SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Screen door closer that's slow steady

A quick learner from Florida says:
I've seen most screen door closers (10" pistons) that just pull on the door and let it slam into you if you let go. Can't be used if you're carrying something. Most of these seem to stop about 6" away from closing and, only then, slowly close the door. I seek one that has a constant rate of gradual closing, like most only do in the last 6". Any suggestions?
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Dave from SWISCO responded:
Hey, thanks for posting. Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to find a door closer like what you want. You see, what you have on a door closer is two stages of closing speeds. You have the slower or gradual closing speed when the door is opened (approx. 90 degrees), and as the door gets closer to the jamb you have what is called the "latch speed," which closes faster to make sure the door handle latch onto the striker/keeper. You can play with the adjustment, but you will always have the "thump" at the end of the closing cycle.

You could look into a hold-open closer like our 40-163 or 40-178 as an alternative, but these too will have the "thump".
A quick learner from Florida says:
No, you misunderstood. I want it to do what you say it will do but I don't have that. When I open the door it won't stay open even for a few seconds! I don't mind if it closes fast at the end making a noise. I currently have Wright brand 9" pistons (11" to the connection points). I'm looking for a replacement because mine won't let me out the door without hitting me... they go slowly only at the very end when the door is almost closed. I want it the opposite way around... closing very slowly until it is near the end. What is best for slow steady closing that would fit? Thanks.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
In that case, really any replacement door closer should accomplish what you need, though none of the ones we carry are particularly slower than the others.
A home owner from Pasadena CA says:
I just installed a complete screen door kit, and don't like the closer at all. When you let go of the door, it swings violently back and forth, hitting you a few times, and then crawls to a close, letting the bugs in. (I can adjust the speed, but then it slams.)

In a previous home I had a hydraulic closer that I really liked, and I want another one like it. When you opened it more than about 45 degrees, it stayed in place until you gave it a little push, then it closed fairly fast until it was about 6 inches away from the jamb. Then it would gently close and latch.

It wasn't a cylinder; it had a rectangular box mounted horizontally on bottom of the door jamb.

Do you know of a closer like that?
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Dave from SWISCO responded:
Well, the only hold open type we have are our 40-163 or 40-178. I've never heard of anything like the one you described. You must have an older door closer we are not familiar with. I also recommend that you pay careful mind to the installation directions. How your closer was installed could be the problem, not the closer itself.
A handy person from Pittsburgh PA says:
Dear Swisco experts,

I installed a brand new Pella storm door in 2012 and the door close action is exactly the same as described by the Florida and California home owners. When you let go of the open door, it closes immediately, without even a slight hesitation, whacking you pretty good because your not even through the door yet. And then as it approaches 2/3rd closed, it slows down to a crawl, practically ushering in insects for 12 seconds. It works completely opposite from any door closer I've ever seen. The speed adjustment only affects the last 1/3 of the travel speed, near the point of closure, the latch speed as you called it. I've triple checked the installation instructions, experimented with the only adjustment available - the speed screw - and still no improvement.

If this is an installation mistake, it must be a common one. Can you please share some wisdom on how to correct it?

All I want is a two stage door close that operates normally --- initial gradual speed followed by faster latch speed at the end - just like Dave described!

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Dave from SWISCO responded:
I've seen this happen before. It very well may be an installation mistake, yes. Each door closer is different, though, and I'm not entirely familiar with what Pella has. I'm not sure what you can do to fix it, but I would just review the installation instructions that came with it and see if there's anything you missed.

It's also possible you just need to adjust it. There should be a screw on there for that. See if that fixes it.

If none of that works, then the closer may be shot and you would need a new one.
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