According to NFPA 80, for optimal safety fire-rated doors should be kept closed in order to distinguish the possible spread of fire and smoke. Therefore it is important to use the most efficient and effective door-closing mechanisms. However, choosing a reliable door closer is never easy, and buyers are particularly cautious when it comes to fire doors. The following key factors play a significant role in the fire-rated door closer decision-making process.

Weight, Size & Application

Traditional door closers have three mount types: regular arm, parallel arm, and top jamb. Each type requires precise knowledge of weight, size, swing type, and usage volume. Calculating this with a traditional fixed door closer hinge can be complex due to different and unique closer sizes. On the other hand, a heavy-duty hinge satisfies these requirements using a simple and effective design. Every heavy-duty hinge system is suitable for most door sizes, compatible with both in-swing and out-swing and easily interchangeable between left and right sides. Choosing and stocking these hinges is effortless.

Self-Closing Function

A fire door closer hinge with effective self-closing functionality can satisfy fire-rated garage doors and fire-rated apartment complex entries. According to NFPA, a fire-rated door must be self-closing, and the door must close when released from a fully open position. In terms of that, heavy-duty self-closing hinges can easily close and latch from as little as 20 degrees, which more than satisfies NFPA requirements. This guarantees dependable and safe closing, making heavy door usage easier and safer.

Indoor / Outdoor

Door closers installed on fire-rated doors that face inside and out tend to be susceptible to moisture from the outside. This can be problematic for traditional top-mounted door closers especially, as bulky closer arms can be affected by rust and become ineffective. At the same time, heavy winds can damage a spindly, pivoting arm, as well as cause mechanism-damaging hydraulic shock.

By combining the closing mechanism inside our patented barrel, heavy-duty door hinges reduce exposure issues that can easily affect traditional closers. Made with stainless steel, this fully enclosed durable design ensures longevity and effective performance that will be unaffected by outside elements.

waterson closer hinges rusted-door-closer

Usage Frequency

Depending on commercial area usage requirements, door opening, and closing frequency can vary significantly. ANSI A156.17 requirements for self-closing hinges classify durability standards in terms of cycle-time grades, whereby Grade 1 requires 1,000,000 cycles, Grade 2 requires 500,000, and Grade 3 requires 250,000. Therefore Grade 1 indicates the highest quality certification for closer hinges followed by Grade 2 and 3, respectively. Waterson hinges not only achieve Grade 1 status, but they do so with little wear.

Opening Force

With fire door closer hinges, you can open doors of any weight with as little as 5 lbs of force. Where traditional door closers generate much resistance upon opening, the heavy-duty hinged doors open effortlessly. These hinges are suitable for high-traffic commercial fire-rated doors, in addition to heavy hotel room doors and senior communities

ADA Clearance

National and local ADA building standards may have different requirements for fire door closers. In order to meet this ADA specification, no door closer is allowed to be installed within the 78” minimum clearance space. Commercial fire-rated doors are typically 80″ or 84” high. With an 80” door it is essentially impossible to install a top door closer and meet the 78” minimum clearance requirement. This is no problem for Waterson hinges as they perform like a door closer without the bulky extra parts, so meeting the clearance specification is very easy.


Waterson Heavy Duty Fire Door Closer Hinges

Waterson Closer Hinges combine an overhead closer and hinge into one attractive component with optional hold-open and door stop features. Waterson hinges are ideal for commercial openings, gates, and glass doors. These closer hinges are easily installed and adjusted to comply with ADA & ICC A117.1 requirements for opening force and to assure quiet, secure closing. Made with stainless steel, Waterson closer hinges meet NFPA 80 and are UL 3-hour fire-rated, as well as being suitable for both interior and all-weather exterior openings. See all our features.

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