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door closers don't latch

fireguy

Gold Member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
576
I have an ALF that has a problem with the fire doors and closers. This has been an ongoing problem since the building was new in about 1997.

The initial problems:

1. The doors did not latch, the movement of the doors was too slow.

2. When I adjusted the doors so they would latch upon closing, the closing speed was way too fast. I was afraid someone would get knocked down by the closing door.

I contacted the manufacturer of the door closer, who suggested I send the closers to be repaired. I did and had the same problems as before. I contacted the manufactuer and was told the doors and closers were not matched properly. The Director did not want to spend any more money. When they hire a new maintanence person, I explain the door problem and they try to adjust the closers. Their results are no better than mine. So every year, we make note of the door problem on the fire alarm report. Last year, the Fire Marshal actually read the alarm report, the sprinkler report, and the range hood report. Now, they want things fixed.

What information do I need to match the closers and doors? I assume I cannot replace the doors unless I change the door frame also. Changing the doors would violate the listing. I do not find any manufactuers info on the door, just the Hersey Warnock listing numbers. Can I get door info from Hersey Warnock? There is information on the door closers, But the door info seems to unavailable.

Thanks for the help
 

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
Take a look at the weather strip or smoke seal that may be on the door frames. Some types are adhesively applied and tend to creep around, sometimes bunching up where it prevents easy action.

It's very difficult to find that perfect balance that allows the doors to close and latch and still not exceed the five pound force limitation.

Bill
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
20,966
Location
Basement
fireguy said:
I have an ALF that has a problem with the fire doors and closers. This has been an ongoing problem since the building was new in about 1997. The initial problems:

1. The doors did not latch, the movement of the doors was too slow.

2. When I adjusted the doors so they would latch upon closing, the closing speed was way too fast. I was afraid someone would get knocked down by the closing door.

I contacted the manufacturer of the door closer, who suggested I send the closers to be repaired. I did and had the same problems as before. I contacted the manufactuer and was told the doors and closers were not matched properly. The Director did not want to spend any more money. When they hire a new maintanence person, I explain the door problem and they try to adjust the closers. Their results are no better than mine. So every year, we make note of the door problem on the fire alarm report. Last year, the Fire Marshal actually read the alarm report, the sprinkler report, and the range hood report. Now, they want things fixed.

What information do I need to match the closers and doors? I assume I cannot replace the doors unless I change the door frame also. Changing the doors would violate the listing. I do not find any manufactuers info on the door, just the Hersey Warnock listing numbers. Can I get door info from Hersey Warnock? There is information on the door closers, But the door info seems to unavailable.

Thanks for the help
Suggest email door guru

I Dig Hardware / I Hate Hardware » About Me
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
mark handler said:
Not everyone uses the ANSI A117.1
The ADA does too:

404.2.9 Door and Gate Opening Force. Fire doors shall have a minimum opening force allowable by the appropriate administrative authority. The force for pushing or pulling open a door or gate other than fire doors shall be as follows:

1. Interior hinged doors and gates: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

2. Sliding or folding doors: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that hold the door or gate in a closed position.

Do you know of a standard that doesn't exempt fire doors from the 5-pound opening force?
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
fireguy said:
I have an ALF that has a problem with the fire doors and closers. This has been an ongoing problem since the building was new in about 1997. The initial problems:

1. The doors did not latch, the movement of the doors was too slow.

2. When I adjusted the doors so they would latch upon closing, the closing speed was way too fast. I was afraid someone would get knocked down by the closing door.

I contacted the manufacturer of the door closer, who suggested I send the closers to be repaired. I did and had the same problems as before. I contacted the manufactuer and was told the doors and closers were not matched properly. The Director did not want to spend any more money. When they hire a new maintanence person, I explain the door problem and they try to adjust the closers. Their results are no better than mine. So every year, we make note of the door problem on the fire alarm report. Last year, the Fire Marshal actually read the alarm report, the sprinkler report, and the range hood report. Now, they want things fixed.

What information do I need to match the closers and doors? I assume I cannot replace the doors unless I change the door frame also. Changing the doors would violate the listing. I do not find any manufactuers info on the door, just the Hersey Warnock listing numbers. Can I get door info from Hersey Warnock? There is information on the door closers, But the door info seems to unavailable.

Thanks for the help
There are 2 adjustments on most decent closers - closing speed, and closing force. You may need to adjust both - the closing force will get the door latched without using speed to build up momentum. If you want to post or email me some photos I will try to help. lori_greene@irco.com
 

mark handler

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
11,285
Location
So. CA
LGreene said:
The ADA does too: 404.2.9 Door and Gate Opening Force. Fire doors shall have a minimum opening force allowable by the appropriate administrative authority. The force for pushing or pulling open a door or gate other than fire doors shall be as follows:

1. Interior hinged doors and gates: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

2. Sliding or folding doors: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that hold the door or gate in a closed position.

Do you know of a standard that doesn't exempt fire doors from the 5-pound opening force?
I know Lori,

And even less enforce the ADA
 

lpiburn

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
103
Location
Albuquerque, NM
It has also been localized into the IBC since the '09, and it is the same in the 2010 CBC.

1008.1.3 Door opening force. The force for pushing or pulling open interior swinging egress doors, other than fire doors, shall not exceed 5 pounds...

I second the earlier question. Do you know of a statement that doesn't exempt fire doors? I would certainly like to know if there is one.
 

peach

Registered User
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
2,834
Location
metro DC
I don't think any Code requires the 5 lb max on any fire door. Like JMOrrison, I'd suspect the HVAC system isn't balanced properly.
 

mark handler

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
11,285
Location
So. CA
International Building Code 2012

1008.1.3 Door opening force.

The force for pushing or pulling open interior swinging egress doors, other than fire doors, shall not exceed 5 pounds (22 N). For other swinging doors, as well as sliding and folding doors, the door latch shall release when subjected to a 15-pound (67 N) force. The door shall be set in motion when subjected to a 30-pound (133 N) force. The door shall swing to a full-open position when subjected to a 15-pound (67 N) force.
 

K3v1n

Registered User
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
10
Location
philadelphia
I wanted to resurrect this topic. I have a fire station that has an apparatus bay with a small enclosed area for a watch desk. The idea is that the watch desk is enclosed to protect staff from emissions. There's a 7" step up into the space and it's less than 300 sf. We'd like to add gasketing to the door, but it doesn't latch. It does have a closer. There's an accessibility exemption for raised employee work areas (IBC 2018 1103.2.2), however, the 1010.1.3 door opening force for interior egress doors limits the force to 5 pounds, which mirrors ADA. The easiest solution is to adjust the closer, but that isn't code compliant, correct?, since 1010.1.13 implies all occupants, regardless of mobility? FWIW, it's fire fighters that are behind the desk, so they are pretty mobile and strong to begin with. The main scope of the project is structural repairs.
 

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
3,537
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
If they put in a rated fire door where a fire door is not required and the walls were not built as a fire barrier, wall, partition, etc is the max. of 5 pounds to open it still not required?
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
What type of gasketing have you tried to add? There are some that require less closing force than others, like this one: https://www.allegion.com.sg/en/prod...seal-perimeter/8144-psa-silicone-batwing.html.

Most door closers have several adjustments - spring size, closing speed, and latch speed. You may be able to set the spring size/closing force to meet the 5-pound requirement and then increase the latch speed a little to help get the door latched. The accessibility standards require the closing speed to be at least 5 seconds, but that is measured from 90 degrees to 12 degrees, so the latch speed is not part of that measurement. Basically, the door can close slowly and then speed up at the end to get a little extra momentum.

Changing to a rated door won't solve the problem if the rating is not required.

- Lori
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Or...do you need to have a closer? If the door doesn't have a closer and you are opening and closing it manually, it will meet the 5-pound requirement and will be latched by the firefighter closing it.

- Lori
 
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