ANSI 156.19 Compliance Overview*
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General Information - A156.19 ¦ Low Energy Operator vs Power Assist
Minimal Requirements for Low Energy Door Operators
Special Concerns Not Covered by A156.19

General Information - A156.19*
Compliance with American National Standard A156.10 and A156.19 is intended to reduce the chance of injury to pedestrians and wheeled traffic. Most all local codes, such as BOCA, require compliance with A156.19 if low energy automatic doors or low energy door operators are used. ANSI states that these are suggested standards, but compliance is required when local building codes incorporate A156.19. Eastern Door Service has provided you with our general overview and interpretation of A156.19. You should obtain and thoroughly read an actual copy of A156.19 - 2007 available from the American National Standard Institute, 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018.  They are also available for purchase online at TechStreet™ for a nominal charge.


Low Energy Operators vs Power Assist
A156.19 provides minimal standard for two types of swinging door operating equipment. Low energy door operators are a fully automatic door system, which will open the door completely, without additional manual force required by the door user. Power assist door operators only reduce the amount of force required to open a door. The user must manually operate a door equipped with a power assist operator. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 exempts automatic and power assist doors from maneuvering clearances required by manually operated doors.

Because power assist door operators require manual opening force, Eastern Door Service does not recommend their use at accessible entrances. Especially where wheelchair maneuvering clearances do not exist. Power assist door operators may meet the letter of the ADA code, but we do not believe these type of door operators meet the spirit and intent of the ADA. Therefore we do not discuss the minimal requirements for power assist door operators in this page.

Low energy door operators comprise most all types of accessible entrance operator systems. Low energy door operators are usually suitable for every type of accessible entrance.


Minimal Requirements for Low Energy Operators
Swinging doors equipped with a low energy door operator must comply with the following minimal standards to comply with A156.19 - 2007.

  • The door must not open to the backcheck position (80 degrees) in less than 3 seconds.
  • The door must not fully open (90 degrees) in less than 4 seconds.
  • The door must not close from the full open position to the latchcheck position (10 degrees) in less than 3 seconds.
  • The door must not close from latchcheck position to the full closed position in less than 1.5 seconds.
  • If a presence sensing device is not used to hold the door in the full open position, a minimal time delay of 5 seconds is required, before the door begins to close.
  • The force required to stall an opening or closing door shall not exceed 15 lbf (67 N), when applied 1" from the latch edge of the door.
  • The kinetic energy of a door in motion shall not exceed 1.25 lbf-ft (1.69 Nm).
  • Manual opening forces, in the event of a power failure, shall not exceed 15 lbf (67 N) to release a latch mechanism if present, 30 lbf (133 N) to set a door in motion, and 15 lbf (67 N) to open the door completely.


Special Concerns Not Covered by ANSI A156.19
Some entrances have very high wind or stack pressure conditions. Because they are what they imply (low energy door operators), we recommend you consider door operators with more operating power and spring closing forces, at entrances with these type of conditions. These types of automatic pedestrian door operators are covered by ANSI A156.10.

A156.19 does not preclude any type of actuation device, however it is strongly recommended by Eastern Door Service that a knowing act, such as a wall switch, is used to actuate low energy door operators. We do not recommend unknowing acts of actuation for low energy door operators, such as motion detectors, unless a safety presence detection device is used on the swing side of the door. We strongly recommend compliance with ANSI A156.10, when an unknowing means of actuation is used.

*Eastern Door Service and its employees are not architects, engineers or building code experts.  Automatic pedestrian doors, industrial doors and revolving doors if not installed or maintained properly can cause serious bodily injury. Always consult an architect, engineer or codes expert, before deciding which automatic door products or revolving door products or industrial door products to purchase.

WARNING!  This web page and others like it at our web site contains information about automatic door adjustments and safety and actuation sensor detection pattern settings, that is intended to be used by AAADM Certified and Qualified Automatic Entrance Door Technicians.  It is provided for informational purposes only, with the assumption that it will only be used by a Qualified Service Technician.

Eastern Door Service makes no affirmation that the recipient of this information is qualified to maintain or repair automatic entrance doors and operators.  Do not maintain, adjust or repair automatic entrance doors and operators if you are not AAADM Certified or a Qualified Service Technician.

Automatic doors and operators can cause serious injury or death, when not correctly and safely adjusted and maintained.  TO PREVENT SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH ONLY AAADM CERTIFIED AND QUALIFIED SERVICE TECHNICIANS SHOULD REPAIR, ADJUST OR MAINTAIN AUTOMATIC DOORS.

Page last updated Monday, August 20, 2012
by EDS