Just bought a new house and I've noticed that when the front screen door opens too wide it knocks into a light fixture hung on the other side of the door. the fixture has started to loosen so obviously this has been a problem for a while. Obviously we could just be careful, but we have a toddler and have other friend with children.

What is the best way to keep the door from being opened too wide to prevent damage both to the door and to the fixture behind it?

  • Does the door have a pneumatic cylinder to prevent it from closing too fast? That same device should solve your problem Feb 6, 2012 at 20:36
  • 1
    a wooden protrusion on the door that knocks on the wall before the door hits the light should be enough Feb 6, 2012 at 20:39
  • @BarryChapman it does. is there a way to set it from opening too far?
    – wax eagle
    Feb 6, 2012 at 20:44
  • Could you change the light fixture in some way so the door cannot hit it? A picture might be helpful.
    – Tester101
    Feb 6, 2012 at 20:59
  • @Tester101 will get one when I head over there tonight. However I don't believe that is an option.
    – wax eagle
    Feb 6, 2012 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


What you want is both a closer and a chain. The chain will prevent the door from blowing open too far, slamming the piston of the closer against the door-frame, and bending it. The chain should also have a spring to cushion the shock of having the door blow open to the limit of the chain, but that spring isn't enough to shut the door; you need a closer for that (covered in detail by lqlarry).

  • yeah this is looking like the right option for my situation.
    – wax eagle
    Feb 7, 2012 at 2:31
  • Note that you'll want BOTH. The closer will (if working properly) close the door and reduce the chances of the wind blowing it all the way open. The chain is mainly there to protect the closer. Feb 7, 2012 at 2:37
  • My family still has the storm door they had 40 years ago and my brother works for the company that made it and I worked for. I forgot all about the spring, now I remember. Thanks @AdamJaskiewicz
    – lqlarry
    Feb 7, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    @AdamJaskiewicz yeah I definitely see the need for the chain. On closer inspection of the closer the piston is bent and will need to be replaced. I will pick up a chain at the same time to prevent further abuse of the closer.
    – wax eagle
    Feb 7, 2012 at 12:50

You can always install the spring.


Kids really love playing with these. Until it slams onto their little fingers.

Or you can install a closer.


These you mount high and it will limit the amount how far back a door will go and how fast the door closes. You can also lock it open when you bring the groceries in. If you already have a closer it either needs adjusting or maybe it's not mounted correctly to do what you need.

Also, you might consider if you don't have it is a locking latch.

Edit After I read comments placed while writing this.

I spent a few weeks one summer building and installing these until the state said I was too you to work with the tools. I can adjust them but for the ife of me I couldn't tell anyone. I did find this:

There are two ways to control a pneumatic door closer:

  • Adjusting the bracket that attaches the closer to the door.
  • Turning the screw on the end of the closer that regulates the rate at which the air is released from the cylinder.

If the door doesn’t close all the way, adjust the bracket:

  • Open the door and slide the stop out to hold the cylinder open.
  • Loosen the screws that attach the bracket to the door and move the bracket further out (toward the door handle).
  • Or remove the pin that secures the cylinder to the bracket and move it out to a hole further away.

If the door slams shut or closes too slowly, adjust the pneumatic cylinder:

  • To slow the closing, turn the screw on the end of the pneumatic cylinder clockwise.

  • To speed up the closing, turn the screw counterclockwise.

If adjusting doesn’t help, the closer may need to be replaced. Take your old door closer with you to the home improvement center to be sure the replacement will fit the hardware on your door. Some pneumatic door closers work better than others, so buy a quality one.

  • 2
    A Door chain might work as well.
    – Tester101
    Feb 6, 2012 at 21:02
  • Going to see if I can adjust the existing closer to prevent the wide opening of the door...
    – wax eagle
    Feb 6, 2012 at 21:03
  • @waxeagle - I think you just adjust that buy moving one side or the other, door or trim side.
    – lqlarry
    Feb 6, 2012 at 21:15
  • the piston is bent. Will be replacing it.
    – wax eagle
    Feb 7, 2012 at 1:38

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