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Can you replace only a fixed portion of sliding glass doors?


MSwol's Avatar
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06-22-15, 08:25 AM   #1  
Can you replace only a fixed portion of sliding glass doors?

I have condensation between the glass panes in the fixed portion of my sliding glass door.

Is it possible to just slip in a replacement fixed portion? The door is probably 15 years old with no identifying marks, other than the glass...

Any thoughts?

 
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06-22-15, 08:28 AM   #2  
We replace just the IGUs all the time in our units.

At this point, I would think you'd be able to do that or you'd likely have to change out the whole thing to keep it matching.

 
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06-22-15, 08:36 AM   #3  
It's a basic white vinyl setup... should be fairly easy to match, or get close enough.

Can you hit up a big box store for that? I'd rather not replace the entire setup.

 
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06-22-15, 08:38 AM   #4  
Vinyl can change color a lot with age, I think a match is going to be harder than you think it will be.

Go ahead and try the big box store, that's a reasonable place to look.

 
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06-22-15, 08:54 AM   #5  
Just to be clear, there is no other real fix for this because the glass is tempered, correct?

The ****ty part is that I have a supply vent next to it and that's probably why it is noticeable (at least at this point).

 
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06-22-15, 08:58 AM   #6  
You could replace the IGU. The problem is not that the glass is tempered but because you have two panes of glass with a specific gas between them and a seal that has now failed allowing air into the space. Fixing this is not reasonably possible.

 
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06-22-15, 09:02 AM   #7  
Call any city glass company, they can replace just the glass without removing the fixed panel from the door. IGU = insulating glass unit... the double paned glass.

 
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06-22-15, 09:07 AM   #8  
Are they able to pull a vacuum and redo the seal so the condensation doesn't come back?

 
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06-22-15, 09:17 AM   #9  
No, people who do that are scammers.

There is not a vacuum between the glass, that is a common misconception. There is usually a nitrogen based dessicant inside the aluminum spacer that is around the perimeter of the glass. The purpose of the dessicant is to absorb any moisture that is between the panes when the unit is glued together in the factory. Sometimes an inert gas is added, sometimes not... but that is besides the point. The problem is likely that the dessicant has reached its saturation point and can no longer hold any additional moisture, so that is why you are seeing moisture between the panes. Ocasionally the 2 panes of glass will actually separate from one another, letting air into the unit, which is bad, because the dessicant cannot handle the moisture in that added volume of air.

As we have both mentioned, your option is to replace the glass. "Fixing the glass" is not an option. Replacing it is.

 
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06-22-15, 09:24 AM   #10  
Thanks. so I don't necessarily have to replace the entire sliding unit, or the entire fixed portion... it seems replacing just the glass is a valid option. Is the dessicant replaced as well?

 
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06-22-15, 09:33 AM   #11  
You're not just replacing the glass, you're replacing the whole Insulated Glass Unit which is already sealed ready to go.

 
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06-22-15, 11:33 AM   #12  
Try thinking of it this way, the IGU is 2 sheets of glass with the edges sealed together. It would be like replacing old timey single pane glass except the glass has to be custom made [not just cut] and then installed.


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06-22-15, 04:22 PM   #13  
Might be cheaper to buy a new sliding glass door and DYI it. That's what I would do. The other side may be close to leaking also.


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