Garage service doors and other fire-rated doors need self-closing hinges, but for a few dollars more you can upgrade to a hydraulic door closer that lasts longer and performs better.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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An alternative to spring hinges
Hydraulic Door Installation and Hydraulic Door Closer Adjustment
Rotate the “sweep” adjuster to slow the closing speed to about five seconds (it will prevent the door from bumping you in the rear as you exit). Then turn the “latch” adjuster to get a quick, one-second final swing to latch the door.
Spring hinges are a little cheaper, but can be a pain to install and adjust.
Replacement spring hinges are expensive. But for just a little more money, you can buy a high-quality hydraulic door closer (shown here is Global No. TC2204; available through our affiliation with amazon.com). You can find less expensive door closers, but they don’t last as long and are less adjustable.
If you have a steel door, don’t use the wood screws that come with the unit (they’ll pull out after a week). Instead, drill the mounting holes (make sure the drill is level) all the way through the door and mount the unit with hex bolts, nuts and lock washers. Then fine-tune the door’s operation as shown.
Required Tools for this Hydraulic Door Closer Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Drill bit set
Required Materials for this Hydraulic Door Closer Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.