Fix Door Problems With Continuous Hinges

June 4, 2018
Continuous hinges add both a dependable solution and a visual improvement to any door opening

An engineer named Austin Baer is usually credited with inventing the first continuous hinge in 1963. His patent incorporated enclosed gears along the entire hinge length. Full length gears were designed to more evenly support door weight. A subsequent invention by Mr. Baer added thrust bearings to the original design. While many different companies offer a variety of continuous hinge products today, the basic enclosed gear design has its roots in the 1963 invention.

Original hinge hardware for most commercial doors normally consists of either leaf hinges or top and bottom pivots. Leaf hinges and pivots have a definite life cycle and can be expected to be periodically replaced. Exterior doors are especially affected by wind, weather or even forced entry which may significantly shorten the hinge/pivot life cycle.

When hinges or pivots fail, there can be several outcomes. In the case of leaf hinges, screw holes in wood jambs or interior brackets on steel or aluminum frames may have become damaged. When pivots are involved, replacements either cannot be easily located or the pivot type is no longer available.

A long lasting answer is to replace a damaged hinge or pivot system with a continuous hinge. Continuous hinges add both a dependable solution and a visual improvement to any door opening. As example, a continuous hinge product from Select Hinges passed a 25 million cycle test.

Continuous hinges are available in standard and heavy duty form, as surface mount, half surface mount, fully concealed, plus several hinge types for specialty applications. Continuous hinges are also available with optional wiring connectors used for carrying electrical power from jamb to door for access control applications. In most cases locksmiths will be installing a full surface continuous hinge. Half surface and fully concealed hinges require a wide gap between door and frame and are usually factory-installed as original equipment.

Smooth door operation requires an approximate 1/8" gap between door and frame on all sides. Before installing a continuous hinge, check for the proper gap. Reinstall threshold and trim door as necessary. One simple technique is to insert popsicle sticks in all gaps such as between door and threshold plus sides jamb and door. When the door is set in the opening with proper gaps, holes for installing retaining screws can then be drilled. Follow manufacturers’ instructions for hole sizes and retaining screw procedures.

The following is a partial list of continuous hinge manufacturers.

ABH Manufacturing: 800-932-9224,

Bommer Industries: 800-334-1654,

Hager Companies: 800-255-3690

Ives: 877-671-7011

C.R.Laurence: 866-377-2938

Markar Architectural Products: 800-824-3018

McKinney Products: 800-346-7707

Pemko Manufacturing: 800-824-3018

Select Hinges: 800-423-1174

Stanley Hinges: 855-365-2407