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Old 03-25-2009, 05:06 AM   #1
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my sliding door. When it rains and the track gets slightly damp, it slides like new. When it's dry, it's a bear to move, and slides with a gritty rubbing sound.

I've cleaned the track, and it doesn't help much. I have had a little luck with waxing the bottom rail, but it never lasts. Is it possible the moisture is temporarily lubing the rollers??

I'm wondering if I need new rollers, new track, or both... Thanks


Last edited by LVNV; 03-25-2009 at 05:10 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:49 AM   #2
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


So, take the door off the track and inspect it. I'd have a replacement set of hardware handy to make the switch then and there if possible. If you know who made the door, try looking online for a parts list or speak to a customer service rep about it. Maybe there's a service issue you've been unaware of. If the door was installed by the previous owners, they might have thrown out the use and care book.
Ron

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Old 03-25-2009, 06:50 AM   #3
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


My guess would be the rollers. They may need to be replaced, or could just need cleaning, lubricating. But to get at them, you will have to get the door out. Some doors will lift out after adjusting the rollers all the way up(lower the door). Some require that you remove the top door stop to get the door out.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


My doors do the same thing. It's weird cause it doesn't seem like the door gets wet when it rains.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


In case you have to remove the door, my door has an adjuster that is accessed by removing a plastic plug!
To allow the rollers to clear the track, the adjuster is turned to allow the door to drop. Then, enough clearance is given for the door to be lifted off the track!
My adjuster uses a Phillips screw driver. Some use an Allen wrench!
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


Think about it, you've answered your own question. The rain water has lubricated the wheels the door rolls on. You can't see these wheels but they are there. Before you attempt to remove the door, open it all the way, get down on those old bad knees, and inspect the rail that the wheels ride on. You should be able to tell what this is, it's a piece of aluminum that sticks straight up, you may also have another one if you have a sliding screen door. IF this rail is worn or pitted bad you would be ahead of the game to plan on replacing the entire sliding door threshold. After inspection of this rail, do as others have posted and find out just how your door can be adjusted (it can be!) so as to remove the door. Remember to have some help, they are heavy enough to get away from you quick. Most of these roller units have some type of leaf spring mechanism that sort of helps the door "float" when adjusted properly. Some door units have a way to remove the entire mechanism by removing only a couple of screws (why do they use plain steel screws in these things knowing they get wet and will rust?). Some parts for these doors are available at your local big box blue or orange stores. This is not Neurosurgery, it's just plain ole' using your noggin, taking your time, being careful, and gettin' er done. Good Luck, David
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


The rail does seem slightly pitted. I'm a little worried because I AM the original owner, and my door never did slide as smoothly as my neighbor's in the same sub-division. That was 12 years ago, and it's a little late to complain now to the builder.

Are those clip on rails worth the time, or should I just bite the bullet for a new threshold and rollers? I can't stand this because my next door neighbor's slider has opened effortlessly with the slightest push ever since these houses were built...
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


Quote:
Originally Posted by LVNV View Post
The rail does seem slightly pitted. I'm a little worried because I AM the original owner, and my door never did slide as smoothly as my neighbor's in the same sub-division. That was 12 years ago, and it's a little late to complain now to the builder.

Are those clip on rails worth the time, or should I just bite the bullet for a new threshold and rollers? I can't stand this because my next door neighbor's slider has opened effortlessly with the slightest push ever since these houses were built...
I looks like you need to remove that door and examine the wheels and the track!
If the wheel aqssembly is corroded and binds, I would buy replacements.
The track can very like likely be repaired by filing with a smooth file. If it dips somewhat along the way, it won't be a problem as there is usually enough head room at the top of the door to compensate!
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
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Help with sliding door diagnosis


I've not seen nor tried any "clip on rails", I'll have to check on those. I have replaced sliding door thresholds that were worn, and re-built the doors roller assemblies, as stated "if I can get the parts". I have bought repair kits and used some new parts, some old parts and got the job done. If you want to see some challenging units, check out those at the beach condos. That salty air and spilled martinis does damage to them quickly. As I said, replacing the threshold is not Neurosurgery and if you are handy at all, you can do it. I would go find the new threshold before removing the old one, this will give you a good look at what you are removing. IF you remove it check the framing under the threshold good for any water damage, don't be surprised if you find any. I've not used the file solution, I'm sure it will work within the limits of the damage to the rail. Good Luck, David

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