Ask the Woodchucks: Door Closer Adjustment

Question: The door to the garage on a Del Webb home is supposed to close by itself. Over time the springs on the hinges no longer work as they should. Is there any way to tighten these hinges or must one or more of them be replaced?

Answer: This question is about the door from the garage into the house, not the one that rolls up to let the car in. The spring on that door is very strong and can cause serious injury if it is adjusted improperly. The garage door spring should only be adjusted by a professional.

The door between the garage and the house has three hinges, two of which have a built-in spring that closes the door gently. This spring is adjustable so you can set the speed of the door closure.

Figure 1: Remove tension pin.

Figure 1: Remove tension pin.

To increase the tension to close the door more forcefully remove the tension pin located in a hole perpendicular to the hinge pin using needle nose pliers (figure 1). The hinge may have been installed with the tension adjustment hole on the bottom. If there is no hole on the top, look at the bottom of the cylinder for the adjustment hole. Insert an allen wrench into the hex slot at the top of the hinge pin and turn it clockwise until the next hole for the tension pin is exposed and reinsert the pin (figure 2).

Check the tension on the door by opening the door and checking the tension to close the door. If the tension is too low repeat the step above to crank the spring one more notch.

Toilet water supply hose

Several Woodchucks have reported leaks in the copper supply tube that connects the toilet to the water supply. Most have replaced these with braided PVC hoses. I replaced all three when one leaked.

Figure 2: Tighten spring tension.

Figure 2: Tighten spring tension.

Required maintenance

This repair along with several others require that you turn-off the water to a sink or a toilet. The valve to do this is located under each sink and each toilet where the supply line goes into the wall. To make sure that the turn-off valve still works when you need it you should turn off each of these valves and turn them back on to break loose corrosion that builds up in them. This corrosion will prevent the valve from turning off the water if you do not perform this maintenance once a year. A good time to do this is on New Year’s Day when you are changing the batteries in your smoke alarms.

If you have suggestions for future tips or have questions about maintenance around your home submit them to



Comments are closed.