Most door closers come from the factory pre-adjusted to the most common settings, according to what was ordered. Once the closer is installed some additional adjustments may be required to function properly at the opening. In this post we’ll look at some common adjustments that can be made on the door closer that will help ensure the door closes properly.

Door Closer Control Zones

Here is a diagram showing the basic control zones that can be controlled using a door closer.

Closer Control Zones

The closer adjustments that we’ll talk about will not include the delayed action control zone. Delayed action is optional on some door closers when ordering but is generally not included.

Door Closer Adjustment Valves

Depending on the type of door closer that you have installed, the closer adjustment valves will be located in different locations on the door closer body. The adjustment valves are usually located in an accessible location so that the door closer can be adjusted after it has already been installed. Here are a few examples:

As you can see, there are some door closer bodies with the valves on the top, on the front, or on the sides of the closer body. A hex screw wrench or sometimes a screwdriver is needed to turn the adjustment valves. Be sure to check the closer instructions for what is needed to make the adjustments.

Concealed closers often have adjustment screws visible even though the closer body is concealed in the frame, door, or in the floor.

2010 Adjustment Valves Concealed Closer

Concealed Closer

Making Door Closer Adjustments

Once you have located the valves, you need to make sure you are adjusting the correct valve and turning it in the correct direction.



Tightening the valves will usually decrease the speed of each control zone while loosening the valves will increase the speed of each control zone. Tightening the spring power will increase the overall speed of the door closer and loosening will decrease the overall speed of the closer. Generally a clockwise rotation of the valve will tighten it and a counter-clockwise turn will loosen it.

The adjustments will often not require very much turning to make significant changes in the control zone speeds.

Do not turn the valves excessively when making adjustments. Even small quarter turns of a valve can make a lot of difference.

If a valve is loosened too much, it can cause the door closer to leak and not function properly. This will likely require replacement of the closer body. If you have inappropriately adjusted the door closer valves it will not be warrantied by the factory.

Hold Open Nut Adjustments

When a door closer has a hold open arm with a friction nut operation, the door closer can be adjusted to hold open at a degree of opening determined by the installer. 90 degrees is commonly the default hold open setting when shipped from the factory.

To adjust the hold open nut, loosen the nut and then open the door to the desired hold open position. This is where you will tighten the hold open nut securely. Some styles of hold open arm will require slightly different adjustments.

Regular arm hold open nut adjust

It is important to follow the instructions included with the door closer you have installed. This blog post serves as an introduction to door closer valves and the ability to control an opening using the door closer adjustments available on most commercial door closers.