Soft close hinges are a handy piece of equipment for any home that often get overlooked and forgotten about. They mean you don’t have to listen to the slamming sound of cabinets and doors anymore – wonderful!
But what can you do if the hinges suddenly stop working? Not so wonderful.
If your soft close hinge has stopped working, the most possible reason is loose screws. This can make the hinges weaker or become displaced. You can easily fix the issue by identifying the problem screw and tightening it using a screwdriver.
It is also important to determine which kind of hinges you have installed on your cabinets to figure out a suitable fix. This article will cover the different aspects of fixing a soft close hinge that isn’t working properly.
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Do Soft Close Hinges Wear Out?
It’s not uncommon for soft-closing hinges to degrade over time through constant use. This can happen with routine wear and tear with the opening and closing of cabinets.
You will know if it has worn out as the door will start slamming when you close it because of the soft close not working anymore.
Why Is My Soft Close Hinge Slamming?
If your cabinet door has started making squeaking or slamming sounds when you close it, this is a sign your hinges have stopped working. This could be because of the hydraulic buffer getting stuck, or mechanism wearing out.
If this has happened to you, it’s probably time to get some replacements. We really like the Ravinte soft close hinges. They come in many different quantities and different sizes.
Why Won’t My Soft Close Cabinet Door Close?
If the cabinet door does not close properly, is sagging, or if you see a gap near the hinge, these are some other signs that you need to fix it.
A soft-close hinge that doesn’t close the cabinet properly is usually a result of a poor adjustment of the hinges and doors. Sometimes, the cabinet door overlaps with the door next to it and gets crooked or misaligned. This can greatly affect the closing ability of the hinges.
How To Fix A Faulty Hinge?
An improper position of the adjustment screws is one of the main reasons why your hinges are not working perfectly.
If the screws aren’t in place, the cabinet door can become misaligned. You can fix this by looking for the adjustment screws. These are usually located between the top or bottom hinge. Once the cabinet door is correctly aligned, the hinges will work properly.
Another common reason for soft-close hinge malfunction is loose screws. This can cause the door to hang down as the screws aren’t able to hold it up properly. It can also result in the hinge ripping out from the door completely.
Using the right screwdriver is essential to tighten the screws and keep the hinges in place. A Phillips flathead screwdriver is usually the best way to do this.
Can You Adjust The Tension On Soft Close Hinges?
Yes, you can adjust the tension as well as the speed of the soft-close hinges on your cabinets. This is quite easy and can be done in a few steps. You can adjust the hinges by pushing the lever with pressure and tension at the same time.
Adjusting the hinge also requires you to turn the lever in a clockwise direction so that it points towards the ceiling. For proper adjustment, you need to have a 10-millimeter (or 1 inch) gap between the hinges and tab.
Depending on the force of your pull, you will be able to adjust the speed of the hinge. If you want to recalibrate the door so it doesn’t slam, rotate the adjustment lever at an angle of 90 degrees in a clockwise direction. The hinge should be facing the floor now.
You can keep experimenting with the hinge and open and close it several times until you have found the perfect adjustment, tension, and speed for the cabinet door.
Soft-close Hinges Do Not Close All The Way
If the adjustment of soft-close hinges is too strong, the cabinet can stop shutting properly and keep the door open. In simple words, the mechanism that prevents slamming becomes so robust that the cabinet door stops closing altogether.
In the opposite scenario, if the mechanism is too weak, the door will slam shut and the hinges will fail to serve their purpose. This can be a result of incorrect installation of the soft-closing hinges.
You can fix a hinge that prevents your cabinets from closing properly by locating the resistance adjuster. This is usually a small screw with a plus and minus symbol on it. You will also need a screwdriver that fits it.
Now, you will turn the resistance up or down depending on the issue. If the door doesn’t shut properly, the resistance needs to be lower. You will need to check the door by repeatedly opening and closing it and experimenting with different levels of resistance until it is completely fixed.
How to Fix a Squeaky Hinge?
The entire purpose of a soft-closing hinge is to close your cabinet doors with zero noise, making it a smooth and quiet experience. A squeaky hinge can be quite annoying and is also a sign that the hinge is not working properly. It also makes your cabinets look old and worn out.
The simple fix for a creaky hinge is using a lubricant to reduce its level of friction and facilitate free flow of movement. You can also use grease or oil to do this. After applying a generous amount of lubricant, close and open the door to get things going.
If the issue persists, you may have to re-lubricate every few days until the hinges are not stiff anymore and the squeaks are completely gone.
How To Clean A Dirty Hinge?
Over time, soft-close hinges may get a build-up of dirt and grease that can also impact their functioning. A simple fix for this is submerging the hinge in hot water and laundry detergent for some time to melt away the accumulated gunk.
Always apply some lubricant after cleaning the hinges to avoid rusting or stiffening again.
What Is The Difference Between Soft Close and Self Closing Hinges?
Cabinet hinges come in two main categories: soft-close hinges and self-closing hinges.
Self-close hinges have a built-in spring that pulls and automatically shuts the cabinet door at a certain point. Whereas soft closing hinges have a hydraulic buffer to avoid slamming the door when it closes.
Both the hinges serve an important purpose in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas in homes and offices. You can also find different styles and finishes of hinges to match any cupboard or cabinet. You can even retrofit soft close hinges on you old cabinets.
Traditional vs European Hinges
It would be helpful to know what type of soft close hinge you have on your cabinets. Traditional hinges usually have two flat plates. The hinges may only be partially or fully visible. Most traditional hinges are adjusted by loosening their screws and sliding the plates.
In contrast, European hinges are completely concealed and are inside the cabinet door. These hinges come with a special barrel for adjusting the screws and the position of the door. You may have to remove the barrel cover to expose the adjustable screws. These are usually located on the portion of the hinge connected to the door.
With some trial and error, you should be able to find out the problem and fix it in no time. Soft-close hinges are usually very simple to fix because the culprit is usually a loose screw or a misaligned cabinet door.
One of the disadvantages of soft close hinges are that they are more complex than regular hinges, so more things to potentially go wrong (however this is pretty rare with good maintainance).
If you have tried all the above-mentioned solutions and your soft-close hinges still don’t seem to work, it’s time to call in a technician. You should avoid further tampering with the hinges as it might end up making the issue worse.