What is an automatic swing door opener?
An automatic swing door opener is a special device that will automate a normal swing door. There are several different categories of these types of units.
Surface mount vs. Concealed mount
The main difference between surface mount and concealed mount door openers is the arm and application of the door. The difference is very simple to spot on a door. Surface mounted units are exactly what they sound like, they are mounted on the surface of the door frame. Their defining characteristic is that the header (portion of the door opener that houses all of the electro mechanical devices that make the door operate) protrudes from the mounting surface. Visually these are very easy to see as they do stick out from the standard door frame about 4" or more. Surface mounted units are most commonly used in automating an existing door. They are purposefully designed for ease of retrofitting manual doors.
Concealed mount door openers are in concealed into the door frame, and usually use a center hung type door so that the arm is also not visible and hidden within the top rail of the door. A center hung door is a door that does not have any exposed hinge or pivot. Center hung doors have pivots built into the frame. The normal top jamb of the door frame houses all the electro mechanical devices that operate the door. This gives the door opener and the door frame a seamless look. Surface mounted door openers are the most common swing door openers on the market and are also the easiest and most user friendly to work on. This is due to the ease of access to the internal components as well as the exposed arm. Another major difference is the exposed arm that a surface mounted unit has.
How a Handicap Door Opener Works
The Commander standard and heavy duty commercial grade door openers work in two ways, which is through motion sensors or by the push of a button. The commercial automatic door opener (pulls and pushes the door), on the other hand, has its arm extending from the opener, pushing up against the jamb or door depending on what direction your door swings but is not attached. There is a box that is attached to the entrance, which pushes the door open using the automated arm when one uses the button or motion sensor.
The motion sensor is infrared, which means it senses the change of temperature and the human body's warmth. It then sends the signal, which allows the door to open or close. In most cases, you can time when the door should close. This is usually aided by the swing door operator, which automatically opens the door, waits, and then closes it. The door opener should always be installed on the inside to prevent damage from the weather.
Does the ADA Require Handicap Door Openers?
The question of door standards by ADA is divided into two sections: automatic doors and manual doors. The two sections can be found in section 404.2 and 404.3 of the ADA standards. An automatic door is not required if the manual door meets the following standards:
- A maximum closing and opening speed (doors swinging towards a user should have a maneuvering clearance of at least 18 inches, and those swinging away have a 12-inch minimum maneuvering clearance)
A clear width
A door that operates without twisting the wrist, pinching, or tightly grasping the knob/handle
Automatic doors are used for convenience although there are places where the rules are stricter than national standards. However, every building should have at least one door favorable to people with disabilities, like emergency exit/escape routes, entrances to buildings from car parks, tenanted units in malls for easy access and maneuvering clearance.
The Handicap Accessible Door Width
When making doors, it is important to ensure that they are handicap accessible. The ADA requires that doorways have a clear minimum opening of 32 inches wide from the door's face to the opposite stop with the door being open at a 90 degrees angle and 80 inches in height. These requirements are set that way because wheelchairs usually range from 21 inches to about 40 inches; this being subject to whether it is a heavy-duty wheelchair or a narrow transport chair. A wheelchair should have enough space to maneuver.
It is also important to have a push plate actuator. A wireless push plate actuator instantly opens when you press the plate that reads “push to open,” usually engraved with a disability symbol, used with power door operators. The plate should be mounted on a wall or other smooth surface, ensuring that the plate's center is at arm level or about 42 inches above the floor.
The door handle can be 34 to 48 inches with nothing higher than that. Thresholds that are higher than 1/2 an inch are required to have a ramp. Push plates come in various finishes, including iron and brass, stainless steel, antique, usually classic designs recreated. The most common one is the stainless-steel fashion because the finish is quite durable.
How Much Do Automatic Door Openers Cost?
On average, the price of an automatic door opener costs $2123 in the U.S. These usually range from $1050 to $2788, and the price differs depending on the location, the style of the door opener, and any other extras that you may choose to include.
An example is the use of an electric strike, which is an access control device used for door frames. It replaces the fixed strike faceplate that is often used with a latch. It also works the same way that a fixed strike would work except, upon command, when the door's lock is locked, it can pivot, resulting in the door being opened. This ability allows the user to push or to pull the door and open it without operating the mechanical key or mechanical lock.
Once the door opens past the keeper, it returns the keeper to the standard position and then relocks when power is applied or removed. Electric strikes are available in fail secure, fail-safe, and hold-open. Installing an electric strike costs more than a regular automatic door opener.
Building codes like ADA compliance ensure people's safety, especially the handicapped. Make sure you purchase quality door openers from us.