How to Adjust the Tension on a Door Closer

A door closer automatically shuts an exterior or storm door. Door closers are designed to shut the door at a measured rate rather than slamming the door shut. However, a door closer may close the door too quickly or too slowly for your individual needs. Fortunately, door closers can be adjusted to close the door more quickly or more slowly by turning an adjustment screw.

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A door closer can be adjusted to close a door more quickly or more slowly.

Adjusting an Exterior Door Closer

Step 1

Find the tension adjustment screw on the body of the door closer. Many exterior door closers contain both a "latch" adjustment screw and a "sweep" adjustment screw. The "sweep" adjustment controls the rate that the door closes from fully open to a few degrees before latching. The "latch" adjustment controls the rate that the door closes a few degrees before the door latches shut.

Step 2

Insert the Allen wrench into either the "sweep" adjustment screw or the "latch" adjustment screw – depending upon which rate of closure you wish to adjust – and turn the wrench to adjust the screw.

Step 3

Open the door, and then release the door to test the rate of closure. If the door still does not close at the rate you require, repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the door closer is adjusted to your needs.

Adjusting a Storm Door Closer

Step 4

Find the tension adjustment screw on the door closer cylinder.

Step 5

Place the screwdriver into the screw head. Adjust the tension adjustment screw.

Step 6

Open the door, and then release the door to test the rate of closure. If the door still does not close at the rate you require, repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the door closer is adjusted to your needs.