Introduction: How to Fix a Bent Pneumatic Screen Door Closer

Picture of How to Fix a Bent Pneumatic Screen Door Closer

During one of the last storms, the wind caught my screen door as I was stepping outside. It immediately flung it all the way open and bent the automatic door closer in the process. Now, it refuses to close by itself. But with just a little bit of work, I was able to repair it and get it back to working.

I did this at TechShop Detroit.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

You'll need the following tools:

Bench vise
Hammer
Vise grips
Philips screw driver

Step 2: Extend the Rod Fully

Picture of Extend the Rod Fully

Clamp the end of the rod in bench vise. Pull the other end until it is all visible.

Using a set of vise grips, clamp the end to prevent it from retracting back into the shaft.

Step 3: Hammer Time

Picture of Hammer Time

Now comes the fun part.

Using a hammer and your bench vise, continue hitting the bend in the rod until it straightens out. It won't take much. Keep rotating it and examining it to make sure it's straight from every angle.

Step 4: Adjust the Tension

Picture of Adjust the Tension

There is a screw on the end of the shaft that can be used to adjust the tension that the door closes with.

Loosen the screw to make the door close faster. Tighten it to make it close slower. Play with it until the desired tension is achieved.

Re-install back on to your door and enjoy!

Comments

shmerls (author)2015-08-23

I need help with a warped wood screen door and tried a closer since a turnbuckle wasn't fully working. Since this thread is the only one about closers I hope it's ok to post here assuming you all know more than me about them.

The warp is in the upper left. Hinges and closure on the right. I'm wondering if it's OK from an installation point of view, and will it even have any effect if I move the bracket that holds the bar farther away from the door. The instructions say mount it at 2 1/8" from the door. I'm wondering if I moved it to say... 3" or more which would create more of an angle from the door jam to the mounting front of the closer on the door. And in doing so, might that create more force or pull on the door to counter the warp. BTW, to be clear, I mounted the closer at the top of the door of course.

I wanted to ask before experimenting which means drilling lots of holes for each mounting :D Thanks!

HelpingHands4You (author)2014-03-21

Great instructable, I know people who get frustrated trying to bend those out. My only question would be did the vice grip create grooves in the metal? I would be worried about the movement causing wear on the seal. Maybe something to smooth the grips like small pieces of cardboard, but my thought on that would be the cardboard sliding on the bent rod. Thoughts?

trev25 (author)HelpingHands4You2014-03-21

I didn't notice any grooves in the metal. There were some dings in the middle from when I struck it with the hammer. But neither the vice grips or the hammer seemed to have affected the functionality of the mechanism.

HelpingHands4You (author)trev252014-03-21

good deal!

DIY Dave (author)2014-03-21

thanks for the instructable. it annoys me so bad when I see one bent

audreyobscura (author)2014-03-21

Awesome! My dog broke one of these one time when she ran full speed towards the screen when she saw a squirrel.

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