Information Center

Mechanical Door Closers

Why are Door Closers necessary?

A door installed with a properly adjusted door closer will open and close UNDER CONTROL at all times. The door closer will prevent possible bodily injury or damage to the door and door frame. It also reduces the sound of the door closing because it prevents slamming.


Why do doors need to be self closing?
There are many reasons why a door needs to be self closing. These reasons include:

- Doors to secured areas will always close and relock.
Energy Loss:
- Prevents energy loss for air-conditioned or heated facilities, particularly on exterior doors.
Sound Containment:
- Minimizes sound intrusion through open doors.
Push/Pull Doors:
- Holds door closed when the door is not self-latching.
Fire Doors:
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) requires that any fire-listed door must be self-closing to stop the spread of fire.


How do you determine a door closing force?

The closing force desired by a door closer varies in consideration of the following:

  1. Size of door (width and weight).
  2. Wind or draft conditions.
  3. Strength of person usually using the door.

Door closers with a "power adjustment feature" may be adjusted to desired closing force after installation.


What are the different Door Closer applications?

Standard Application:
- This Door closer application is the most common and the most desirable. However, to protect the door closer from the weather, it should not be used on the exterior side of a door.

Top Jamb Application:
- This door closer application is meant for use on exterior doors that open out, protecting the door closer from the weather. The door frame at the top must be wide enough to allow the application of the door closer body. The application is also used if it is preferable for the door closer to be on the opposite side of the door than in the standard application.

Parallel Arm Application:
- This door closer application is meant for use on exterior doors that open out, protecting the door closer from the weather. This application is also used if it is preferable for the door closer to be on the opposite side of the door than in the standard application.

Slide Track Closers: 
- A type of door closer installation. The closer is mounted on either the hinge side or opposite hinge side. The slide track is mounted to frame face on the hinge side, and the frame soffit on the opposite to hinge side.

Corner Bracket Closers: 
- A type of installation when the close cannot be mounted to either the door or the frame. The bracket is mounted on the upport corner of the push side hinge jamb of the frame. The close is mounted to the bracket and the arm is attached to the top rail of the door at a right angle to the door.


What are the different types of door closer arms?


What parts does a Door Closer have?

What does it mean when a door closer is handed or non-handed?

  • A handed closer can only be used with either a right hand door or a left hand door, not both.
  • A non-handed closer can be installed without modification on a right hand or left hand door.


How do you mount a door closer?

  • Door closers may be mounted on either the pull side (hinge side) or push side of the door. In either case, door closers should always be mounted on the inside of a building and usually on the inside of a room for aesthetics.
  • If the door opens in – into a building or room – the closer would be installed in “regular arm” application. If the door opens out – to the outside of a building or room – of three applications may be selected. Use parallel arm, top jamb, or corner bracket closers.

What is the standard sweet/latch speed for a door closer?
Generally, the speed of the door should be six seconds from fully open to 10 degrees of closing. This may vary depending on conditions. Speak to one of our experts for guidance. 


How do you determine the sizing of a door closer?
The size of the closer doesn't mean the physical size of the body. It means the size or strength of the spring contained within the body. Manufacturers size closers according to ANSI standards and UL listings, which require a minimum closing force between 3" to 1/2" of closing.


What is the purpose of a door closer?

  • Control
  • Convenience
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Energy conservation
  • Acoustic and noise control


How do I choose the right door closer?
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a door closer. Here are some of the things to consider:

  • Type of building
  • Use of opening
  • Existing hardware condition
  • Is new hardware needed?
  • Overhead holders
  • Coordinators
  • Other
  • Interior or exterior door
  • Pubic entrance or back door?
  • Door width, height, and weight
  • Door material
  • Door panel or glass
  • Degree of opening
  • Frame/trim
  • Arm applications
  • Ceiling clearance
  • Handing of door
  • Fire rating
  • ADA requirements
  • Environmental considerations

How do you adjust a door closer?
Watch our instructional video on how to adjust a door closer! 


What are "Overhead Concealed Door Closers"?
Overhead concealed closers are closers with the cylinder concealed in head frame and either a concealed or exposed arm. In situations where a closer is needed but concealment in the frame header is required or desired, the Norton® 7900 closer is the ideal solution for door control. Once installed, only the solid one-piece arm is visible when the door is open; therefore, this unit provides a high degree of vandal resistance. When the door is closed, the closer, arm and slide track are fully concealed.


How do you install a Norton Door Closer?
We have plenty of installation videos on our YouTube channel with more to come! 


How do you identify a Norton Door Closer?
View our informative bulletin on how to identify a Norton Door Closer.


Where can I buy a Norton Door Closer?
Find a sales office on our Contact Us page.


What is a hold open Door Closer?
A hold open Door Closer has a hold-open function, which keeps the door open.


What is a Door Closer back check?
The back check cycle is controlled by the back check valve. This cycle enables the closer to slow the opening swing of the door.


What are the handing options for a Door Closer?
There are four options for handing:

  • Left hand (LH)
  • Right hand (RH)
  • Left hand reverse (LHR)
  • Right hand reverse (RHR)


How do you determine handing for a door closer?
A door can be handed in several ways. The easiest way determine the handing is to stand on the Push side of the door.

  1. Push the door away from you as if you are going to walk thru the opening. If the hinges are on your right, it is a RH door. If the hinges are on the left, it is a LH door.
  2. If you are on the pull side (hinge side) of the door, and the hinges are on your right, it is a LH door. If the hinges are on the left, it is a RH door


What is the difference between the door closing cycle and latching cycle?
Two separate valves control the door closing and latching speeds. The closing cycle controls the speed of door closing from the full opening position to approximately five inches from the closed position. The latching cycle controls this last five inches.


What is delayed action?
Delayed action is an option that slows the speed of the closer. This allows more time for those with walkers or wheelchairs to pass through the opening.

What are the accessibility requirements for door closers?
All accessibility requirements can be found on the ADA website.


What is the difference between a door closer and operator?

  • Door Operators assist with opening and closing doors. They often require electricity, but sometimes some operators have their own power supply. There are several types of door operators such as low energy operators and wave-to-open operators.
  • Door Closers purpose is to close doors and ensure that they are fully closed. They do not require electricity.

What types of operators does Norton offer?
We offer electrohydraulic and electromechanical operators.


Do you need a door closer on a fire door?
NFPA 80 requires the a closing device must be installed on every fire door.


What is a track arm mount?
Track arm mounted closers have a roller that runs along a metal track as the door opens and closes. Track arms can be mounted on either the push or pull side of an opening. Track arms sit nearly against the face of the opening, creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the opening. Track arms do not have the same closing power and strength as traditional closer arms.


What causes a door closer to slam shut?
The closer could be adjusted incorrectly. Watch our video on how to adjust a door closer to fix the issue: 


Can you replace a door closer arm without having to move the door closer?
Yes, as long as the style of arm is the same style arm.


What are the benefits of Using a Cam Action Door Closer?

Cam action closers provide greater efficiency than a rack and pinion door closer, and lower opening resistance while delivering optimum closing force and control.  Learn more about cam action closers here.