Sliding Patio Door--difficult to slide

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  #1  
Old 02-13-06, 02:59 PM
BSparks294
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Sliding Patio Door--difficult to slide

We moved into a 5 year old home with a sliding glass patio door 120x82. The trouble is that my wife can barely open it. The people before us had pets and we also have pets, so the door gets a great deal of use. I have looked at the rollers on the bottom of the door and they do not seem damaged. The track actually seems a little worn on one side.

Also checked the door frame for being sqaure and it looked okay.

Where could I find some replacement rollers for this door. This door was manufactured by a compny that was bought out by Jeld-wen.

Thanks, Brad
 

Last edited by BSparks294; 02-13-06 at 03:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-06, 02:04 AM
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Brad: before you go looking for a replacement, lets adjust the door. At the bottom of the moveable panel there are two holes. You will need a #2 phillips head screwdriver. Insert it into the hole and engage the adjustment screw. Some adjust left, and some right, so you will have to experiment. By adjusting this screw, you are lifting the door via the rollers. Lift them equally keeping the door plumb as you do it. Your problem is probably the door frame is too low and scrubbing on the threshold. Post back and lets see if that helps. If not, I have two more swings at it.
 
  #3  
Old 02-16-06, 02:49 AM
BSparks294
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Larry,

Thanks for the tip about adjusting the screws, but that did not make any difference. The door was already at the maximum height.

I will be awaiting your second round of powder.

Thanks, Brad
 
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Old 02-16-06, 05:27 AM
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Round two. Are the rollers sitting on the proper extrusion rim? Since the door is at max height, you should be able to see the rollers. It tells me they are sitting on the botom of the track rather than on a rim. In seeing the rollers, move the door and make sure they are round and not notched, square or some other unorthodox shape. If they are sitting on the bottom, you will have to lower the door and move it to the rim. Waiting on round three.
 
  #5  
Old 02-16-06, 01:06 PM
BSparks294
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I checked the door; had to lift it a little, first one end, then the other. The door does not move side to side in the track at all and the rollers seem to be on the metal strip in the middle. The rollers appear to be pretty worn. They are made of plastic as far as I can tell. The door in vinyl clad but is pretty heavy.

Thanks, Brad
 
  #6  
Old 02-16-06, 03:36 PM
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If the rollers are worn then the only solution is new rollers. Look above just below your original post are "Ads by Google". Click on "Sliding Glass Door Rollers" to purchase new rollers.
 
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Old 02-16-06, 04:07 PM
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Brad: One more try. This weekend, lower the door and take it out of the frame (unless you live in Minnesota, you may freeze). With it on its edge, check the rollers to see if they roll at all. They may be frozen due to wear. You can probably find replacement wheels via the google ad, or at one of the big box stores. If the wear seems acceptable, spray them with a penetrating lubricant and try to free them up. If this works, reinstall the door and make sure the wheels sit on the roller rim of the threshold. Crank it up a little, maybe not as much as you had it before, but just enough to keep it from scrubbing the threshold. Post back. I'll keep an eye on the posts.
 
  #8  
Old 02-16-06, 04:45 PM
BSparks294
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Larry,

Thanks for the helpful tips. This door has been annoying me ever since we moved in. My sister's door moves so nice and smooth, but the clincher was when I went to the neighbor's house (same model as mine) the other day and his door worked beautifully. That got me motivated to get this thing repaired.

My wife laughs at me since we live in Colorado and it will only be single digits tonight. I better be sure to have the right parts when I tear into this project.
I know I could just place the door in the opening if I get in a bind with parts, but my wife knows how my projects tend to take on a life of their own.

I will not be working on it until Saturday so I can check it out during the warmest part of the day.

One more thing--would it be okay to replace the plastic rollers with metal ones?

Later, Brad
 

Last edited by BSparks294; 02-16-06 at 06:17 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-17-06, 05:23 AM
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Brad: We just returned from Aurora on Monday, and had to come home to North Georgia to see snow! What a kick. But my daughter told me you are getting snow and really cold wx for the next few days. I was going to suggest finding the metal rollers, but I didn't want to confuse the issue. Definitely, if you can find the right diameter metal rollers, go for it. Let me know how it goes after it warms up a little. It was so nice last Sunday, we went skeet shooting in shirtsleeves in Elizabeth, so what is happening with the weather?
 
  #10  
Old 02-20-06, 09:43 PM
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If it's not the rollers, you may have a case of header sag. This is something that happens most frequently on doors that are eight feet or wider. 120" > 8' So it is definitely something I would check out. For anyone interested.....

Sometimes the carpenters install a header either upside down, or underbuild it altogether. After years. Usually 5 to 7years, after the wood dries up and shrinks, the opening is shorter due to the header "sagging". This pushes down on the frame of the patio door and binds the operating panel between the top jamb and the threshhold. To test for this take a piece of string and hold it tight between the two top corners of you patio door. You should be able to sight down the string and see if the frame is bowed downwards. From your description earlier that the door could not be adjusted up anymore, sounds like the operating panel is hitting the frame and very well could be the problem. Now the good news.... It is repairable. Take off the top casing, carefully to not damage the wall. Hopefully there are a few shims in the middle and you can removove them and get the room you need. If not then it's time to get out the old sawzall and cut some of that header out. Don't cut all the way through to the outside. Once you make some room, put a screw or two through the top jamb into the header and pull the frame up. Reinstall the casing and your done.

I would definitely check for header sag before removing the operating panel, because if it is a problem and you take that panel out. There is a strong chance you will not be able to put the door back in the frame without correcting the problem.

Whatever happens.. GOOD LUCK!
 
  #11  
Old 02-21-06, 08:48 AM
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Patio Door Problems

There is another possible reason that the door is hard to open. The track may be worn. Many patio door sills have an aluminum track that the rollers glide on. Aluminum is low maintenance, but it is a soft metal, and over time the track gets a rut in it from being worn down. You can buy a replacement overlay track that is stainless steel to replace the worn aluminum track. It's an overlay that goes on top of the aluminum one. Many hardware stores can order you one if not in stock. You could also probably get it from Blaine Window Hardware, an incredible source that can get almost any part for any window/door, even if obsolete. Blaine would also have numerous patio door rollers, both ball-bearing and non-ball-bearing. They're at http://www.blainewindow.com
 
  #12  
Old 02-21-06, 05:11 PM
BSparks294
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Talking

Good afternoon,

I got the sliding part of the door out of the frame, but since I could not really figure out the best method, I just tipped the rollers with a flat blade screwdriver and eventually got one end of the door out and then the other. It was difficult to get enough clearance to remove the door even with the rollers fully retracted as far as they would go. Maybe the header is messed up. I do indeed have trim around the opening so I will pry that off if I have difficulty getting the door back in.

Here is what I found so far. The center of the door track that cannot be cleaned without removing the door, because it overlaps that section always, was rather filthy with dirt. The aluminum track looks fine and I cleaned that out. It only has one long bar down the middle of the track. This is a vinyl clad door by the way. The rollers are the dual type with metal rollers ( I thought they were plastic, but I was incorrect). The rollers do not spin freely due to an accumulation of dirt and grime and just wear and tear. There are not any flat spots or anything like that, but they do not turn that easy.

I found some adequate matches at the home improvement stores but they did not seem to be built sturdy enough for my application. Another thing is that my roller assembly has a flat piece of aluminum on the top of the roller about 3/16" thick. KInd of snaps on top. I am assuming that it just pops off to be used on the new piece, but am not sure. None in the stores had this piece.

I will check out that online source that was mentioned. Here is what it looked most like.

http://www.blainewindow.com/catalog/...=5014&compid=1

Here is another one--not sure of the main difference. Just noticed the main difference--the second one has a cost of $97.00 for one. The other one is a more reasonable $14.

http://www.blainewindow.com/catalog/...=5016&compid=1

Thanks for all the help.



Brad
 

Last edited by BSparks294; 02-22-06 at 02:59 PM.
  #13  
Old 02-21-06, 05:49 PM
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Brad: I was wondering if you were going to take the door down with minus 15 degree wx. Did you try lubricating your existing wheels and get them to move more smoothly? It looks as if you may have solved your own problem, and don't even realize it. Cleaning up the header space and the rail as well as the wheels could only help the situation.
 
  #14  
Old 02-21-06, 06:28 PM
BSparks294
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Larry,

I am going to attempt to clean the rollers first and see how they operate. If no success, I will then purchase new rollers.

No, my wife would not let me take out the door with -15 degree temps outside. Today it was only 40 but I did it anyway.

Brad
 
  #15  
Old 02-22-06, 03:58 AM
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If you clean the rollers with a solvent, WD-40 and the like, that will dissolve the grease that actually lubricates the ball bearings. You should re-pack the ball bearings with grease if not you will end up with noisy rollers that will wear out sooner.
 
  #16  
Old 02-22-06, 04:20 AM
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If you need rollers why not try right here. http://doityourself.com/shop/patioandgarage.htm
 
  #17  
Old 02-22-06, 02:55 PM
BSparks294
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I did try the link at the top of the do-it-yourself page, but the type of rollers that I need are nowhere to be found. Thanks anyway.

How can the roller be repacked or greased? No sure how that would be done.

Brad
 
  #18  
Old 02-22-06, 04:17 PM
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Take the rollers off the door.......clean them............you will see a thin space between the fixed and movable part of the roller. Take the grease and force it into that space with your finger.
 
  #19  
Old 02-23-06, 05:46 PM
BSparks294
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Cool

Roller update: took the rollers off--they were worn out, no amount of cleaning would get them rolling freely. Went to a window shop and found what we thought were the perfect match except that even though the dimensions were much the same, the sides were about 1/4 shorter and that caused the adjustment screw to be about 1/4 inch lower than the original hole in the door (where the screwdriver is to be placed). So I will be heading back to the window place in the morning to see if they have another style--though I am not overly optimistic, since they said this was the one that would fit.

Called the original manufacturers of the door Jeld-wen and they have not contacted me yet. They did say Home Depot might carry something like that special order but they were not certain. I would rather be able to compare with one in hand because obviously there are many variables on these roller assemblies as I am finding out.

So we still have the door just sitting in the track to keep out the cold.

My wife is saying I should have just left it alone since we could open it but with a little extra effort. I told my son though it is a man thing--the door needs to work properly or something even worse will happen such as breaking the handle off or etc. Guess the bottom line is, it just bugs me. I will not quit messing with it until I have fixed it or I buy a new type of door (not a slider but one that opens like a normal door). Just kidding about the last part, but my wife knows how I just keep at it until it is fixed. She could really care less. I tell her about these projects and how frustrating they are at times and she turns a deaf ear unless I start talking about thrift store sales or garage sales.

Later, Brad
 
  #20  
Old 02-23-06, 08:07 PM
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If the only difference is the hole in the door, why don't you drill a new hole in line with the adjusting screw.
 
  #21  
Old 02-23-06, 08:35 PM
kbox
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Roller search

CR Laurence has a variety of rollers, too. (www.crlaurence.com) Your glass shop might have an old book to look through. They've moved online but searching can be a bit tedious. (Try "patio door rollers") They'll make you find a dealer to buy the part.
 
  #22  
Old 02-24-06, 05:38 AM
BSparks294
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I could just drill another hole, but the other problem is this. The roller assembly has that aluminum metal part that came with original, a spacer of sorts, so that the weight of the door is better supported by the entire length of the hinge. If I use the style I just bought the spacer will be ireelevant becasue it will not be touching the bottom of the door inside the frame. There is a small cavity in there where the roller sits into.

I will let you know how it goes.

Brad
 
  #23  
Old 02-24-06, 06:02 AM
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You have located the problem and removed the rollers now it's finding the replacment rollers. I've replaced many sliding door rollers, always with the exact replacement. If you can't find a local glass shop that can match it exactly then you must do the research by matching it to a drawing of the roller assembly. I wish you could post a drawing or photo of the roller and I'm sure someone here can help.
 
  #24  
Old 02-24-06, 08:27 AM
BSparks294
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The picture that I posted earlier and here again is roughly what my rollers look like except for one thing. The tabs where the screws are installed to hold it into the door, extend about 3/16" below the edge of the assembly. That is what is causing the problems. There is 5/16" vertical distance between the lower edge of the roller frame and where the above mentioned tabs are secured into the sides ( I know that is hard to picture). Where the metal in slotted on the side to hold the tabs. The ones I just got are only about 3/16" distance in that spot.

http://www.blainewindow.com/catalog/...=5014&compid=1

Just "hit" customer login and it goes right to the page--no need to really do a login.

So basically I need the above looking roller assembly with tabs that extend below the edge of the roller frame about 3/16"

Thanks, Brad
 
  #25  
Old 02-24-06, 10:21 AM
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I have an old Truth catalog that show exactly what you need. It is the roller you are showing but with "inverted tabs" which are 3/16" below the roller housing. They apparently are not making this any longer. Here it is on their website: http://www.truth.com/2006/catalog/co...0TanRoller.pdf
 
  #26  
Old 02-24-06, 12:10 PM
BSparks294
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Thank you, the inverted tabs look like the right length but mine do in fact extend on the same edge as the roller side. Exactly what I found out today at Home Depot. It has been discontinued. Home Depot called Jeld-wen and they said they might have a few of them left over in the warehouse, so I special ordered them. No pics or diagrams available, so not sure what they really will send. It takes 14 days or more to get them from Cheyenne to Denver. That is mighty slow shipping. The reason I am not overly optimistic about them matching is that they only charged me $6.89 for one. That is less than half of what I expected to pay--so they might not be what I want.

Might have to modify the ones that I have purchased. Never thought this would so difficult. Jeld-wen has bought up many companies but do not manufacture many of the parts included in these companies purchased, which is understandable due to the cost involved. Guess that is why it is prudent to purchase from the large well-known companies.

I will keep you informed.

Brad
 
  #27  
Old 02-24-06, 06:09 PM
BSparks294
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The problem is solved!!!
Thank you everyone for all the input. Since we finally determined that the manufacturer had discontinued making these roller assemblies; a little modification to the previously purchased assembly and my door was ready to be re-installed. The door works great and I am pleased to get "off the hook" from my wife because of being a little "macho" about the repair.

Great site here for help and I appreciate the assistance I received from everyone.

Brad
 

Last edited by BSparks294; 02-24-06 at 06:55 PM.
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