How to Repair a Swinging Butler Door

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Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose spray lubricant

  • Screwdriver

  • Adjustment pin

A swinging butler door has no doorknobs -- only a metal plate for pushing the door open. The special hardware on this type of door allows it to swing in both directions and to close automatically. Occasionally, a butler door develops problems with its double-hinge hardware. The hinge squeaks or it pulls loose from the door. Sometimes it loses tension, swings too wide and doesn't close properly.


Step 1

Determine which hinge is squeaking and apply a bit of all-purpose spray lubricant to the moving part of the hinge.

Step 2

Work the door back and forth to distribute the lubricant.

Step 3

Repeat this procedure until the hinge stops squeaking. Treat other squeaks in the same manner.

Loose Hinge

Step 1

Locate the screws that hold the hinge to the door and to the jamb.

Step 2

Tighten the screws on the hinge with whichever type screwdriver the hinge screws require.

Step 3

Repeat this procedure with any other hinges that are loose.

Double-Hinge Tension Adjustment

Step 1

Shut the door before you begin adjusting the spring tension.

Step 2

Locate the hinge adjustment ring with its holes. The ring will be near the top or near the bottom of the hinge. Typically, there should be three or four holes showing.

Step 3

Put the adjustment pin that comes with the hinge into the hole to the left of the removable locking pin. Using the adjustment pin, move the ring to the left. Notice that the locking pin and its hole also move to the left, leaving a vacant hole on the right.

Step 4

Remove the locking pin and reposition it to the vacant hole on the right and remove the adjustment pin. This will hold the spring tighter, making the swinging butler door close more firmly and have a tighter arc in movement.

Step 5

Repeat the procedure to tighten the hinge further if the butler door still swings too loosely.

Step 6

Tighten the other hinges on the door if necessary by using the adjustment pin to reposition the locking pin. This is the same procedure that was used on the first hinge.


If you have lost the adjustment pin that came with your hinge, use a nail or any other similarly slender object such as an ice pick.

Some self-closing door hinges require the use of a hex key inserted in the top or bottom of the hinge to turn the adjustment ring. When the hex key is turned, the adjustment ring is turned, revealing an open hole. The locking pin is then repositioned to the open hole to hold the spring tighter.