Why does this keep happening to my storm door?

I have a storm door. It’s great, it is Energy Star compliant and helps to insulate the house from the cold Michigan winters.

However, I am having a consistent problem with it. The bracket that connects the hydraulic puller to the door frame keeps breaking. It slowly tears off, leaving part of it screwed to the frame, and another part just breaks off (if you know the bracket I am talking about, the triangle part breaks off while the part screwed to the frame stays attached to the frame).

I have tried loosening the puller, but that hasn’t fixed the problem.

This is a picture of the part that keeps breaking:


The only reason I can think of is that somehow the mounting position is causing the piece to torque every time you operate the door, which is “working” the metal, causing it to eventually fail. Have you checked to make sure the bracket is in line with its counterpart on the door and the connecting hydraulic closer?

I suppose I can get out my level and check. Could this also be because someone is attempting to open the door too far?

Could be, although the hydraulic arm normally limits the swing. Don’t beat the kids just yet.

Well, this is the thing that connects the hydraulic arm to the door, so it would be bearing the brunt of the force if someone were to try to open the door too far, right?

Something is wrong, because that part doesn’t fail often. It has to be a stress failure. A quick large force could do that, such as the wind catching the door.

If the hydraulic piston is bad and has little resistance for the first few inches during closing, that could break it too. It starts to close fast and then the piston works. You’ll see a little bit of rebound when the door hits that point.

Your piston might have too much resistance and need adjusting. Less resistance will lessen stress transferred by the rod, when you release the door and piston has to reverse. I can’t say how your piston is adjusted. I’m guessing that if you rotate the rod you can adjust your model. One direction will increase resistance the other decrease it. Adjust for only enough resistance to stop the door from slamming.

The bracket could break if your rod bracket and the piston are mounted too close. Do you find yourself having to pull the door a little bit to get it to latch, when it has a good bracket?

Yes yo can open the door to far and break the bracket.

Yes. Many storm doors have a chain at the top, usually coupled with a spring, to limit travel and prevent damage from the door opening too far.

My two cents, if the chain & spring at the top do cushion the door before the hydraulic comes to a stop, & the hydraulic is in line with the base. Check the whole door and frame for plumb. We had a front door this kept happening too and that was the problem. Put in a few shims where needed and make sure all the screws in the frame are there and tight. Hope this helps.

Ok, it’s a relatively new door, inly installed a couple of years ago. No need to pull it closed. It does make a very tight seal, as it becomes difficult to close the entry door if the storm door has closed already. It has not, to my knowledge, been whipped open by the wind.

I can loosen the hydraulics by twisting the hydraulic actuator thingy, and will give that a try.

The door was professionally installed, and the same guy installed our other storm door the same day, so I think it’s probaby plumb, but I’ll check that.

A licensed contractor, who is also a personal friend, installed a heavy duty glass storm door. When I pass through the door, releasing it before i enter, it will nip my heels if I don’t catch the door. Three closers, including two pneumatic closers all have the same behavior: it closer three-quarters of the way in one or two seconds, bounces several times and then closers slowly, speed dependent on the screw adjustment. I want a closer that will close at a steady speed, slow enough that it doesn’t nip on my heels as I enter. Would a hydraulic storm door closer close the door at this this constant speed. BTW, the previous light-weight door had this desired performance.

You should start a new thread for problems you currently need help on. Tacking on a request for help on somebody else’s topic doesn’t generally get you the responses you would have by starting a new thread titled with your question.

There are adjustment screws for closing speed located at the end of the plunger housing.

The screw adjustment has very little effect on the initial closing plunge of the door, at most, changing the speed from one second to two seconds The screw primarily effects how fast the door closes after bouncing, typically two times at the end of the first plunge. The speed of final closing may change from five seconds to never closing. These observations apply to three separate door closers, including a heavy duty pneumatic door closer and the original door closer that came with the Anderson Door

You can install a second one. That might help to slow it down.

To the OP, they make plate steel versions of the door brackets, but for the life of me I can’t remember where I’ve seen them.

I have a storm door that catches the prevailing wind and we knew it would be a problem. We put a second piston and bracket on it, and adjusted the two to work at the same rate. Now there is half the force on each. One is at the top of the door, the other is near the bottom. That might work for you.

The suggestion was made that two door closers be used to slow down the closing. Two closers come standard with the Anderson door and the test with other closers also involved two closers, but there was no distinguishable difference after on closer was removed. My question remains whether a hydraulic closer such as the higher priced one at Amazon would close the the door sufficiently more slowly that it wouldn’t nip the heels of the person passing through. Any other suggestions for slowing the closing would also be appreciated.