Nothing is quite as jarring as a storm door slam. Who hasn't been irritated by a storm door closing too slow? These problems generally have a common source: a broken storm door closer. Before you rush right out to buy a new one, there may be a better solution. Why not learn how to fix a storm door closer? Who knows, you might be the local storm door whisperer when all is said and done.
Assessment and Repair
Examine the door closer to determine what it is doing or not doing. Examine the mounting screws; do they seem solid? What about the hold-open washer; is it stuck in place or sliding loosely? Make a note of anything that needs attention before continuing with your storm door repair.
Start with the adjustment screw. If the door is working but closing too fast or slow, this is probably the culprit. On the door end of the closer there should be a Phillips screw in the center of the cylinder. This controls the tension in the pneumatic cylinder. Turn it clockwise to tighten it and make the door stop slamming, or turn it counterclockwise to loosen it and make the door shut faster. Adjust it in the direction you think it should go one or two turns and test. Keep adjusting it until you are happy with the action.
If the action is still not what you want, try changing the hole your rod is set to. Between the door bracket and closer cylinder you may see a series of holes; one of them will have a retention pin slid into it. Try moving this to another hole and test the door.
Move on to the hold-open washer if the door refuses to stay open when washer is in place. Remove the pin from the jam side of the cylinder and slide the washer off. Replace with a new one that can be purchased in a kit (see the resources section). Replace the old one and test.
If the door still won't function well, it may be time to replace your storm door closer. Simply purchase the same model or style and follow the instructions that come with the new closer.