Install a Hydraulic Door Closer

Updated: Jan. 24, 2019

Get better performance with a hydraulic closer

hydraulic door closerFamily Handyman
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.

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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

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 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.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Level

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.

  • Hex bolts
  • Hydraulic door closer
  • nuts and lock washers