Tom has 17 years of experience as a commercial locksmith and over 20 years in door hardware distribution.
This is an article about surface-mounted hydraulic door closers. Most door closers have degree-of-opening specifications in their sales materials and/or installation instructions. That is to say, they are designed to allow the door to open to a certain degree. See "Degree Of Opening" illustrated below:
Factors that influence the degree of opening requirements include:
- Is there an adjacent wall or other obstruction?
- Does the door need to clear the opening to comply with the minimum 32-inches required by the ADA (American Disabilities Act) or for some other reason?
In any case, degree of opening is an important factor when selecting and installing a door closer to any opening.
Installation: "Regular" or Parallel Arm
For an explanation of regular, parallel arm and top jamb installation, please see my article on Door Closer Basics.
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In regular and parallel arm installations, the installer can determine degree of opening by deciding where to place the closer on the door in relation to the hinges. Usually the nearer the unit is installed to the hinge side of the door, the farther the door will open. See manufacturers' original instructions for details.
In top jamb installations, the degree of opening is more an issue of the depth of the reveal. The reveal (illustrated below) is the distance between the face of the door and the inner surface of the door frame or header.
The above is an illustration of an LCN 4020 series top jamb installed door closer. In the above installation, if the reveal is 2–9/16 inches or less, the door closer can be installed to allow the door to be opened to 180 degrees. If the reveal is up to 4–13/16 inches, the door closer can be installed so that the door can be opened to only 140 degrees.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.