How to Adjust Spring Loaded Door Ball Catch?

pbx2_gwMay 27, 2013

I have the below type of door catch for my closet doors in our new build.

The doors take a lot of effort to close & open.

Is there anyway to adjust them?

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millworkman

Not 100% certain but if you depress the center ball the two slots maybe able to be turned with a quarter or something similar to adjust the tension

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:02PM
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kudzu9

If miilworkman's suggestion does not work, you may still be able to take it apart in the way described and replace or shorten the spring.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:27PM
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fynite

We had these. God they were a pain. Yes, if you push down on the ball, the ring can be screwed down tighter, to let the door open more easily, or unscrewed a little to grip a little more. If you unscrew it enough, it will come apart on you, though I don't remember having much of a problem with that.

One of ours, the door had a *lot* of expansion and wound up having to be adjusted every few months or it would either become so loose it would drift free, or would become so tight my wife couldn't open it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:32PM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks all. I will try millworkman's suggestion.

To confirm: I need to depress the ball WHILST turning the inner most ring with a screwdriver pushing into one of the two slots clockwise or counter clockwise??

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 3:29PM
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kudzu9

You need a screwdriver blade that spans both slots, and then you would likely screw it clockwise to set it deeper and reduce the force needed to open the door.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:15PM
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stash-hdy

You should be able to screw the ball into the barrel to make it work easier. If not you can recess the plate into the top at the door jam.

This post was edited by stash-hdy on Wed, May 29, 13 at 19:12

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:09PM
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pbx2_gw

Posted by kudzu9 (My Page) on Wed, May 29, 13 at 17:15
You need a screwdriver blade that spans both slots , and then you would likely screw it clockwise to set it deeper and reduce the force needed to open the door.

What do you mean by this? I visualize it as having 2 blades into both slots at the same time?!!! LOL!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:42PM
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fynite

On ours, if you depress the ball, it takes enough presure off the ring that you can hand tighten / hand loosen it. No screw driver is needed. I suspect that somewhere out there there is a special tool for tightening or loosening it, but you won't find any screw driver anywhere that will span both slots, and it would have to be cut out in the middle to depress the ball.

I think that the first time I adjusted it, I had to use a screw driver in one of the slots just to get it to free up, but after that, just hand adjust. I think that I was sometimes able to just push down flat with my thumb till the ball was all the way in, and my thumb was firmly on the ring, and then turn my hand to turn the ring. But I think that was when the ring was almost all the way out.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:44PM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks Fynite - we'll give it a go tonite & report back.

Maybe a I should use a pair of needle-nose pliers to rotate the adjuster around the ball also besides coin (ineffective) or screwdriver (dangerous)?

This post was edited by pbx2 on Thu, May 30, 13 at 13:21

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:05PM
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kudzu9

This shouldn't be so hard.

You choose a screwdriver that is wide enough to span the ball and have each edge of the screwdriver fit into the two slots at the same time. The ball gets depressed out of the way when you push down to fit the screwdriver into the slots (it doesn't have to be cut out in the middle!). If you don't have a screwdriver of the right size, you can use two small screwdrivers to push against the slots in a clockwise direction. (If you try with only one small screwdriver, you will be applying force in an unbalanced manner and, if the housing for the ball is threaded tightly, you will find it difficult to rotate.)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:28PM
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homebound

Get a ladder and use your thumb. Push fully and turn as necessary. Test and repeat.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:40PM
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fynite

Kudzu, you need a screw driver with a 1" blade. Those aren't easy to find. Plus it is very hard to push the ball down so far that it is below the slot in the threaded ring if the ring is in very far.

pbx, if you need to use a pair of needle nose pliers, pick a pair you don't love. :)

You can make your own tool. Last time I had to unscrew a ring like this, I made a tool from a bolt using the grinder to grind down the head into a T shape and then glued the threaded shaft into a handle. You could do that and then use a dremel tool to shave the top of the T to fit around the ball. (The ring I needed the tool for didn't have a ball.)

The one in the picture has a flat spot on either side. If yours has that *and* the ring is proud of the surface, you might be able to use an adjustable wrench to move it a little, which would have the advantage of letting you press the ball and turn the wrench at the same time. Once it has started moving, you should be able to finger turn it if you are pressing the ball hard enough.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:48PM
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HandyMac

I have easily adjusted those by using a small flat screwdriver(I used the kind with a pocket clip advertisers give away) to turn the adjusting ring while depressing the ball just a bit.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:49PM
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brickeyee

There are adjustable snap ring pliers and adjustable spanner wrenches that take two tips for just this sort of thing.

Go to a good auto parts store (generally not a big box place).

They come in sets sometimes, and with replaceable tips (more $ though).

This post was edited by brickeyee on Sat, Jun 1, 13 at 11:03

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 10:56AM
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pbx2_gw

My thumbs needed the rest from pressing down & trying to turn those slots.
When needle nose pliers did the trick!

Thanks all for your feedback.
Learn something new everyday.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:35PM
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