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How does a hydraulic door closer work

We usually don't pay much attention to the things that we deal with daily. It's human nature to put the main focus only on challenging things and tasks. If everything works well, as a rule, we don't give it much thought. For example, we use door locks and keys daily, but usually, we don't think much about their functionality till they start malfunctioning. Another thing that probably all of us see and use quite often is a door closer. It is commonly used on heavy doors like those in malls or offices. Have you ever thought about what the purpose of that device is? How can it help people? How does it work? In this blog post, we decided to share some of our knowledge with you and give you answers to all these questions. So, keep reading to learn more!

Purposes of a hydraulic door closer

First of all, let's define what a hydraulic door closer is. It's a spring-loaded mechanical device filled with a hydraulic fluid, usually special oil, which dampens the door swing and automatically controls the door opening and closing.
Even though a door closer might not seem as important as a locking mechanism or handle, it has special purposes that might be complete game-changers in case they go out of order.
Primarily, it's important to know that hydraulic door closers are usually installed on heavy steel doors. Fire-rated doors are always equipped with that type of closer, and there are several reasons for that. First, the hydraulic door closer is the only closer that can hold a steel door and make it easy to open for those who can't resist its weight, for example, children and older people. Also, it ensures a complete latch on leaving, which is immensely important for fire-rated doors. Their main purpose is to allow people to leave the premises easily in case of an emergency but still be latched tightly enough to prevent smoke and gasses from spreading further.
hydraulic door closer repairing
The second purpose of a hydraulic door closer is a swing opening degree control. This closer allows the door to open optimally. It makes it go slower and stop at a specific distance, which is a huge benefit. This way, people have time to come through the door normally without rushing.
Last but definitely not least, it prevents door damage that may be caused by slamming. That leads to saving an attractive door appearance and its functionality as long as possible. In case of any mechanical failure, it might mean that there's an issue with the closer. So, you might need to replace it. For that purpose, it's always better to use professional commercial locksmith services, which bring the door's functionality back to life fast and easily.
Finally, the most important advantage of using a hydraulic door closer is its higher security level. A hydraulic door closer provides an easy way out but is tightly latched at the other side. Combining it with a keypad lock can make your building an impregnable castle for intruders.
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How do hydraulic door closers work

Knowing what a hydraulic door closer is, we can now talk about how it works. So, basically, a hydraulic closer requires some liquid to operate, as it's clear from its name. The process of opening and closing happens when a person pushes the door.
Each time the door opens, the closer arm turns a pinion. That provokes the movement of a piston inside the fluid-filled chamber. The piston compresses the spring and forces hydraulic fluid through the ports. When the door opens to a certain degree, the liquid begins flowing through the backcheck valve, gradually increasing the pressure required to open the door further. This cushioning effect is called the back check function. The stored pressure in the spring pushes the piston back when the door is released — the fluid routes through the valves that control the door's closing speed. When between the door and its frame are about 3 inches left, then a latch valve takes control. That's when the door slows even more and latches gradually.
How do hydraulic door closers work
How do hydraulic door closers work

Types of door closers

Now we want to talk about some of the other door closers and how different they are from the hydraulic ones. The most popular are overhead door closers, concealed door closers, floor-spring door closers, and surface-mounted door closers.
Overhead door closers are the most common. You can see them on different commercial property doors, for example, conference doors, mall fire-rated doors, hotel doors, and general interior office doors.
Concealed door closers are not visible and they're installed inside a door frame. This closer will fit your door perfectly if you love minimalistic design and everything to be smooth. However, it's mainly used for interior doors, as it is too light for the front or fire-rated door.
Floor-spring closers are usually made for glass doors, as they may stay less visible, so the door looks more aesthetically pleasing.
Finally, surface-mounted door closers are produced to be mounted to the door frame with the bar at the back of the door.
All in all, it's up to you which closer to choose. Let your premise design, door features, and budget guide you.

Summing up

Choosing the right doors and accessories is a challenging task. You would want it to suit the interior design and to be as functional as possible. However, if you know what the difference between the door parts and their working principle is, the process becomes easier. Still, selecting the hardware is only half of the deal, as it also must be installed. This time, a skilled locksmith can help. Choosing Sure Lock & Key to assist you will save you from the headache of the installation process and the complications related to it.

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