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Sep 14 2012

Hold-Opens on a Bank of Doors

Am I the only one bothered by this?  Probably.

I’m still at the CONSTRUCT show in Phoenix, so if you’re here stop by booth #739 before noon to visit.  I have a few cookies left.

I saw this bank of doors as soon as I entered my hotel, and the armatures caught my eye.  I had to stop and check out what was going on.  The magnetic holders are ceiling mounted – two wall magnets on an junction box, mounted on a piece of wood.  The holders are also acting as the door stops, so when I opened one door the holder assembly moved when I tried to mate the armature with the magnet.  The armature was at an odd angle so it wouldn’t sit flush on the magnet, and it’s too high to reach to adjust it.  If the application wasn’t aesthetically-unpleasing enough, the doors at each end of the bank of doors have magnets mounted on the wall at a different height than the ceiling mounted ones, so the armatures are at two different heights.

I think I would have gone with the application I’ve mentioned before – an LCN 4040-SEH holder with a closer that has a built-in stop.  Any other ideas?

16 Responses to “Hold-Opens on a Bank of Doors”

  1. Andy Lindenberg says:

    I agree with you. I’ve been around too long and have LCN Koolaid running through my veins. I’ve been using the SEH since it’s inception. Was that the 80’s, or the 90’s? I can remember. Memories start to fade when you get old.

    • Lori says:

      I don’t remember much about the 80’s except the banana clips and big bows I wore in my hair. Somehow the things I’d rather forget are the things that stick in my mind. 🙂

  2. Jack Ostergaard says:

    I think this is a creative solution to the problem. And the ‘symmetry’ of the wall mounts on the ends doesn’t bother me – “Form Follows Function”
    Other thoughts:
    1) Mating the magnet and the armature often seems to be a problem – at least this application didn’t require extension rods.
    2) Hopefully these are tall doors and the required exit height at the soffit is maintained.
    3) Does the open door conflict with the sprinkler head? Of course the door should be closed if the sprinkler is activated.

    • Lori says:

      You’re right – the extension rods would have made a creative situation worse. But the fact that the armatures don’t line up and are too high to reach is a problem. They are tall doors and the soffit height is fine. I don’t know what the rules are regarding sprinkler heads and doors but the door would definitely be under the sprinkler head if it was in the hold open position. Those two things – an open door and operating sprinklers shouldn’t happen at the same time so I think they’re ok.

  3. curtis meskus says:

    OK not the best install, at least the armature could have been at the same height.
    Sure the LCN 4040-SEH holder with a closer would be an elegant solution, what is the cost compared to the magnetic holders? If the junction box had matched up with the magnets it wouldn’t look too bad.
    Considering the field answer would be dogs or tie the door handles together it is a huge improvement.
    How many architects, electrical specifiers know about LCN 4040-SEH and the like? You know we always use the mag holder, I jut put it on the plan the electrician/carpenter/gyp board hanger will figure it out.

    • Lori says:

      The 4040SEH is about $100 list more than the wall magnet that I usually specify, but with the labor to make this creative solution it probably would have been a wash. Magnetic holders are my first choice too, but they don’t work well when there’s a bank of doors. I agree that this is a better solution than tying the door pulls together. Many architects and specifiers don’t know about the 4040SEH but if they read iDigHardware they do. 🙂

  4. Nolan thrope says:

    Need to specify a CUSH closer with the SEH. Need pics? I’ve got some

  5. David DeFilippo says:

    I would have used the devices you reference much cleaner. It’s interesting improve though.
    Someone did not have their hand on the tiller though

  6. Nolan thrope says:

    IT was the 80’s. I remember Warnee telling me about it for a bank of doors at Oceanside HS

  7. Fred Collier says:

    I really like the sheet rock screw that holds the armature to the wood block and the block to the ceiling.
    They could have at least tried to match the finish. LOL

  8. Eric says:

    I don’t think it looks bad but I agree that the 4040-SEH would be a better application (albeit more expensive but not significantly). I think way too many people (architects and designers primarily) put way too much emphasis on aesthetics. How many people (outside of our industry) would even notice this? I give them a star for creativity.

    In comparison, I recommend through-bolting closers because installers tend to skip the pre-drilling step on wood doors. I’ve yet to get a call saying the thru-bolts look bad and I need to replace the door. People tend to walk through without noticing anything until there’s a defective product that slows them down.

  9. Brad Keyes says:

    Expanding on what Jack mentioned, the sprinkler head requires ceiling mounted obstruction to not extend below the deflector of the sprinkler for a 12 inch radius; then the ceiling mounted obstruction is not permitted to extend more than 2 1/2 inches below the deflector of the sprinkler for a radius between 12 and 18 inches; This chart is found in NFPA 13 Table 5- (1999 edition) and it progresses out to 60 inches beyond the sprinkler. Therefore, the picture shows the ceiling mounted door hold-open magnets extending below the level of the sprinkler deflector, and appears it is within that 12 inch radius.

    Lori… If you go looking for code violations, you’re sure to find them.

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