A Troubleshooting Guide for Overhead Electromagnetic and Mechanical Closers

Posted on: 20.11.2019 Posted by: Door Controls Direct

Issue 1: The door doesn’t close properly

Solution: Check that the door, frame, pivots and other ironmongery such as seals have been fitted correctly. A simple test you can do to check this is to disconnect the arm of the door closer and see if the door can be easily pushed closed with one finger. If you can do this, then the problem may be that the closer isn’t suitable for the door.

Always choose a door closer with a power size suitable for the maximum width and weight of the door. Many closers have variable power sizes so they can be adjusted to suit the door, but Fire Doors should be set at no less than EN3 to meet building regulations (BS EN 1154).

Issue 2: The door is slamming

Solution: Air pressure can be a big factor when it comes to slamming doors. Trapped air between internal and external doors or small spaces can contribute to doors slamming. Most closers have an adjustable latching action valve, adjust this so that the door closes slower in the last 10-15 degrees of the closing cycle to try to counteract this.

You may also need to make an adjustment to the overall closing speed too so that it is quicker. If after making adjustments, the issue still persists, you may require a new closer entirely.

Issue 3: The door is creeping closed or not holding open

Solution: This issue is occasionally found with electromagnetic door closers. Ensure that you have fitted the closer to template. Just because there was an existing door closer before you installed this one, does not mean that it was fitted correctly. If your closer was supplied with two cams (hold open or swing free functionality), make sure you are using the correct one. If you see any sign of oil (see issue 6 for more info), it is likely that the closer has lost pressure and unable to perform as it should.

Always check voltage going to the unit, mot electromagnetic door closing devices run off 24V DC regulated power suppliers or transformer rectifiers. If you are not using one of these supplies, voltage spikes could affect overall performance of the product and they can also fry the solenoid – you’ll most likely notice the smell if this is the case.

Issue 4: The door is closing too fast or too slowly

Solution: A lot of door closers have adjustable valves, power sizes should be determined by the door width and weight and variable door closers are handy in case your door is on the cusp of one of the sizes. If the door is closing too quickly or too slowly try to adjust the closing speed slightly to see if it makes a difference. Some door closers have delayed action valves; this slows the closing cycle so that vulnerable people have time to pass through the door safely.

Issue 5: The door is too heavy or too light when opening

Solution: Check the power size of the closer against the door width and weight. A handy guide can be found in our door closer section of our website. Also check your adjustment valves (see issue 4 above).

Issue 6: The door closer is showing visible signs of oil.

Solution: A new door closer is required. Oil leaks are caused by a broken or worn seal within the closer mechanism. This may have been a manufacturing fault or caused through over adjustment of the different valves. If adjustments are required to suit the door, then these only need to be small, careful incremental turns. Never ever use a power drill to make adjustments to a door closer as this increases the risk of breaking a seal. Seals will eventually start to fail over time, so if it’s an old closer that’s leaking, it’s time to replace it.

Issue 7: The door keeps hitting the wall when it’s opened

Solution: Some door closers offer backcheck functionality. Backcheck can be adjusted where the door is being thrown open to help prevent damage to the door and frame by providing a cushioning effect.

Issue 8: The door is not closing into the frameSolution: First check that the power size matches the width and weight of the door. If the closer is wound down to a power size EN1 or EN2, it may not be enough to be able to close the door. Power Size is also known as spring size, the tighter the spring is wound up, the higher the power size and the stronger the force to close the door.

The final 10-15 degrees can also be affected by adjusting the latching action valve. This is particularly useful in helping the door overcome seals and the latch. Having a regular door closer maintenance plan in place for your facility is essential, not only to maximise the life of the closer but to ensure the safety of all door users. Maintaining security and fire door integrity is of the utmost importance.