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General: Repairing Doors That Close by Themselves

Doors that close by themselves are installed in an out-of-plumb wall, that is, the wall leans slightly or the door itself was installed out-of-plumb. Either way, such doors can be an annoyance. However, there is an easy fix that doesn’t require removing and re-setting the door.

Begin by closing the door and remove the top hinge pin. This is done by inserting a nail into the hole in the bottom of the hinge and gently tapping to free the pin. If the pin moves but does not come all the way out, you can place a flat screwdriver under the cap of the pin and continue tapping upwards until the pin is removed.

Door hinge pin adjustmentOnce removed, place the pin on a hard surface, preferably outside—you don’t want to damage your hardwood floor or granite counter—and support both ends of the pin, leaving the center unsupported, and tap the pin lightly with a hammer. Use sufficient force to bend the pin slightly. Once the pin is bent, re-insert it in the hinge and test the door.

If the door continues to move, it may be necessary to bend the pin more or to remove and bend the center hinge pin. Continue until the door stops moving. It’s sometimes necessary to bend all three pins to accomplish the task on a heavy door or one that is severely out-of-plumb. I have never encountered a door that could not be corrected by this method. However, if your door fails to respond, get a brick, wrap it in felt and use it as a door stop.


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