The assurance of security within a hotel room is invariably tethered to a few crucial hardware components: RFID hotel locks, room doors, and door closers. These elements, particularly door closers, play a pivotal role in fortifying hotel room security. They operate by automatically closing the door once hotel guests have entered their rooms, thereby safeguarding their safety.
This article delves into the intricate details of door closers, elucidating their functionality, types, and the factors to consider when choosing one.
Understanding Door Closers
A door closer is a mechanical device designed to close a door in a controlled manner after it has been manually opened, or to automatically open it, thereby preventing it from slamming shut.
When the door is opened, the door closer can be compressed and subsequently released to automatically close the door. This mechanism functions akin to a spring-loaded door, ensuring that the door is promptly and accurately closed back to its initial position after being opened.
Door closers are primarily categorized into two types: pneumatic and hydraulic. Pneumatic door closers are typically employed for lighter doors (up to 20kg), while hydraulic ones are used for heavier doors (up to 35kg).
The Mechanism of Door Closers
Hydraulic door closers comprise several components, including supporting guides, transmission gears, return springs, one-way valves, rack plungers, throttle valve cores and housings, end caps, sealing rings, and connecting rods. The casing and the connecting rod secure the door closer and connect the door leaf and frame.
A door closer functions by slowly and firmly closing the door to lock it. This is achieved by utilizing the spring tension adjusted by hydraulic oil. When a user opens the door, hydraulic fluid flows from one reservoir to another. As the spring pushes the door to close again, the hydraulic oil flows back to the last tank through speed-controlled valves.
The Significance of Door Closers
The importance of door closers lies in their ability to automatically close and protect the frame and body of the door (smooth closing). More crucially, door closers have become an integral part of the intelligent management of modern buildings.
Door closers are predominantly used in commercial and public buildings, but they also find application in residential settings. They serve numerous purposes, the most significant of which is to close the door to limit fire and ventilation within the building. Some of the advantages of door closers include:
- Fire protection: Door closers are one of the most beneficial tools in passive fire safety. Any door or opening in the firewall can cause damage, allowing fire and smoke to pass through. The fire may spread from one compartment to another, intensifying as the burning progresses. It may also suffocate the smoke or toxic gases emitted from the fire, choke blind people trying to escape, and damage the building’s internal contents.
- Safety: In sensitive environments such as pharmacies and banks, or anywhere where additional security protection is needed, a door closer can prove to be very useful.
- Temperature regulation: Door closers also contribute to maintaining the required internal temperature and reducing air in and out of the conditioned space.
- Privacy: Door closers ensure that doors are closed correctly and completely, even if residents forget to close them.
- Hygiene: In tropical environments, door closers on external screen doors can isolate bacteria-carrying pests, thereby improving hygiene.
- Acoustics: Doors, especially fire doors, are effective in reducing noise transmission from one room to another. The more these doors remain closed, the less noise is transmitted through them.
What are the types of doors closer?
When observing door-closer types, there are six main varieties of indoor door closers that warrant consideration:
1. Hydraulic Door Closer
Hydraulic door closers, commonly known simply as door closers, are essentially spring-like hydraulic devices affixed to the door’s upper section. Their functioning mirrors that of a spring door; the system compresses when the door is opened and releases to facilitate its automatic closure. This ensures the door returns promptly and precisely to its initial position.
2. Overhead Door Closer
Overhead door closers are predominantly found within office spaces and front doors. However, for businesses with minimal daily footfall, overhead door closers serve as a viable option for the establishment’s entrance. The adoption of this door closer type is particularly suited to edifices experiencing high levels of traffic.
Overhead door closers typically incorporate one of the following arm types:
- Regular arm door closer: Positioned externally on the door, this design is recognized for being the most energy-efficient overhead door closer.
- Top jamb door closer: Often employed for glass storefront doors, offering modest energy savings.
- Parallel arm door closer: Traditionally utilized in commercial establishments and educational institutions, however, they offer a low energy efficiency.
3. Chain Door Closer
The chain door closer features a spring incorporated within the hinge and forms a key element of its design. More common on interior doors, the spring can either be visible or concealed within a tube.
The design is identified as a double-acting spring hinge for doors that swing in both directions. The self-closing hinge, while visually similar to a spring, operates as a closed door. It adeptly resolves any gap issues while offering speed control as a single component.
4. Concealed Door Closer
Concealed door closers, while offering the functionality of overhead door closers, are installed within the door leaf and frame. This hidden installation not only provides aesthetic appeal but also serves as a deterrent against vandalism due to the door closer’s invisibility.
These are available in spring or hydraulic variants on the market and are generally used for interior doors due to their lightweight construction. However, they will not work effectively on heavy commercial doors if installed as floor spring doors.
For businesses seeking a durable door closer, the floor spring door closer serves as a superior choice. They are especially suitable for busy establishments experiencing consistent traffic. The floor spring door closers are typically employed for glass doors and are installed within the floor to maintain discretion. The closing action is managed by a rod within the closer that is fitted on the underside of the door.
These door closers boast an attractive design and are predominantly used within high-end commercial properties. They also feature an open setting, allowing them to remain in an open position when required.
5. Surface-Mounted Door Closer
Surface-mounted door closers are designed to be installed within the door frame, and an additional crossbar can be fitted on the door’s rear. These compact closers can be color-matched to the door and are an economical alternative to other door closer variants. A notable benefit of this type is the ease of installation.
6.Electric Door Closers
Electric door closers, also known as automatic doors or electric releases, embody a mechanism that facilitates the automatic closing of door leaves through electric control. These closers, distinguished from hydraulic fire door closers, present a distinct set of features and functionalities.
Door Closer Selection: 10 Expert Guidelines
When it comes to selecting an appropriate door closer, several factors should be taken into account, including the door’s width, opening frequency, user requirements, and the surrounding environment. The door width, in particular, holds significant importance in determining the ideal door closer model.
Standard doors encompass various types, such as fireproof, wooden, aluminum alloy, glass, and steel doors. Typically, doors of lesser weight necessitate models with lower power, while heavier doors require more robust options.
The frequency of door opening serves as a vital criterion closely tied to product quality. For frequently used doors, optimal sealing performance and prolonged lifespan are paramount.
Essential Information for Ordering Door Closers
Before proceeding with the order of door closers, it is crucial to consider the following key aspects:
- Door Placement: Determine whether the door is an interior or exterior one. This consideration is significant as some door closers are exclusively designed for installation on specific types of doors. In the case of outward-opening doors, a sharp angle bracket might be required for separate purchase.
- Door Orientation: Identify whether the door swings to the left or right.
- Door and Door Closer Dimensions: Understand the measurements of both the door and the door frame. Heavier doors necessitate sturdier closers, while narrower door frames might require hidden closers or alternative positioning.
- Door Closer Sizing: Select an appropriate door closer size based on the weight and dimensions of the door. Door closers typically come in variable heights to accommodate diverse door sizes. In fire-prone areas, the minimum power should adhere to the EN3 standard.
- Usage Frequency: Consider the frequency with which the door will be used. Performance categories, ranging from low to high usage, aid in determining the most suitable door closer for a given scenario. Locations like hospitals, schools, and shopping centers typically require high-usage closers.
- Fire Safety: Door closers play a pivotal role in fire and smoke control. Look for closers marked with the CE certification, which ensures compliance with fire protection requirements. Proper installation and maintenance are essential, while mechanical opening devices should be avoided. Connecting the electromagnetic door closer to the building’s fire alarm system can help maintain the open function and improve safety during emergencies.
- Delayed Action: Some closers offer the option of keeping the door open for a set duration. Afterward, the door gradually closes at an adjustable speed, allowing ample time for wheelchair users or individuals carrying bulky objects to pass through safely.
- Closing Speed and Locking Speed: The adjustable closing speed determines how quickly the door closes after being opened. This feature enables extended closing times, ensuring the safety of individuals with disabilities, the elderly, or young children. Additionally, door closers may feature adjustable latch speeds that can be fine-tuned in the last few closing angles, separate from the primary closing speed adjustment. This capability allows for acceleration or deceleration in the final inches of the closing process.
Proper Installation of Door Closers
While door closers operate in similar ways, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, it is essential to carefully follow the instructions provided with the specific door closer model. In case the instructions are not available, online resources can often provide manuals corresponding to the brand and model.
Follow these general guidelines to ensure a proper installation process and avoid any potential property damage or personal injury:
- Gather Your Tools: Assemble the necessary tools, including a tape measure, hole punch, pencil, screwdriver, monkey wrench, and drill bit.
- Select an Ideal Location: Determine the optimal placement for the door closer. Ensure sufficient space for your arm to rest against the opposite wall when the door is fully closed. Use a pencil to mark the hole where the drill will be used.
- Prepare for Installation: With the holes marked, use a drill to create the necessary holes for the screws. Reposition the closer and tighten the screws.
- Attach the Arm: Install the separate components, then connect the two parts and the preloaded spring. Secure the included screws.
- Adjust the Dial Screw: This step is applicable when attempting to hold the door open. Adjust the dial screw to achieve the desired fixed position.
- Test and Fine-tune: After completing the installation, test the door’s closing function. Open the door, release it, and observe its behavior. Preloaded spring mechanisms automatically disengage when the door is opened. The door should close smoothly and safely.
- Tension Adjustment: If the door fails to close properly or exhibits excessively fast or slow closing speeds, adjust the tension on the door closer. Locate the tension screw on the front of the closer and turn it counterclockwise for a faster and harder closing or clockwise for a slower closing.
- Seasonal Adjustment: Some door closers offer seasonal adjustment functions. For standard installations involving glass windows, if the window is removed during the summer, the door becomes lighter. This issue can be addressed by fixing the closer to the door bracket using the second pinhole on the tube.
By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure the correct installation of door closers, preventing any potential damage or injury.
Installing a Door Closer: Costs, Troubleshooting, and Adjustment
Installing a door closer entails various considerations, from costs to troubleshooting and adjustment techniques. In this guide, we provide expert guidelines to assist you throughout the process.
The price of door closers varies among companies due to differing operating expenses and overheads. To secure a favorable deal, consider obtaining quotes during the early winter or late fall, as contractors often offer substantial discounts during their off-season. Additionally, it is advisable to budget an additional 7-15% of the installation cost, factoring in potential expenses that may arise.
Hiring a General Contractor
While installing a door closer can be a challenging task that may strain your back, it may prove more cost-effective to enlist the services of a skilled general contractor. Their expertise in door closer installations surpasses that of novices. To find the right contractor, seek recommendations from neighbors or consult local professionals in the field.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Addressing common door closer issues requires troubleshooting. Here are some solutions for prevalent problems:
- Hinge Problems: If the door is warped or requires rotation uphill to close properly, a door closer can help resolve the issue. However, in some cases, the door might need repair before it can be automatically closed and locked.
- Incorrect Arm Mounting: If the door closer fails to fully close the door or rebounds when attempting to close it manually, the arm might be improperly mounted on the shaft. Visit the door closer manufacturer’s website to download the instructions and verify the correct installation.
- Arm Sound and Bouncing: If the arm produces unusual sounds and bounces up and down during door movement, tighten the tightener responsible for bringing the arm close. Also, secure the header and steering knuckle, which join the two parts of the arm together.
For additional door closer troubleshooting and problem-solving, refer to our comprehensive article: “Mastering Door Closer Problems and Troubleshooting Guide.”
Adjusting the Door Closer
If your door opens too quickly or slowly, it may be necessary to adjust the door closer’s settings. Follow these steps for a proper adjustment:
Tools needed: Screwdriver, hex key, or small wrench.
- Strength Adjustment: Different door closer models offer various methods of adjustment. To adjust the closing force, locate the screw responsible for force adjustment and use a screwdriver to tighten or loosen it. Tightening reduces the closing force, while loosening increases it. Adjust the force according to your specific requirements based on the size and weight of your door. Experiment with different settings until you achieve the desired effect.
- Speed Adjustment: Similar to strength adjustment, speed adjustment is linked to force. Increasing the force leads to faster closing speed, while decreasing it results in a slower speed. However, some door closers feature dedicated speed-adjusting screws. In such cases, adjust the force first and then locate the screw for speed adjustment. Follow the instructions provided and rotate the screw accordingly. Take note of which side corresponds to faster or slower speed. If you are not familiar with the process, start with minor adjustments and refine them after a few attempts.
By carefully considering costs, troubleshooting common issues, and adjusting the door closer as needed, you can ensure an optimal and efficient installation process.