How to set a self-closing door hinge

Written by marissa robert Google
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Self-closing door hinges can be very convenient and helpful--but if the tension is adjusted incorrectly, the door might be so light that the cat can open it or so heavy that your mother can not. Set the tension on a self-closing door hinge to a reasonable point, and make the door safe and easy for everyone who uses it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tension lever or Allen wrench (hex key)

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  1. 1

    Determine whether your self-closing hinge is a Hager or a Penrod style hinge. A Hager has a cap on top of the barrels that comes off to reveal the space where the Allen wrench fits. A Penrod has a slot on the back where both the tension lever and tension pin fit.

  2. 2

    Close the door. Locate the tension pin. It should be sticking out the back of the hinge, near the top. If you have a Hager spring hinge, remove the cap in the top of the hinge to reveal the space where the Allen wrench fits.

  3. 3

    Insert the tension lever or Allen wrench into the provided slot. Push the tension lever counterclockwise until you can remove the tension pin. Remove the pin.

  4. 4

    Continue to push the tension lever until you have reached the maximum force allowed by the spring. You know you have reached the maximum force when the tension lever is lined up with the last hole in the slot, or when the arrows on both barrels of the self-closing hinge are lined up.

  5. 5

    Insert the tension pin in the last hole available. Test the door to see if there is too much closing force. If so, lightly push on the tension lever counterclockwise and remove the tension pin. Release the tension lever clockwise to the next hole and insert the tension pin there. Repeat until you reach the force you want in the door.

  6. 6

    Remove the tension lever. If you have a Hagar spring hinge, slide the cap back into the top of the door hinge barrels.

Tips and warnings

  • There should already be a tension pin in your self-closing hinge. If not, buy a replacement from a reputable dealer of your hinge brand. Take a picture of the hinge with you to the store to ensure you get the right tension pin.
  • Be careful not to let go of the pin or lever while the tension in the hinge is not supported--the tension lever could snap back and cause injury.

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