Door Closers, Top to Bottom

The most important thing about door closers has nothing to do with the closers themselves. Before installing, servicing or adjusting a door closer, make certain the hinges are properly lubricated, the hinge screws are tight and the door closes smoothly...

For a temperature-induced bow, no door closer or power door operator may be capable of closing, latching and securing the door at some point in time. The only option is to replace the door with one that will not warp.

Some regulations, codes and ordinances differ geographically. Some are federal, state and local. For example, California mandates five pounds or less force required for a door closer on non-fire rated doors. Manufacturers had and have to develop products that can close the door with a price tag of less than a power door operator. To make surface-mounted door closers more efficient, closer manufacturers have developed some specialized and unique door closers.

Note: Use a door pressure gauge when adjusting the closing force. Contact the local authority having jurisdiction (LAHJ) or ask your local locksmith distributor about codes for your area.

An example of a specialized surface mounted door closer is the “cam” closer. Unlike the regular surface mount door closer whose greatest amount of force is in the beginning of the closing cycle, a cam action door closer applies the closing force at specific locations within the closing cycle to obtain greater efficiency. The cam action door closer provides an extra “kick” of power at the end to help the closer latch and secure a door.

The non-handed Sargent 421 Cam Door Closer is designed for push or pull track operation and has adjustable spring power. Unlike a conventional door closer, the 421 cam operates in conjunction with two pistons.

Note: When servicing a cam action door closer, the latching speed valve adjustment is critical to ensure proper door latching.

The Norton Trinity 9000 Series door closer automatically adjusts itself in order to accommodate the building’s conditions. An on-board computerized control module adjusts the single, internal valve to keep the closer functioning within a specific operation range in addition to controlling backcheck and delayed action. No external power source is required as opening the door generates power. These computerized adjustments reduce the need for “stack pressure” adjustment.

Backcheck on a door closer limits the door from being forced. Never close the backcheck valve completely. Tightening the backcheck valve causes increased internal pressure. This pressure can rupture the seals and result in premature failure.

Always save instructions, templates, and tools from the door closers you install. This way you will have a quick reference source and tools for future re-installation and adjustments.

When installing a door closer, write the date of installation onto the inside of the cover. This way, should there be a problem, the installation date will determine the years of operation. Closer manufacturers offer different warranties. For example, DORMA offers a 25- year warranty on their mechanical door closers manufactured after August 1986.


For More Information

For contact information on the above discussed companies and their products, contact your local locksmith distributor or:

DORMA Architectural Hardware, DORMA Drive, Drawer AC, Reamstown, PA 17567. Telephone: 717-336-3881. Web Site:

Ellison Bronze Inc., 125 West Main Street Falconer, NY 14733. Telephone: 800-665-6445. Web Site:

Norton Door Controls, 3000 Highway 74 East, Monroe, NC 28112. Telephone: 877-974-2255. Web Site:

Rixson Specialty Door Controls, 9100 West Belmont Ave., Franklin Park, IL 60131. Telephone: 866-474-9766. Web site: Rixson provides installation videos for offset and center hung floor closers, under Installation Aids on the Rixson web site.

Sargent Manufacturing, 100 Sargent Dr., New Haven, CT 06511. Telephone: 800-727-5477. Web Site:

For replacement components for discontinued door closers, contact New England Door Closer, Inc.,West, Springfield, MA 01089. Telephone: 413-733-7889. Web Site:

For door pressure gauges, contact HMC Int’l. Div., Inc.,Littleton, CO. Telephone: 303-794-2510 Web Site:


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