how to get a sliding door to slide better

anna_2006October 25, 2006

We just put in a sliding door and it is sliding quite heavily, well, let's just say that it's not as easy to slide as it was in the showroom. I'm cleaning out all the dust from sawing/drilling the wood, hoping that this will help. But I wonder whether there is something that I can spray or lubricate the sliding mechanism with in order to aid it somewhat. Also, is there anything that I should not be using? The door is a vinyl sliding door with low E and argon.


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The door should roll on small wheels. There should be some way to adjust the wheels so that nothing is actually sliding.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 7:19AM
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Anna, depending on whose door you have it should be easy to trouble shoot. The active patio door is set up to roll on two pair of steel wheels. There is a pair on the left and right of the door. These wheels are attached to an arm which can be adjusted up and down. The first thing to do is check the door to see if it's clear of the bottom track or rubbing at the top. The bottom of the door should be free of rubbing and sit up above the track. Vinyl doors sometimes have burrs on the seems that rub the track and create friction. Sometimes one side drags the bottom track and causes a poor glide. The top is easy to notice. You'll see marks where it rubs. Some manufacturers install anti lift tabs in the above track to prevent someone lifting the door up and out to gain access to the home. These will sometimes get caught up in the door. So check that out first. By moving the door slowly you may find tight spots.

Some doors have screw covers that are located on the bottom of the door facing inside. They are usually easy to pop out or have a slot for a screw driver. These type of adjusters are eccentrics that adjust one click at a time. Just stick a regular screw driver in to see what way to turn it. You adjust the door by having it almost closed to where you have a quarter inch gap to see outside. This gap should be the same from top to bottom. If the gap is off adjust the appropriate roller to compensate. I always adjust the lowest side of the door off the track and then the other side to make my gap right.

The other type of adjustment is in the bottom corner on each edge. There is usually two screws or a screw and a hole. The bottom screw is the screw that holds the roller body in place. This one you DON"T want to touch. The adjustment screw is usually above that screw. You can easily adjust the door with a regular phillips head screw driver. These are easier to adjust if you can lift the door up a little to reduce the weight of the door on the rollers. A lot of people strip the screw out while trying to adjust these with the weight on the rollers. Ounce you've completed any adjustment make sure and adjust your lock keeper for the frame, so it locks securely.

If you had the door put in by others I'd recommend having them come back and re-adjust. Otherwise Pledge furniture polish (lemon scent is my favorite) works great to spray the bottom track with. It also works very well under a sticky entry door! Hope this gave you some areas to look at and correct.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 8:51AM
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Not to knock any other posters, but I just adjusted my slider and the height adjustment on my rollers was made by inserting a Number Two phillips into the lower hole in the edge of the door. Turning clockwise moves the rollers axles down a slot in the roller assembly moving the rollers down, and therefore raising the door on its track. My particular door has the same type of twin rollers on all four corners, so I removed the door, then removed the roller assemblies which are attached to the bottom and top of the door in the lower and upper channel with a small self tapping sheet metal screw. I cleaned all four sets and moved the ones from the top to the bottom, since the bottom two sets really take all the load. This is a good trick to get by if the bearings go bad in a lower set. Just move the top ones to the bottom and the bottom to top. In my case three of the roller sets were gummed up bad and electronic spray cleaned them up nicely, followed by WD_40 and a light lubricant just in the bearings. One set was gummed up so bad I cleaned it with my ultrasonic cleaner and solvent.

Do not use wax or anything like that on the tracks. The rollers are supposed to ROLL, NOT SLIDE. They should really be called rolling doors, that would be more accurate. The same hold true for Garage door tracks. Do not lube unless you want flat spots in your rollers. The gaskets are another matter, you can wax them all you want, but dry silicone might work better.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:14PM
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