How to install a spring to shut a metal fence

Updated February 08, 2018

Installing springs on a metal fence can effectively shut the gate automatically after you exit. This ensures that the gate is not accidentally left open, which can lessen the safety of pets and children on your property. A self-closing gate is a convenience item that allows entrance and exit with your hands full and that enables hands-free closing. Horseback riders also enjoy this feature on a metal fence so that they can navigate the horse through the fence and do not have to jockey into position to close the gate from horseback.

Hold the self-closing gate spring up to the metal gate about 15 cm (6 inches) from the bottom with one end on the corner post at the hinged side of the gate and the other end on the gate itself. Mark with a marker inside each hole for the four screws. Set the gate spring aside.

Predrill each mark with a small twist drill bit for metal to form pilot holes for the screws. Place the gate spring back in position, and screw in the screws provided with the gate spring on the corner post side first and then on the gate.

Open the gate fully, and then let go of it. Watch as it closes to observe whether it shuts entirely. If it does not shut all the way, then the tension on the gate spring needs to be increased. Turn the adjustment screw to the right with a flathead screwdriver to increase the tension so that the gate will close fully.

If the gate bangs shut loudly with excessive force, adjust the tension on the closure side post so that it is looser. Turn the adjustment screw to the left with a flathead screwdriver to loosen tension so that the gate fully shuts without undue pressure.


It may take several attempts to adjust a self-closing gate spring so that it applies the correct amount of closing force. Start your adjustments by turning the screw one turn at a time to the left or right. Turning more than one revolution can make adjustments more time-consuming. Self-closing latches along with gate springs can prevent small children from opening a gate after it closes. This method is safe for metal fences around your property and for pool gates. Predrilling the pilot holes for the screws allows you to use the screws provided with the self-closing gate spring. For application on a wooden gate, predrilling is not required.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-closing gate spring
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Twist drill bit
  • Screws
  • Flathead screwdriver
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About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.