Removing Spring-Loaded Door Hinges From Door Frames

person attaching a hinge to a door
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50
What You'll Need
Allen wrench
What You'll Need
Allen wrench

Spring loaded door hinges close a door automatically for privacy and safety. They are often used on fire safety doors that need to remain closed.

Occasionally you may need to temporarily disable or remove a hinge for replacement or repair. Many times, the top and bottom hinges on a door are normal hinges, and the center hinge has the spring loading feature.

Use a great deal of caution when completing this process. Spring loaded door hinges are very powerful and could do a great deal of damage. You cannot disable the spring in the hinges; you must remove the entire hinge to negate the spring-loading action of the door.

Step 1 - Open the Hinge

Most spring loaded door hinges have a cover plate that hides the mechanism and the hardware. In order to find the screws that hold the hinge onto the door and the spring-loaded device, you’ll need to remove this cover plate.

Step 2 - Look For Tension Adjuster

In some spring loaded door hinges, there is a tension adjustment device. It generally looks like a small, round cap or cover near the top or bottom of the hinge pin. These usually have holes around them, allowing the tension to be adjusted.

If your spring model has this feature, adjust the tension to the lowest possible setting before removing the hinge. You may need an Allen wrench for this task.

Step 3 - Clamp or Wedge the Hinge

A C-clamp or similar tool is the best item for this step. If you don't have access to a C-clamp, you can use a hammer or crowbar wedged firmly against the hinge. However, this method is dangerous at best and can be the cause of significant injuries.

Using a clamp to hold the hinge open in a position where you can access the screws is the ideal method to hold the hinge open.

Step 4 - Unscrew the Hinge

Using the appropriate screwdriver — usually a Phillips head — very carefully remove the screws from the hinge. If there are three screws in the hinge (this is normal), then leave the center screw for last.

Keep your hands and fingers far away from the hinge as you remove the screws. Try to resist any temptation to reach in and make an adjustment by hand at this point.

After removing screws from the clamped side, carefully remove the screws from the opposite side. You can use an additional clamp to be extra safe.

Step 5 - Remove the Clamps

If you used only one clamp, as the final screw is removed the hinge will snap tightly and suddenly close. If you use two clamps, this will happen as you remove the first clamp.

Be prepared for the noise and force of the closing. Even with a spring loaded door hinge adjusted to low tension, the force of the hinge is significant. Once it is closed, you can remove the other clamp and store the hinge.