Electrical and Mechanical Door Holders & Releases

Generally speaking, any kind of hardware that serves the purpose of holding a door enables the transfer of people and materials through the door's opening without having to worry about the door closing too soon or having to open the door repeatedly. Electrical and mechanical door holders and door releases often times serve these purposes in school classrooms, stairways, as well as exterior entry doors and storage rooms.

The more often this type of door hardware is used, the more frequently it will require replacement and maintenance. On the other hand, installing and using door releases can help prolong the life of other types of door hardware engaged in the operation of opening a door. There are different types of door holders that rely on different methods and below we are going to reveal a few important details on electrical door releases as well as mechanical door holders, two of the most common options on the market at the moment.

How Do Door Holders Work?door holders

  • Regular door holders require manual manipulation. This means that an individual must manually place the respective door holder in the correct holding position.

  • There are also certain door hardware models that can automatically hold a door in place when the door is open to a certain point so that specific hardware can engage and hold the door.

  • Thirdly, there are electromagnetic door holders that are powered by electrical current and which are connected to fire alarm systems. Doors that have been given a fire rating opening cannot be used together with hold door holders unless they have been officially approved by the rightful authorities in the respective jurisdiction or by fire building codes.

Whether we are speaking about a manual, automatic, or electromagnetic door holder model, all of these models must be installed at the opening of the door. This can be achieved using different procedures and the main mounting positions are: over the door or over the frame of a door, to a nearby wall, or to the floor.

How Do Manual Door Holders Work?

Door holder models that are operated manually refer to:

  • floor mounted stops

  • wall mounted stops that feature extra hardware used to hold the door open

Manual door holders use hooks that attach to the strikes and they need to be hooked together by hand.  There are also kick-down types of door holders that are installed on the doors with the help of movable arms that can be pushed down in such a way so they can grip the floor and keep the door open. It is not advisable to use these models since they do not comply with the requirements found in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  A commercial door closer features arms used to keep the door open installed over the frame, requiring manual operation in order to prevent the door from closing. Closer arms are usually sold with special friction joints that are useful for holding the door at certain opening degrees. Other feature ball catch as well as thumb-turn options.  It is possible to find overhead stops as well as door holders that do not need a closer to function.

How Do Automatic Door Holders Work?

These door holders require an individual to open the door to such an extent so that the door can come into direct contact with the respective device that can hold it open. The respective hardware will work by engaging and holding the door open, whereas simply pulling the door should automatically disable the hardware and immediately close the door. Automatic door holders can be easily installed on walls or on the floor.

How Do Electromagnetic Door Holders Work?

These devices can be rapidly mounted on a floor or on a wall near the door and they consist of small-sized plates made of metal that are directly connected to the door in such as way so they can touch the electromagnet. Once the necessary energy is transferred to the electromagnets, they will instantly hold onto the metal plates and keep the door open.  Electromagnetic door holders are normally tied to fire alarm systems as well as a series of important life safety systems. In case of emergency, the magnets will receive the signal that will tell them to disengage. In turn, this will release the metal plate that will cause the door closer to close the respective door. While this type of door hardware is commonly found on door openings with a lot of traffic, the respective openings should also be closed and used as security barriers.

Magnetic Door Holders: Special Features

Magnetic locks feature a holding force that can range from several hundred pounds to several thousands of pounds. For instance, a cabinet door could be protected with a compact model that can generate a holding force of approximately 300 pounds.  Other models can withstand a holding force as powerful as 4000 lbs. As for hybrid magnetic locks, they are sold with two springs and they also feature mandibles made from hardened steel. Once someone will try to use force to break into a room protected by such a lock model, the respective jaws will start rotating inwards. In turn, this will trap and clamp down the armature's edges and prevent the release of the springs.

Door holder or door releases designed for heavy-duty industrial use are suitable for applications fire dampers, as well as overhead rolling doors. They can even be used on windows that close automatically.  For gate protection, you can invest in waterproof magnetic lock models featuring longer jacketed conductor options, as well as threaded conduit fittings. It is necessary for a gate lock to feature an armature mount that can absorb the additional shocks and keep constant contact while prolonging the lifespan of the holder.  Finally, most electromagnetic door holders can withstand a holding force of 1,000 up to as much as 1,200 pounds, and they are sold in different sizes suitable for particular doorjamb necessities. As for high-security needs, a magnetic lock can easily range between 1,500 up to 2,000 pounds in terms of holding force. As a general rule of thumb, the more powerful the door and its jamb, the larger the magnetic locks should be.

What Customers Say About Us

Jannie W.
W. 29th street

Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

Adrian Stanton
S Kenton Ave

We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

Tim Lewis
E Van Buren St

My car door didn’t open at all. Just a phone call to 24/7 Local Locksmiths and in less than 15 minutes I could drive my car again! Good job!