The LCN 4041 and 4040XP Backcheck Selection Valve

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Door Hardware Geek Eats Humble Pie

Well, I feel pretty foolish having installed several hundred 4041’s over the course of my career and never noticed the “Backcheck Selection Valve” which is located on the back of the closer body, where it is installed against the door or header. But as I always say, “You learn something new every day, whether you want to or not.” Life is learning, and I love life.

Still, the idea that, concerning a door closer with which I am so intimately acquainted, and for which I have so much respect, there was an important fact that I did not know, shook the very foundations of my identity as a Door Hardware Genius. Yet I was forced to admit I did not know. I resolved that I would find out.

Anyway, when this valve was pointed out to me by Jess the Door Closer Doctor, I did not know to what she was referring, so I went to a door that has a vintage 4041 installed on it in standard installation and pulled the plastic over off. There I saw the usual array of adjustment valves (see picture): main speed, latch speed and backcheck. Then I went to a distribution center and pulled a brand new 4040XP off the shelf and found the same array of valves on the front and this “mystery valve” on the back (see pictures).

There was a man there with me who works at the distribution center. He has been in charge of the LCN department for about 25 years. He didn’t know what it was, either. I was glad. It made me feel better to know there was someone as ignorant as I apparently am. I find that if I am an idiot it is always comforting to find someone else who is also an idiot, if possible. Together we looked over the installation instructions that were in the box but could not find mention of the mystery valve.

I then did what all geniuses do when they are stumped by something that is probably very simple. I cried a little and then called tech support.

I find IR tech support in general to be responsive, knowledgeable and friendly, and LCN tech support to be exceptionally so. They quickly solved both the mystery of the valve and the mystery of why I could not find the valve on the instructions. They told me that the Backcheck Selection Valve is for use mainly in parallel arm installation, so it is only referred to in the Parallel Arm Installation Sheet. The Backcheck Selection Valve re-routes the fluid in the closer so that it gets to the Backcheck Valve sooner, because in parallel arm installations the arm must otherwise travel farther before the fluid would reach the valve.

A kind of secret use of this valve, says LCN Tech Support, is when in standard or top jamb installs you want the backcheck to engage sooner for some reason – because of wind or because the wall is at only a forty-five degree angle to the opening, for example.

So that is the skinny on the Backcheck Selection Valve on the LCN 4040XP door closer. Armed with that knowledge I can now go forward with my Door Hardware Genius life, a little smarter… and with just a bit more humility. 

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Comments 6 comments

Jess 4 years ago

Hello tom,

interesting story about the man in distribution center, many people learn using different methods and may end up using or doing something fur years and years and possible he never took much notice of the BCS valve on the closers he has handled for 25 years until it was brought up when you talked to him,

as for the tech support and LCN, they are geniuses in it and really do great in what they do, i personally never had to contact LCN on the phone (i email them)

now i just wish computer and ISP's had that great of a level in customer support and advanced/extensive knowledge on the product they are providing support for

(I have had AOL customer service reps emailing me asking me questions about THEIR software!)

as for the instructions about the bcs as explained by LCN CS agents, it seems that they explained it really well,

now on paper, only place i really seen it explained (graphically) is on that label on the spring tube part of the closer, where it says "IF" (shows the parallel arm bracket being installed) "then" (shows valve being screwed into body)

it's a matter of the interface or language barrier (dyslexia or don't understand english or spanish)and what people understand and how they see something and how they understand it,

LCN basically made it easier for all walks of life to be able to understand how to install their closers by going all graphical, its easier on the eyes to see a graphic of how something is done instead of lines of text and person may not fully understand what to do without a graphic or drawing,

same thing with the "green dial" (green plastic thing on end of the spring tube) in the past, you had to count the full turns from weakest setting to the desired tension for the situation, and "13 turns max." now all you have to do is make sure number on dial matches the situation or spring size you need for the door or environment.

I am sorry if i made you feel dumb about the valve on 4041/4040XP in my comments on "door closer basics" but its great that we are educating the public and anyone who has one of these closers about what the valve does.

-Jess the door closer doctor

Mark Braunlich 4 years ago

When all else fails, read the instructions.


LCN Snr. Design Engineer

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

No, no, I felt dumb because I could not for the life of me figure out what you were talking about LOL but finally as you see I did a little investigating and now I know THE TRUTH. Thank you so much, Jess. keep on commenting!!

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Mark, you know, I have read these instructions at least a hundred times and I missed that damn Backcheck Selection Valve every time! Probably my fault, but you know, when I went back again specifically to look for it, I still had to make three passes before I found it. I am thinking that it needs to be referenced in the top jam and standard mount instruction sheets, too, just so dummies like me will know to look for it. Just sayin' . By the way I LOVE LCN. Great products, obviously the result of great engineering.

Jess 4 years ago

Hello Tom, noticed another place that the instructions mention the BCS valve, is on the sheet for mounting the closer, the notice is in red text in the graphic of the outline of the closer body (peel and stick template)

also about the valve itself, don't unscrew more then 3 full turns from fully closed (parallel setting) any more turns puts it at risk of a leak.

-Jess the door closer doctor

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Good point, Jess! Wouldn't want to make your new closer a leaker out of the box! Thanks.

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