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A156.8 - 2021 Door Controls - Overhead Stops & Holders

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American National Standard for Door Controls - Overhead Stops & Holders

ANSI/BHMA A156.8-2010 establishes requirements for overhead door stops and holders, and includes performance tests covering operational, cyclical, strength and finish criteria. Tests described in this Standard are performed under laboratory conditions. In actual usage, results vary because of installation, maintenance and environmental conditions. For further information, consult the full standard, ANSI/BHMA A156.8 for Door Controls - Overhead Stops & Holders.

BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for anyone with an interest in devices that hang, control, secure, and trim the doors. BHMA is the trade association which represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of builders hardware. One of its main activities since 1983 has been the development and maintenance of ANSI-approved standards for 35 separate product categories.

Product Performance: Purchasers of door controls certified to A156.8 ( can be assured products will perform to their expectations.

Below are an explanation and some examples of the evaluations conducted for certification:


Door stops or holders are tested in the stop position with a static forcer exerted against the door in the opening direction to ensure they are capable of withstanding a force of up to 300 pounds of unauthorized closing without sustaining damage.


Building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. Grade 1 stops & holders, for example, must pass a rigorous test through 250,000 cycles of opening and closing on a test door of a specified weight.


Testing is described for five different types: Single Point Adjustable Hold Open, Single Point Non-Adjustable Hold Open, Positive Type Holders less Automatic Release Feature, Friction Slide Type Holders, and Non-Friction Slide or Stop Only Types.


An additional duty of builders hardware is to be aesthetically attractive and stay that way. Resistance to corrosion is evaluated through a salt spray test to ASTM B117 providing confidence in the ongoing appearance of the architectural metals and coatings


Certified overhead stops & holders contribute to building sustainability through their verified durability, as well as material characteristics such as recycled content and recyclability. The reliable closing and sealing of openings can also contribute to energy conservation. BHMA has developed Product Category Rules, which will further define sustainability requirements and guide life cycle assessments and environmental performance declarations.

Function Numbers: Another significant contribution of standards for product specification is a numbering system for lock function. Please consult A156.8 for the full list; an example is provided here:

Type 1 Overhead Concealed Slide Holder: For single acting entrance, vestibule and interior doors opening to 110 degrees. Stop and shock absorber effective at all times. Hold open and release by push or pull, except when exposed control is set in inactive position. Holding pressure adjustable. Available for double acting door application. Performance tests required: 4.2.1, 4.3.1, and 5.


Type 4 & 6 Overhead Concealed Friction Slide Holder: For either single or double acting interior doors opening to 110 degrees. Frictional element made of non-abrasive material and held under adjustable pressure. Free acting shoulder pivots. Shock 
absorber effective at all times. Performance tests required: 4.2.4, 4.3.1 and 5.


This document is not a substitute for the full standard. Refer to the entire standard for full information.

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Participate in the BHMA® Certification Program by voluntarily submitting a hardware product to independent laboratory testing to confirm that it fully meets the criteria of the appropriate ANSI/BHMA® standard.  This industry-wide certification program does not call for a manufacturer to be a BHMA® member in order to certify its products.

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