory for rebuilding(depending on how old it is, many manufacturers have a 10 year warrentee, date stamp(yale and norton closers) indicated by 2 LETTERS (example: GP, first letter the month, the last letter the year,G is for july and P is for 1992)

note: letter date codes are only on NORTON/YALE closers

4. last resort, replace with another closer and only use the groaner for Halloween to scare off the trick or treaters, just more to the creeky door spooky house effect...... (ok, ok, may have been a pretty bad joke, He he he)

good luck and please keep in touch about your door problems,

please post back or PM me
 
  #14  
Old 02-05-10, 11:52 AM
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Door closer stuck open.

Hey, thanks for all the great info in the previously posts. I think that I read through them all thoroughly, but excuse me if I am repeating a question. I did not see this problem listed above.

We've got a Norton door closer. I see no other model info on the piece, but it looks old. It's been on this door long before I came to work here, and probably installed by the previous business at this location. So a long time ago.

Anyway, problem is the door suddenly stopped closing all the way. It worked fine until one day it opened and then never shut (see photo). The door will not shut unless the door closer's arm is adjusted enough to allow it to close, but does nothing now to slow the rate of closing, hence probably bypassing completely the Latch function of the close. There is some oil showing on the arm, but if that was there before the problem I'd have no clue as I never looked honeslty. The main cylinder attached to the door frame doesn't appear to be leaking oil, but I guess the oil I'm seeing on the arm attachment is coming from there. I don't know.

Anyway, any help will be much appreciated. Below are a few pictures of the closer and the door in its now "stuck open" position. Thanks


 
  #15  
Old 02-09-10, 11:20 AM
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APworker,

souds to me the spring is weak and needs to be adjusted stronger or if its a fixed size closer you will need a closer with next spring size stronger

if its really cold and this happening, its from the oil getting thick and it needs needs to have sweep and latch screws adjusted

arm position and angle HAVE ALOT TO DO with latch function and when it starts, if you have arm too long, it will be longer latch travel, if shorter, it will come later (or not at all if arm is too short)

sorry to say, but the 3 images don't work, I'm a door closer expert, if possible can you upload them to photobucket or imageshack and send me the links?? appears image embedding don't work anymore on the boards.

about image embedding, it only works with image hosting sites, if your using an image from your email or direct from your harddrive, it may not work.

PLEASE keep in touch about your closer, I'm sure after seeing the photos your closer will work like new or better then it is now.


-jess the door(closer) doctor
 

Last edited by DOORDOCTOR; 02-09-10 at 11:44 AM. Reason: added about arm length, and about photos
  #16  
Old 02-12-10, 03:04 PM
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@DOORDOCTOR,
Thanks for the help. Unfortunately I'm out of the office this week, but when I get back I'll see what I can do with the advice you've given, and also upload the pics again as instructed. Much appreciated.
 
  #17  
Old 11-14-10, 10:48 AM
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Adjustments on OLD Norton closer

I've read these threads posted over the years and while the first and the last ones relate to my situation, they have not really been addressed. These older model Nortons do not have multiple adjustment screws. Based on the design of mine, I'm guessing it is an old 1600 or whatever its predecessor was and is maybe 35-40 years old. It has NORTON stamped into the housing and a little "4" stamped into each end which indicates its size. There is a larger screw or cap at each end with crosshatched indentations as if for a giant (1 1/2") flat Phillips or special tool and these might be spring adjusters. The small adjustment screw has a transverse bar, sort of a reciprocal of a screw driver slot, that requires a special tool as well. The closer works well overall, but the pull is stronger than I would like and, as it approaches the last 6-8" of closure, it pauses and then mildly slams. This door was acquired second hand and was reinstalled. Can anyone provide adjustment information for this?
 
  #18  
Old 11-16-10, 09:19 AM
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Post norton 1604 adjusting

hello dbuelke, seen post about closer


AGE: to tell the age of a Norton/Yale closer, all closers since 1986 use a 2 letter date code to indicate month and year of manufacture.

the 2 letters will be found on the end of the closer body were mount holes are, if no letters shown (while on the door) these may be hidden on the surface that is in contact with the door.

as for the (+) shape thing on both ends of unit, those are not spring tension, they are just the end caps to keep closer guts inside

valves, norton has used the special screw type since 70's until 1991(i have one of those 1604 Norton closers like you have) now, they use 1/8th inch hex key screw, they did this to stop unautherized adjustment of units.

about your unit, sounds to me your describing a 1604, this is a fixed size door closer and cannot be adjusted strength wise with a nut (like nroton 78 B/F, 7700/7500, 8000 and 9000 (trinity)

I can think of is 4 ways of fixing this closer, 1 using the sweep/latch screw (that one screw that looks like it needs a special wrench to turn)

to adjust the screw,

1. using small pliers (needle nose pliers) close the screw all the way,

2. open door

3. turn screw half turns at a time until door's main speed is right for you

4. turn screw alittle to right to adjust latch (its because of how the valve was made, turn too far, can turn latch action off or make door slam,

5 test door


as for STRENGTH issues, the 3 ideas about that,


arm end that attaches to frame, you will notice a bracket with 3 holes, one hole being used already by the closer arm, and others empty, those holes are to adjust the strength of spring at latch using geometrics of closer's arms

to make weaker, move arm farthest from hinge, to make stronger, nearest the hinge,


forearm idea, strength can be adjusted alittle by shortening the arm VERY LITTLE. what to do is loosen the nut, pull main arm away from hinge half inch and re-tighten the nut on forearm.

3rd option, to be used at last resort as it leaves old bolt holes.


a normal Norton pull side install will be at about 5 to 6 inches from the edge of door to the 2 mounts, if you put closer near the hinges, it will weaken the strength needed for you to open the door (you have advantage over leverage, (because of physics of you having advantage over the leverage of the geometry of closer's arms. a closer body too close to hinge can cause damage to wall near door.


speaking of physics/geometry, i did take a closer (1604 norton) to high school for last 7 weeks of high school back in 2002, used it for handwriting, (sloppy, was readable after using closer)

if any of the above confuses you, please let me know and i will explain with photo or video

please keep in contact with me about this or any other closer problems you have, i dont bite
 
  #19  
Old 06-19-11, 11:34 AM
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I have the Sargent 803H door closer. It works fine and has the "door hold open" feature.
My question is: can I adjust the device so that the door NO LONGER holds open?
thanks.
 
  #20  
Old 06-19-11, 12:35 PM
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hello dancer1,

door closer expert here,

803H actually is used by Sargent for the UL code number, to help identify the closer, can you take a photo of it, upload it to photobucket and upload to the site???

about the closer, is it one that's concealed under a brass or steel plate in the floor or on the surface of the door at top with an arm,

if its a surface mount closer (box and arm type) it's most likely that if it has a handle thing on the arm (to set it to hold open if you want it to) just turn the knob on the arm to set it to not hold the door open, or contact sargent and buy (or find on ebay) a normal "regular" sargent closer arm

if its a concealed-in-the floor unit (you see is a rectangular plate on floor with the name, some have a screw (looks like the other adjustments on the closer when plate is taken off) to adjust "HO" if this has "HO", open the screw 4 turns (or whatever direction indicated on screw or on body of closer to turn off or turn on hold open)

before i can give EXACT instruction on this closer, a picture is best to help out,if you want (or have trouble posting the photo, please PM me so i can further help you in what to do with the holding feature of your closer)

please type back if and when you can, PLEASE feel free to PM me with any questions about this one and any door closers. questions to my private message inbox and this forum thread are more then welcome, I hope I can help you with this.


-Jess the door(closer)doctor
 
  #21  
Old 06-19-11, 01:02 PM
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It is the "on the surface of the door at top with an arm".
Easiest way for me to get a pic to you would be to email it to you if that is ok?
Thanks.
 
  #22  
Old 06-19-11, 07:30 PM
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