Close Sesame: Free running, automatically closing livingroom door (fire retarding)

So what do you do if you automated all you can think of… or… hmmm…

TLDR: crazy more expensive than it’s worth (but fun). So stop reading if you’re tight on money, keep reading if you like overdoing things like me :slight_smile:

Do you recognize that your kids never remember to close the living room door? Door banging against the post because of draught? Or door open and all the heat disappears up the stairs, driving up the gas bill? I tried a eur 3,95 spring but that squeaked. And also with a proper door closer it is annoying that the door closes on you when you don’t want it to, or that you need to push harder to open the door.

And then I came across this at a discount (still expensive): A door closer with free running functionality. Designed mostly for hospitals and elderly homes to comply with fire prevention rules, while keeping doors open for people that don’t have the power to push hard:

The good thing is: when it is powered by 24V it acts like any other door. No pressure needed to open or close. But as soon as the power is gone, the door behaves like a classic auto-closing door, closing gently (and requiring pressure to open it) just like any ordinary door closer.

So I bought myself one, stayed away from all crazy expensive parts like wires, 24V power units, fire detector units but bought my own decent 24V stabilized power unit, a shelly dry contact switch and a door sensor.

Beware which model door closer you buy: there are 4+ ways of installing it: hinge side or opposite, on the door or on the ledge. Pick the right one. And make sure the glider is included: some sell that separately.

So now, when there’s fire, the power is cut and the fire retarding door closes. In winter, when the door stays open too long, HA closes it. When we leave, close. And when the door closes, power is restored and free door operation resumes. I can even make myself a door banging detection automation.

There’s one catch: if HA closes the door, you need to push harder once to open the door, loading the closing mechanism. After that the door is free running again. I do not know if that is true for all brands, but I expect so.

Hey Google: close the door! First thing my daughter said: Can I have that on my bed room door? :rofl:

PS. There are DIY solutions out there, but those did not fit for me in a tight corner. And and do now allow pushing through it when they close the door at unexpected moments. Because this is a normal door closer, it will allow you to override by pushing. I would not want to hurt anyone using a motor.