Door Closer Noob

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  #1  
Old 06-25-12, 03:45 AM
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Question Door Closer Noob

Hi,

I never really looked at door closers until mine started showing problems. Interesting devices :-)

Anyway, since the door is made out of metal and the temperature differences in Winter and Summer the door does not really close that well anymore. Especially after someone "fixing" it in the Winter. No, that someone was not me, but a specialist with a lock-shop (unfortunately he did not show great marksmanship. His words: "there is only one screw, so how hard can it be?"

Now it is summer and the door slams shut. There is no de-accelaration and imagine the noise from a heavy iron door dropping in place inside a metal frame...

If someone can tell me how to adjust this Yale door closer (sorry, I couldn't find any numbers), then I will promise I will clean it up. That dirt on the left, seems to be "just" dirt. It doesn't "feel" like oil, although I will do a closer inspection to (re)check that.

Ah, and the photos:





Any help appreciated,
Flat.
 
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Old 06-30-12, 08:59 AM
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Flatlander72,

from what i read, this closer appears to be one from the 50's or 60's (i too am not sure of the model.

from what you describe (slams shut, man saying there's one screw)

these type of closers (its called a traditional/potbelly closer) they oftenly require seasonal adjusting to accommodate for the temperature change and the oil getting thick and thin as the temp changes,

as for the adjusting, many of these traditionals and many other older style nortons and yales used whats called a dual valve, (2 function on one screw) and was confusing to many to adjust properly

if in the event this is one that has a dual valve, close valve completely and unscrew it 1 half turn at a time until sweep speed is proper, then turn 1/4 of a turn in opposite direction to adjust latch (the confusing part to many)

if this is one that DOES NOT have dual valve, that knob that is on right side of it is for sweep, latch on many of these [traditionals] the latching action was adjusted by adjusting the length of the forearm (arm segment from "elbow joint" to doorframe)


if no luck, it then is time to change the oil in this one with a multi-viscosity oil, also is possible the oil that was put in by the lockshop's "door closer expert/specialist" may have not been the proper type of fluid designed for use in a door closer in the climate this one is located in,

the method to change the oil requires a workshop with a workbench and vise,


flatlander72, please keep in touch with me about this one, feel free to send me a PM if you want as well


-Jess the door closer doctor
 
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Old 07-02-12, 06:23 AM
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I will do exactly as the doctor ordered

I hope I don't have to do a refill, although this one is probably still running on its original oil...

Anyway, I have seen your posts about the oil changing and the part that worries me most is loosening the screws as I imagine they will need a lot of work to come loose...

I'll keep you posted ....

/Flarlander72
 
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Old 07-12-12, 05:56 AM
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Thumbs up

Thank Doc!

It's not perfect, but it is good enough.

The screw on the right is to alter the shutting speed and the length of the arm (the angle of the arm with respect to the door-opening) is responsible for the fast-to-slow closing point (the latching).

What is not perfect: If the arms passes 90deg angle, the speed to close the door seems to increase again. So even with the door almost close, there is a "huge" force to shut the door tight. Even with just 1cm distance from closing the door this makes a huge noise.

So I now have the arm slightly away from 90 deg, such that this increase in speed does not happen and the door closes swiftly. That seems like a good solution, was it not that the lock-mechanism does not always lock this way, but as it works fine in over 95% of the time, I am not bothering (not really scientifically correct experiment).

Perhaps an oil-change would make the thing easier to adjust, but I am not going to take the risk now. There is a huge spring on top, which seems like it will not get back into place if I open it up.

Warm regards,
Flatlander72
P.S. Thanks for your offer to PM, but this information should be indexed by Google and the likes.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 12:46 PM
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hello flatlander72,

arm geometry can effect the way it closes,

as for the spring, the act of changing the fluid does NOT involve taking the top parts of closer off, only spring adjusting involves turning a gear at top to wind spring. only time taking spring out or apart is involved is if the closer has to be re-handed such as on a norton 78 or the Yale 1900 series traditionals made of aluminum alloy. no matter if its an old closer or one that can be taken apart at top, safety should still be exercised, as the spring is under alot of tension and can hurt you or cause damage if it flies out from the closer.

google and indexing, yes, true great idea to keep it out in the open, google indexing is how people find my comments or posts i have made about door closers and how to deal with their problems.


-Jess the door closer doctor
 
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Old 07-18-12, 02:25 AM
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Dear Jess,

No need to take of the top, that's good news.
But how do I add fluid then? Is it by taking out the adjustment screw and filling through that hole? I remember a post somewhere saying never to take out the adjustment screw.

There is this funny closure on the left. It looks like some kind of cover with a thread. I will try to take a picture tonight.

BTW, I saw a new closer, which looked exactly like mine at a local hardware store (old store, so many old unsold things) and they are asking over 250Eur for the thing....

/Flatlander
 
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Old 07-19-12, 07:05 AM
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Flatlander72,

about adding fluid, yes, fluid is added by removing the valve and fill through the hold the valve was i recommend removing it from the door and going to a workbench with a vise and clamp closer in vise with valve screw upwards , then remove valve and slowly put in the oil while pumping the arm back and forth, when full, screw valve back in

the reason why they say don't remove valve, i have heard of times where people will remove the valve from the closer (while still on the door) and well........ they find out it has oil when its too late, then they Google around looking for help on what to do and if their closer will still work after all its oil has drained out.

as for the hardware store, many old mom-and-pop run places may still have the old unsold hardware in the back or by request only, hardware stores these days tend to only push out the newer brands and often times light door hardware (for light aluminum screen and storm doors or UPVC doors)

if you are unable to get to a workbench and a vise to put new fluid in the closer yourself, perhaps the hardware store selling the new one you seen can do it for you??? old days locksmiths and door repairers and hardware stores rebuilt or serviced the types of hardware they sold,

i look forward to seeing the funny closure you seen,

hope to hear from you soon flatlander72,


-Jess the door closer doctor
 
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