Tips to Remove or Adjust a Sliding Patio Door

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: We’ve got David on the line. What are you working on and how can we lend a hand with that sliding patio door ?

    DAVID: You know, when we go to put the – take and put the sliding patio door back in and out, because I deliver cabinets all day, I can’t figure out a good way to do it without damaging the door and causing some sort of charge – back charge – to us for trying to get these ranges in or wall ovens, refrigerators. But sometimes, that’s the only way you can get everything in.

    TOM: Are you talking about a sliding patio door?

    DAVID: Correct.

    TOM: Hmm. And so you’re popping out the movable unit, right? The sliding-door part of it, not the stationary part?

    DAVID: That’s correct.

    TOM: And you’re having trouble getting them back in?

    DAVID: Usually I use a, perhaps, a flat-head or something to try to pop it out.

    TOM: Right. Mm-hmm. Right.

    DAVID: But every time I put in, it doesn’t seem to slide or act correctly. And it’s a major part of my job and this is something that I need to be able to do without them even being able to notice that we did take that item off.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Right. Or out. Right Well, anytime I’ve removed one of those doors, I know that the rollers, even though you’d think they’re going to drop right back on the rail, very often don’t sit on the rail. So I presume that when you put this door back in, you’re moving it back and forth to make sure it slides the same way it did when you started. Is that correct?

    DAVID: Correct.

    TOM: So, then, wherein lies the problem? Why is it not performing …?

    DAVID: Well, wherein lies the problem is when I do that, it doesn’t seem to roll the same way anymore.

    TOM: OK. So that’s the issue, yeah. You may not be on the rail when you put it back in. You may have missed the rail. Sometimes, you have to lift that door up and get every – there’s two rollers, right? One on one end and one on the other. Sometimes, you have to lift that up from one side, then the other to make sure it’s sitting right on the rail.

    Now, when you take that door off and you set it down, you should be able to see those rollers, right?

    DAVID: Yes. But even when I take it off – I’ve spent over half an hour trying to take this door off of it, just – and be careful and not to break anything. And it doesn’t seem like it ever really is kind of meant to go out that way.

    TOM: Well, the other thing that you can do is – along the bottom rail of that door, from the inside there’s usually a plug. And you remove the plug, you can actually lower those wheels to make it easier to take the whole door out. Do you know that?

    DAVID: Really?

    TOM: Yeah. Every one of those rollers has an adjustment from the inside. It has to be because otherwise, you may have an opening that’s slightly out of square. And that’s how you adjust the angle of the door. So, you could pop those caps out.

    And what I would do, if I was doing that, is I stuck my screwdriver in and I would count. If I’m going to back it down – so it’s like an unscrewing, so you’re going to basically go to the left. I would, say, make it three twists of the wrist or something, count one-two-three, one-two-three. That’s going to drop the door evenly on both sides to make it easier for me to get it out. And then, when I put it back in, I know it’s rolling and I could reverse it with three twists to tighten it.

    DAVID: So where do I see these? Where do I see this thing I can pop out or whatnot?

    TOM: OK. So on the bottom of the sliding door, on the inside, the bottom rail – the bottom part of the frame – you’ll see a cap and a little hole. Usually, it’s about ¼-inch wide. And if you stick a Phillips screwdriver in there, you’ll be at the adjustment lug for the roller. And if you twist it one way or the other, it goes up or down: moves the wheel up and down or in and out of that track.

    DAVID: Oh, wow. I never knew that.

    TOM: Alright. Well, take a look at that next time. And obviously, it’s not optimal to remove those doors. It’s not like taking a swinging door off a hinge, which is a lot easier. I’m sure you do that when you can. But if you are going to have to pull them out, you might want to give yourself a little more room by doing that, OK? Because if you don’t do that, you may not – you may be having a hard time lifting it out of the track and maybe even bending one of those rollers in the process. That could be part of your problem.

    DAVID: Well, so then also, I don’t know if you have the answer to this but – so when I have to deliver a refrigerator to, perhaps, a townhouse that goes upstairs with a landing and a turning stairway – and sometimes these people order the biggest fridge that there is and doesn’t even check that doorway.

    TOM: Right. Yeah. Yeah.

    DAVID: What is the best method and way to deliver this without, first of all, damaging a refrigerator and the product but also not damaging this door – the stairwell and everything when there may even be a railing or molding already in place?

    TOM: Listen, man, I feel for you. I don’t have a good answer for that, because the problem is that people order this stuff and they just assume it can get in. And no matter how many different ways you tell them that you need so much clearance and all of that, it’s not going to sink in. So, that’s part of your business that I could never possibly give you an answer for. Whoever is selling this stuff and whatever their policies are, there ought to be a chargeback to people that order things that are not going to fit in their house, to cover your expenses of doing something like that.

    But I hope that helps you out. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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