According to NFPA, a fire-rated door must be self-closing, and the door must close when released from a fully open position. Additionally, some codes and standards require the door to close and latch when released from as little as 30 degrees. Typical spring hinges struggle to achieve this requirement, so most builders choose traditional door closers to satisfy. However, standard door closers tend to be bulky, unsightly and create a rather cold institutional feeling.

The New Self-closing Option

Waterson Hinges are increasingly being chosen on building projects, as they not only satisfy fire-rated code requirements but also provide a pleasant aesthetic — many Waterson customers have commented that they appreciate the tidy look both inside and out. In terms of power, Waterson hinges easily close and latch from as little as 20 degrees, which more than satisfies NFPA requirements. This ensures reliable and safe closing. See our swing clear fire-rated door project in LA.

Comparison With Door Closer

Waterson Self Closing Hinge V.S. Door Closer

Waterson Self-closing hinge Traditional door closer
Closer Location
Side of door.  Installs easily like regular hinges
Top of door.  Requires additional installation space
Elegant and minimal visual intrusion
Bulky and significant visual intrusion
Opening Force
Requires more effort
Outdoor Use
Yes, highly weather-resistant
Closing arm susceptible to rust
Interior Use
Less likely to be broken or vandalized
Closing arm susceptible to breakage and vandalism
Fire Resistance
UL-Listed 3 hours
Various fire-rating levels
1 million cycle test certified
Various cycle test levels
Total Cost
Low installation & maintenance expense
High installation & maintenance expense

Precision Crafted

At the same time, precision-crafted Waterson hinges install easily and maintain reliable alignment with other door components. With their sturdy construction, Waterson hinges maintain the long-term functionality that builders rely on. Moreover, there is no need to drill additional holes in order to achieve alignment because Waterson combines the door closer function with a standard hinge design.
Waterson Hinges combine an overhead closer and hinge into one attractive component. Waterson hinges are ideal for commercial openings, residential entrances, and other public buildings where fire-rated self-closing doors are required. 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. Waterson hinges are available in full mortise, swing clear, and custom types as needed. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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