Sliding patio screen door hard to move

Old 06-21-09, 03:55 PM
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Sliding patio screen door hard to move

Not sure of the manufacturer, other stuff in the house is Peachtree doors and Norco windows (which became Jeld Wen). House is about 15 yrs old.

The door itself is a center hinge one side (that opens) wood door. The sliding patio screen door is the problem. To me it has NEVER been really right, so may be a long standing error being made worse with time.

The door just binds up and has fallen off the track on the bottom too many times to count. Often I just open the screen and leave the ting open instead of dealling with it, it's that constant and bad. There seem to be way too much up and down play.

This has the adjusters with the 2 small holes on the bottom and 2 on the top that move a plastic "spiral" like cam that move the rollers up/down. The rollers should be riding on a lip. There is a lip on the bottom track, but none on the top. So that missing track on the top is I guess question #1, shouldn't there be a lip or track on top as well as the bottom? The rollers are there, the rollers have a groove in the middle, but nothing like a track up on top, just a groove which is wide enough for the door to fit in to. (I can get pictures and post if it would help).

Second problem I noted today: If you open the sliding screen door 1/2 way, I am noticing there seems to be a sway or dip in the bottom track. Unsure why it would do that, possibly rotting sill plate (the wood under where the track is, the track and the threshold is all aluminum stuff).

Not really wanting to replace the whole thing, unless all the wisdom here tells me otherwise, is this something I could buy a replacement door for the whole thing? Or would I be looking at having to redo vinyl and all that?

If I could figure out a way to get the sliding screen to work we are otherwise happy with the door itself (the hinged part, not the sliding screen, I am harboring a LOT of anger for the sliding screen door!).
I'm about at my wits end with the slider.
Thanks for any replies, again I can get some pictures up if someone is interested enough but not understanding the problems.
Old 06-22-09, 07:26 AM
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You'll have to take the screen off and inspect the rollers. They may need replacement if they don't roll very smoothly and evenly. Some rollers do not use bearings and over time the holes just get worn out. Even the type with bearings dry out and corrode over time. You MIGHT be able to swap the bottom for the top. Make sure the screen frame is joined tightly at the corners. You may need to tighten or replace screws.

The reason there are rollers but no track at the top is so the screen can be rotated 180 degrees and be used for either L to R or R to L just by moving the latch (if necessary). Most doors only have the U channel at the track.

You would need a straight edge like a 4 ft level to check the track. It should be straight and flat. If there are any bends, you can straighten them by tapping lightly using a wood block and hammer, or pliers with tape in the jaws to protect the track. If there are any dings or gouges, you may be able to smooth them with some very fine sandpaper (240-320 wet or dry works well). Then take a parafin block or a white candle and rub on the track and inside the U channel at the top.

Ok, all that's not uncommon for expensive doors to use very cheap screens. Its very easy to layout $1500 or more for a door and get a $45 screen for it. No one could understand paying $200 for an Andersen screen, until they actually compared them to the cheapo's. If you have a good window and door shop or a shop that specializes in re-screening they could measure and fabricate a quality screen for you.

A good place for parts is AAA Screen aaa screen window and door supply, patio door handles, patio door wheels, screen door wheels, screen door handles , if you don't have a place locally

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