The closer body is normally mounted on the door itself while the mounting shoe is attached to the doorframe. Two options are top jamb mounting where the closer body is attached to the frame and corner bracket mounting where top jamb and door mounting are not feasible.
Regular arm mounting lets the arm project out away from the door face when the door is closed. Parallel arm mounting positions the arm parallel to the door face when the door is closed. Parallel arm is preferable when abuse is likely from someone hanging or pulling on the arm assembly.
Placement of the closer is determined by the application. Proper positioning is essential. If the closer is mounted too close to the frame, a loss of power and leverage will occur. If positioned too far away from the frame, the door may not open fully.
The door closer has controls that allow you to adjust how fast the door opens, closes and latches. Backcheck is an adjustment that cushions or slows the door movement when it is forced open beyond its normal limit. After the door is opened, the sweep valve can be adjusted to speed or slow the movement from fully open to about 10 degrees from closing. The latch speed relates to the final range (about 10 degrees) of closing.
A third range of closing is the delayed range. Offered as an optional feature on some closers, this becomes activated when the door is opened and released at a point beyond 70 degrees. This adjustment may be set to extend the delay cycle from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. This option can be utilized in hospitals, nursing homes or other applications where wheel chairs, people on crutches and others need sufficient time to pass through an opening.
After the initial installation, the maintenance usually involves minor adjustment of the latch speed or sweep speed. Remember that door alignment, hinge wear and weather can affect how the door operates in the frame. A poorly operating door can cause a closer to go out of adjustment or prematurely fail.
One of the biggest hazards is a leaking door closer. In high traffic and heavy-use conditions, a leaking closer can spell disaster. Oil dripping from the closer can cause slippery floors, falls and liabilities. In addition the closer will lose its ability to function, resulting in a free-swinging door. Personal injury aside, damage to the door and frame is likely.
The following is a list of door closer manufacturers that can be found in the Locksmith Ledger Security Register. There maybe other door closer manufacturers that are not listed. To be listed in a future article, please contact the Locksmith Ledger.
CORBIN RUSSWIN offers closers including the DC2000 Series for use in high-use, high-abuse environments and all draft conditions. The DC2000 offers positive latching for access control, fire and barrier-free code compliance and has a 10-year limited warranty. The DC3000 Series is a mid-priced, cost-effective choice for meeting fire and barrier-free compliance and offers a five-year limited warranty.
DORMA offers a selection that includes the 8600 and 8900 Series closers. Both are barrier-free for interior and exterior doors and are adjustable in size from 1 through 6. Features include narrow projection, adjustable backcheck, optional delayed action and a temperature compensating system to minimize changes in closing speed during temperature changes. The 7200, 7300 and 7400 Series offer additional choices. Dorma offers a 25-year warranty.
DOR-O-MATIC closers range from the SC70 Series for heavy duty commercial applications to the SC R85 Series for residential and light commercial use on interior doors up to 85 pounds and 36 inches wide. They carry a five-year warranty. The SC70 is a Grade 1, ADA compliant closer with a one and one-half inch piston. It’s adjustable in size from 1-6, is non-handed and carries a 10-year warranty. The SC80 medium duty, SC60 light-medium and SC90 light duty closers round out the offering.