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Mar 07 2011

The Door Closer Fairy Was Here

Category: Accessibility,Door ClosersLori @ 12:09 am Comments (13)

I have to admit, I visit the local frozen yogurt joint so often that the owners ask me if I want “the usual.”  Hey – it’s YOGURT…practically health food!  I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to make it through their winter break – about 2 months.  I survived, but the closer on their entrance door didn’t.  It lost all of its fluid and started looking for fingers to lop off.

In the simplest terms, a closer has a spring and fluid inside.  When you open the door, you’re compressing the spring, which then pushes the door closed.  The fluid flows through a series of valves, and that’s what allows you to regulate the closing speed.  You turn the valves to slow the flow of fluid for the main speed (the main sweep period of the closing cycle) and/or the latch speed (the last few inches of the closing cycle).  The accessibility codes and standards require a minimum closing speed of 5-6 seconds.  Without any fluid, the spring slams the door shut without any control.

I happened to have a Falcon SC60 in my office so I offered to replace the existing closer.  As much as I love LCN 4000 series closers, this was a job for the SC60, which is a direct retrofit of the existing closer.  In the old days I used to replace my share of closers but it’s been a while, so I recruited my brother to help.  You may recall that he replaced a closer on his office entrance a while back, so we made quite a team – a guy who had installed one closer in his lifetime, and a woman who hadn’t replaced a closer in years.

Before any of you point out the imperfections…I know this closer is aluminum and the door is dark bronze.  And I have no idea if the original closer was templated correctly but we were stuck with it since the drop plate was buried under the trim.  I wasn’t about to mess with it – you can call me a hacker, or you can just call me the Door Closer Fairy.  As I told the owner of the yogurt place, “Don’t tell anyone who replaced it for you or I’ll be getting requests from the pizza place, the bagel man…just tell them the Door Closer Fairy was here.”  Anyway, you get what you pay for, and this installation job is definitely worth two frozen yogurts. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the SC60 was to install, and it works great.  It has a 10-year warranty and I’ll be able to check on it several times per week.  🙂

And for your viewing pleasure…a short film (you will notice that I STILL have laryngitis!!):

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13 Responses to “The Door Closer Fairy Was Here”

  1. Brad Keyes says:

    Nice video. Are you going to star in future productions? By the way, do you have a union card to replace closures? Does the Door Closure Fairy make house calls?:)

    • Lori says:

      I don’t think this was a union job, and the Door Closer Fairy only makes an appearance about once a year so don’t put your leaky closer under your pillow and expect me to show up!

  2. Darren Patton says:

    Very nice job! You are so talented.

  3. Steve Hornyak says:

    Hey Lori, we have several closers down here in need of replacement. Are you planning any trips to the Mid-Atlantic in the near future ? 🙂

    • Lori says:

      Well, actually…I’ve been thinking about a “theme” for my summer road trip, like my spur-of-the-moment Chip Falcon’s Road Trip a couple of years ago. I’ll definitely be traveling through Mid-Atlantic, but I wasn’t planning to bring my toolbag. Maybe I could just visit various interesting buildings along the way. I need to check out the US Institute of Peace!

  4. Charles says:

    OH NO. YouTube posts now!!!!!

    What next, stupid door tricks????

    Keep on posting!!!!

  5. Jess says:

    Hello Lori, nice post about Door Closer Fairy. I hate when that happens, when a closer leaks all it’s fluid losing all control of door causing a slippery fall hazard as well as stains on door/ground. last time i seen something that leaked that much oil, it was on a gas station back in 2000. and not only that, it’s forearm was held together with a wire or twisty tie (bread tie)

    in a way I’m shocked that the bank I go to their (NON -IR) closers are still working well (I miss them LCN 4010’s, only located one being re-used at an overpriced amusement park oriented to young children (pre-schoolers to maybe 10 years of age) in the next state over in Pa.

    could an LCN 1260 or 1460 have worked as well if the person was OK with an IR product that has cast iron body in place of the (NON-IR product)Falcons will work as well.

    Lori, my favorite series of LCN as well are 4040/4010’s this year’s road trip, taking any hardware?? last year you took a push bar, this year you taking a lock or a closer??? (LCN or a Falcon?) your brother did well with the installation of the new closer.

    Steve Hornyak:

    I am an expert in door closers, I don’t do housecalls but possible I could help you through e-mail or other means of computer communication?? I don’t mind emails and I hopefully can be of any help if someone does email me with a question about closer adjustment/repair.

    Charles: never know what will come up next from Lori, as far as door tricks, i have seen in school (back in 1999 to 2002) i have seen some “faint” in action and actually OPEN the door when stuck. (this happening on a regular everyday LCN 4040 closer) too bad I had no camera back then.

    -Jess the door(closer)doctor

  6. Steve Hornyak says:

    Thanks Jess ! I appreciate the offer and will most definitely keep you in mind. Thanks again

  7. Yong says:

    Great post Lori.

  8. Mark Lee says:

    hi Lori:
    I should have sent this response long ago–I am a contractor specializing in installing doors and hardware and auto operators. Nice job with the installation. I have a set of pictures that walk a new installer through the steps to install an LCN 4041. Would be happy to send it to you if any of your customers could use it.
    Regards: mark

    • Lori says:

      Hi Mark –

      Thanks for the compliment…I checked on the closer today and it didn’t fall off yet. 🙂 I’d love to see anything you use to teach a new installer – we were just talking yesterday about the fact that nobody ever adjusts the backcheck selector valve properly on a 4041.

      – Lori

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