In yesterday’s post, I wrote about power-assist operators to clarify that these are not the same as low-energy automatic operators. This 2-part question arose from a misconception that “power-assist” is the same thing as “Push ‘N Go.” Refer back to yesterday’s post if you need more information about power-assist operators; here’s some more information about Push ‘N Go…
The Push ‘N Go feature on an LCN automatic operator is a means of actuating a low-energy automatic operator by pushing or pulling the door. When the door is pushed or pulled to an open position of 5 degrees (+/- 3 inches), the door continues the opening cycle automatically and does not require the user to operate the door manually beyond this point.
As I wrote in a past Decoded article, low-energy operators must be initiated by a “knowing act,” which may be a push plate actuator or non-contact switch mounted on the wall or jamb, an access control device like a card reader, keypad, or keyswitch, or the act of pushing or pulling the door. The Push ‘N Go feature is considered a knowing act; entering the field of a motion sensor is not.
One thing to keep in mind regarding the Push ‘N Go feature is that depending on the operator it can require 8-12 pounds of force to manually open the door to 5 degrees – the point where the door begins to open automatically. Many states allow up to 15 pounds of force to open an exterior door, or rely on the limits stated in the International Building Code (IBC) – 15 pounds to release the latch, 30 pounds to set the door in motion, and 15 pounds to open the door to the fully-open position. The Push ‘N Go feature would comply with those limitations as long as there aren’t other factors that increase the opening force (binding, wind, etc.).
However, in some jurisdictions the opening force for exterior doors is limited to 5 pounds or 8.5 pounds, and interior non-fire-rated doors are subject to a 5-pound limit on opening force. For those locations, the Push ‘N Go feature may require too much force to be compliant with the accessibility standards. There may be other products available that require less force to move the door far enough for the auto operator to take over, but it’s important to verify this – preferably prior to installation.