How To Adjust Door Closers

Door closers may not be the top of people’s minds when ordering new doors or moving into new premises, but they are essential to the smooth closing of doors.

Whether a door is opened manually or mechanically, without door closers and door closer adjustment, fitted doors can slam shut or fail to close properly.

This causes health and safety hazards and compromises building security. For these reasons, it is usually necessary to have door closers fitted to a range of doors in premises.

Fire doors should always be fitted with fire door closers to ensure that they are closed, to comply with fire regulations.

Door Closer Types

Door closer types are different, what’s needed depends on different variables including the size and weight of the door, the location of the door and door closer mount, and frequency of use.

It is also important to know how to maintain and adjust a door closer to keep them operating smoothly.

With proper maintenance and adjustment, the door closers will operate effectively for a much longer time than if no care is given.


Surface mounted door closers are fitted to the door frame. They can be a good choice for doors that have low to medium usage. They are an economical option that are moderately straightforward to install.

Surface Mounted

Surface mounted door closers are fitted to the door frame. They can be a good choice for doors that have low to medium usage. They are an economical option that are moderately straightforward to install.

Concealed in-door

Concealed in-door closers are fitted inside the door and as their name suggests, are not visible. This makes them popular where design, as well as safety considerations, are key.

They are an economical choice. There is also an overhead concealed in-door closer available to buy, also known as a Transom door closer.

Concealed in-floor

Concealed in-floor door closers are mounted in the floor so need expert fitting and are a more expensive option. They are particularly suitable for heavy or glass doors.

Wireless Sound-Activated

These wireless door closers harness the latest technology and are activated by the sound of the fire alarm. Ideal for doors that sometimes need to be opened for access but would need to stay closed in the event of a fire.

Door Closing Mechanism

The door closing mechanism works by using spring tension in hydraulic fluid to close the door. The fluid has the effect of providing resistance that moderates the speed of the spring.

As the door is pushed open the fluid flows from one reservoir to another. As the door is closed by the spring pushing it back, the hydraulic fluid flows back to the original reservoir through a series of valves. The speed of travel depends on the door closer adjustment.

Features of Door Closers

Door closers have a range of features as summarised here.

Adjustable Power

This feature can be adjusted to suit the size and weight of various doors. The amount of power needed can also be affected by the size of the room the door opens into, with additional power needed to overcome the opening resistance caused by variable air pressure.

Adjustable Swing Speed

Doors need to close at a safe speed so people can pass through without injury, however, they should not take too long to close as this creates the risk of intruders entering the property, for example in schools. The closing speed can be adjusted to suit the setting and controls how fast the door closes from fully open to within 5 degrees of fully closed.

Latching Speed

Latching speed can be adjusted to control for how quickly and smoothly the door moves to the fully closed position from within the last 5 degrees of closure.

Backcheck Facility

This feature means the door will still be under control should it be opened with accidental or deliberate force, preventing damage to the hinges or any walls in the immediate vicinity. This reduces maintenance costs, particularly in areas of heavy traffic.

Delayed Action

The door will remain open with a timed delay before closing. This is a useful feature when many people are needing to enter or leave through the same door at the same time. It also reduces the number of times the door closer has to operate, considerably extending its operational life span. The timed delay is adjustable, depending on the requirement.

Mechanical and Electromechanical Hold-Open

Hold-open devices can be used to ensure that fire doors stay open for open access, except when a fire alarm is activated. This prevents fire doors being propped open and creating the risk of a fire spreading.

Power-Assisted Opening

A power-assisted door automates the opening or closing of the door. The power assist feature is activated by motion sensors, manual operation or push-button access.

How to Adjust Door Closers

The majority of door closers come with factory settings. However, once the door closers have been installed, further adjustments may be required so that all features function as needed and that the door is closing correctly.

Before starting any adjustment work, check the type of door closer installed and assemble the correct tools for the job e.g. screwdrivers, Allen keys and a wrench.

For overhead door closers, a stepladder will be required. As you look at the door closer mechanism, if you can see the adjustment screws your door closer does not have a cover.

If the door closer has a cover, first remove the cover, these will often slide off.

Looking for expert advice on your fire doors?

Our manufacturing and testing process allows us to certify our doors to the highest fire safety standards and maintain all variants of door closers.