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How to Adjust the Closing of a Commercial Metal Door

Kenneth Crawford

Commercial metal doors use door closers to automatically close them once opened. Door closers have several adjustment points that vary by manufacturer to control closing speeds and the effort necessary to open the door. Adjusting the closing of a commercial metal door is similar among all of the manufacturers.

The key is locating the screws that control the closing and latching speeds.

  1. Set a stepladder under the door closer so you can reach it comfortably. It is a good idea to have an assistant stand on the outside of the door. This helps prevent people from opening the door while you are adjusting the closer. Remove the closer cover if your closer has one. These covers simply slide off in most cases; however, some have a single screw you must remove with a Phillips head screwdriver.

  2. Find the adjustment setting screws for your closer. Closers have up to three different adjustment screws. The sweep and latch adjustments control the closing of the door. These screws are typically on the end of the closer closest to the hinges although some manufacturers locate them on top of the closer mechanism.

  3. Rotate the sweep adjustment screw clockwise with an Allen wrench to slow down the closing speed. The screw usually has an “S” stamped next to it. The closing speed is how fast the door closes from a fully open position until approximately 3 inches from being fully closed. Turn the screw in 1/4-turn increments. Turn the screw counterclockwise to speed up the closing speed.

  4. Turn the latch adjustment screw clockwise to slow down the latching speed. The latching speed screw has an “L" stamped next to the screw. The latching speed is how fast the door closes during the last 3 inches of closing. Rotate the screw counterclockwise to increase the speed.

  5. Step off the ladder and test the door by opening it and letting it close. Continue adjusting as necessary. Ideally, the door should close without hitting the heels of the person walking through the door. The latching speed should allow the door to latch without slamming the door.

  6. Tip

    Some closers have a back-check adjustment that controls the opening speed for the last 6 inches of opening the door. This requires adjustment if the door is hitting the wall upon opening. This screw adjusts like the closing screws.


    Do not turn screws more than two full turns counterclockwise. Turning them more than this could cause them to release from the closer and spill fluid, as well as render the closer inoperable.