How to Repair Sliding Doors

Difficulty: 4 of 5

 

Sliding doors can stick in their tracks, making them difficult to open and close. If debris in the tracks isn’t your problem, you may need to replace the rollers.

 

Materials:

– Door, sliding glass
– Graphite
– Level
– Roller
– Screwdriver
– Vacuum

Step 1: Clear the track


Sliding doors move on metal or plastic wheels that roll along a track. Older doors may start to stick or jam because of debris in the track or rollers that aren’t turning properly. The first step is to clear the track of any buildup or debris. Vacuum up any dust, stones, or debris. Remove any items caught in the track. Apply graphite to the track and see if the problem is solved.
Remove any debris that could be blocking or jamming the sliding door.

Step 2: Remove the sliding door from the track


If the door does not slide with a clean track, remove the door to clean out or replace the rollers. First, turn the adjustment screw at the bottom of the door to lift the rollers, which will allow you to remove the door from the track. Once the rollers are raised, have another person help push the door up into the top track and pull the bottom out and away from the lower track. Now, remove the door completely and set it on a pair of sawhorses.
Turn the adjustment screw with a screwdriver to raise the rollers up into the door and out of the track.

Step 3: Check the front and back rollers


There are two sets of rollers on the sliding door. Check to see if they are worn or need replacing. If they wobble or can be moved easily from side to side, they need to be replaced.
Check the rollers to see if they wobble or stray from side to side.

Step 4: Remove the roller bar


There should be a screw on each side that holds the bottom bar in place. Remove the screws and place them to the side. Remove the bottom bar, prying it away from the gasket with a screwdriver.
Work the gasket loose from the bar with a screwdriver.

Step 5: Remove the roller bracket assembly


Remove the roller brackets from the bar. They should slide out easily but may need to be coaxed. The roller bracket has an outer housing assembly, brackets that hold the wheels, screws to hold the rollers in place, and the rollers.
Remove the roller brackets from the bottom bar.

Step 6: Select a replacement roller


Major brands and newer sliders will have replacement roller brackets available. With an older model, you will need to find a replacement roller that will fit in your roller brackets. Remove the roller and take it to a hardware store. To remove the roller, undo the screw at the back of the bracket that holds the roller assembly in place. Slide the roller housing up and out. Remove the roller from the inner bracket.
Select a roller that will fit your roller bracket.

Step 7: Assemble the roller replacement


Assemble the new wheel and axle from the replacement kit. Slide them into place in the roller bracket. Attach the wheel-height adjustment screw to hold the pieces in place.
Once the wheel and axle are in place in the roller bracket, reattach the wheel-height adjustment screw.

Step 8: Replace the roller brackets and bottom bar


Slide the roller units back into the bar on each end. Slide the bar back into place against the glass, working the gasket in along the edge of the bar. Replace and tighten the screws that hold the bar in place.
Slide the roller bracket back into the bottom bar.

Step 9: Put the slider back in place


With help, replace the slider in its track. First, put the top rail into top track. Then, lift the lower bar over the lip of the lower track and set it in place. Using a screwdriver, lower the rollers onto the track to lift the door so it will move freely and not rub on the track. Adjust the rollers to make the door level.
Lift the slider into place by setting the top bar and lifting the bottom bar over the lip of the track.

Step 10: Put graphite on the track


Once the door is in place and level, apply graphite to the track to help the door slide. Work the slider back and forth to check that it is sliding freely.
Apply graphite to the track to help the door slide easily.