Philadelphia Commercial Door Closers

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When building or renovating, one of the most necessary hardware you’ll need to choose is the right door closer.

All the options available can make this process confusing! In this article, we’ll give you the guidance and information needed to choose the door closer that works best for your requirements.

When looking at door closers, you must consider the following:

  • Door location
  • Size and weight of the door
  • How often will the door be opened and closed
  • Backcheck requirements
  • Options for mounting and types of closer
  • Code requirements 

Door Location and Opening/Closing Frequency

When choosing the best door closer, you need to consider the door location and how often it will be opened and closed. You may require a more substantial power size if the door is for a small room with extra air pressure or outside with windy conditions. 

  • High Traffic – 100,000 to 500,000 cycles per year – Grade 1 Door Closer 
  • Medium Traffic – 10,000 to 100,000 cycles per year – Grade 2 Door Closer
  • Low Traffic – 10,000 cycles per year – Grade 3 Door Closer

Grade 1 or heavy-duty door closers should be used in places that need high-traffic doors, such as convenience stores, shopping malls, hospitals, arenas, and high schools.

For commercial buildings, residential front doors, churches, and preschools can use Grade 2 closers.

Areas with low traffic, such as home bathroom doors and office closet doors, can use Grade 3 or economy door closers.

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Size and Weight of the Door

The general rule is the bigger the door, the bigger the door closer spring is needed. Door closer power sizes or springs are classified as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. One is the smallest, and six is the highest.

We recommend you follow the manufacturer’s recommended sizing based on the door width. Taller or wider doors require larger or adjustable door closers because they need greater force to control them.

Options for Mounting and Types of closer

Surface-mounted door closers are the most common choice because they are cost-effective and reliable. They can be installed regular arm mounted, parallel arm mounted, and top jamb mounted.

Regular Arm

This type of door closer is located near the top hinge, at the top of the pull-side of the door. Here, the main arm is attached to the closer and the extension arm to the frame. Then the two arms connect to create a pivot point. 

If the door is closed, the arms are perpendicular to the door, which some consider less attractive compared to other mounting applications. Despite this, it is the most power-efficient option available. This is best for interior doors when function is more important than how the closer looks.


Parallel Arm

A parallel arm is a push-side application. It is located at the top of the push-side part of the door near the top hinge. The main arm is attached to the closer, and the extension arm to a parallel arm bracket. 

When the door is closed, the arms are hidden underneath the frame header, which looks better than a regular arm or top jamb. Because of the configuration of the arms, it is less powerful than other options but is fine for exterior doors.

Top Jamb

This is a push-side application. A top jamb mounted door closer is located on the push side of the door, on the face of the frame header, by the top hinge. The main arm is attached to the closer, and the extension arm is attached to the door. Where the two components meet, they form a pivot point. 

When the door is closed, the arms are perpendicular to the door, which is the most power-efficient option, but not the best looking. This is common in exterior aluminum storefront doors. 


Other applications:

  • Sliding track application – much rarer, more costly, and for high-end door closers
  • Overhead concealed door closers – more costly, and used when security and looks are critical. They are hidden from view. 
  • Floor closers – a long-lasting, durable option for heavy doors or areas with very high traffic. These are also costly because of the installation method and maintenance needed. 

Backcheck requirements

A backcheck prevents a door from being thrown open by people or the wind. It is a feature available on all Grade 1 and Grade 2 door closers. These help prevent damage or injury. Most Grade 3 door closers do not have this feature. 

Code requirements

Door closers are crucial to fire and smoke control and must be selected and installed correctly.

Using cUL in Canada or UL in the U.S. marked door closer is required to ensure the product you are using is suitable for use and meets all legal requirements. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides requirements for doors and door closers. It states that interior doors should not require more than five pounds of force to use, and exterior doors should require the minimum effort possible.

The ADA also requires the closing speed of doors to exceed five seconds, and the latching speed should be fast enough to latch, but not slam into the frame. When choosing door closers, follow all applicable local fire and building codes. 

Door Closer Installation in Philadelphia

When you need to choose door closers, follow our advice to help you choose the best one for your needs. Visit our site to sell our entire selection, or contact us today!

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