How to Fix a Screen Door Closer and Jamb
One of the most frustrating projects for a do it yourselfer is repairing a storm or screen door closer. Opening the door in strong winds or heavy use can crack the door jamb that holds the closer in place. You can reinforce the jamb to repair any cracking or stop the problem from happening in the first place.
Tools and Materials
• 4-in-1 screwdriver
• Corded drill
• Drill bit set
• Storm door jamb reinforcer
• Finish nails
• Wood putty
Instructions for reinforcing the door jamb
For this repair you will need to purchase a jamb reinforcing plate or you can use a piece of ½ inch plywood to build your own. A storm door jamb reinforce called the “Ultra Jamb Reinforcer” from www.ultrajamb.com, can be used instead of making a wood patch to repair your jamb. Jamb reinforcers are a heavy-duty steel plate that strengthens the door frame. The steel plate can be mounted anywhere on the door frame to accommodate closer brackets.
Ultra Jamb Reinforcer™ - http://www.ultrajamb.com/
Storm Door Reinforcing Bracket - http://www.allaboutdoors.com/product_info.php?products_id=30850
This plate will allow you to drill new mounting holes in sound wood, and should cover most trim damage caused by the old bracket. Fill and paint any cracks not covered by the steel plate. Mount the steel plate to the door frame with the eight No. 6 wood screws enclosed in the package.
Remove the closer
Fully open the storm door and set the lock on the storm door closer. Remove the old closer bracket screws and bracket. Pull out the piston pin and discard the old bracket.
Position the plate
Slide 6d finish nails through the new steel plate and into the old bracket screw holes in the jamb to align it. Mark the remaining mounting holes.
Drill mounting pilot holes
Drill the upper and lower mounting holes with a 3/32-in. drill bit.
Mount the plate
Screw the steel plate to the door frame with wood screws. Mount the closer bracket to the steel plate with machine screws. Make sure the angled edge of the bracket faces the storm door. Be sure to position the closer bracket so the angled edge faces the storm door. This provides the required spacing between the door jamb and storm door, allowing the closer to function properly.
Connect the piston arm to the new bracket with the piston pin and test the door.
Making a repair plate with plywood can be accomplished by cutting the plywood to the width of the jamb and about 6 inches long. Drill 1/8 inch holes for mounting the plywood to the jamb and use 2 inch wood screws to secure it. Then screw the storm door closer bracket into the plywood with ¾ inch pan head screws or the screws provided with the door closer.
Seasonal storm door adjustment
Make adjustments to your storm door closer twice a year when you switch out the screens and glass storm panels. Move the long connecting pin into the forward hole (for winter) or rear hole (for spring) of the closer each time you change the storms or screens. You may also need to adjust the pressure control screw on the closer as well.
When the glass storm panels are in place, set the connecting pin in the front hole of the closer tube which is closest to the door bracket. This increases the closer pressure on the door in the last few inches of travel to ensure that the door latch snaps into the catch. Then when the screens are in place, set the connecting pin in the rear hole of the closer tube which is farthest from the door bracket. Now, instead of slamming shut, the door will slow down as it nears the door catch. To increase or decrease the pressure exerted by the door closer, turn the screw controlling the bypass valve in the closer tube. Refer to the instructions on the closer’s label, but usually counterclockwise reduces the pressure and clockwise increases the pressure.