Patio doors are really great. I love them. In my own house they open up onto a woods and a lake and I have spent a lot of time watching wildlife through one. Patio doors come in two basic designs hinged (swinging) or sliding. I think the hinged doors are slightly more energy efficient, but it is nice not having to worry about the room needed to open a hinged door. Once again life is full of trade offs.
On a hinged patio door, like a casement window you have few mechanical systems that wear to deal with; the lock, hinges and weather stripping. On a sliding patio door the systems you generally deal with are the rollers, lock, weather-stripping and track. Obviously on either style, if the door is out of square or the frame is broken (yes even an aluminum frame can give way, and you would be shocked to see how much twist a house can put on a vinyl frame when the house decides to sit (settle) on it. But then these problems are truly serious and a call to a professional is in order.
SLIDING PATIO DOOR LOCKS
The locks on a patio door are generally made (and the manufacturers do not like to sell just the parts) in such a way that if they break, you need to buy the entire lock. If you are one of the lucky few that can purchase just a component of the lock, then you are ahead of the game. If not just open your wallet and get out the plastic. If the lock seems to be functioning, but it will not engage the strike then probably just adjustment (up, down or possibly in or out) is needed. Move the strike not the lock. After the lock engages and all seems to be working then spray the entire lock with a silicone lubricant. Do not use grease or oil, they will hold dirt and grit, actually that would not be a bad idea, use oil or grease; then the lock will break faster and we can sell you more parts.
Caution is Highly Advised Here
Whenever you go to handle, take down or remove a patio door, get help. They are hernia makers; I am the living proof. In fact my men are forbidden to take a door out by themselves.
Generally replacing the weather-stripping is pretty straightforward. You find the old weather-strip, pull it out, buy some new and slide it in. But here are a few suggestions to make your job easier;
- When you go to buy new weather-stripping, take a sample (a good sample, not a hand full of pieces) with you, we literally stock over 100 different types and they are generally not interchangeable.
- The weather-stripping is generally crimped in on the ends of each run. Take a small screw driver and open the crimped end and then after inserting the new material crimp the end ONCE, just enough to keep the material from falling out.
- When you are ready to slide the new weather stripping in, get your trusty can of silicone lubricant out and spray the track. This will make insertion easier.
SLIDING PATIO DOOR ROLLERS
The rollers on a patio door are as varied as any item you can think of. You must have a sample or you are just wasting your time when you go to buy new ones, we stock over 175 different types. When I talk about the roller, I am also talking about the carriage assembly. In most cases you must purchase the carriage and not just the roller and besides with the way most of the units are built, taking them apart to install the roller can be a real bear.
Take the door down, sometimes this involves removing the stationary panel so you have access to the door bottom where the rollers are. On some aluminum doors you need to loosen the side rails in order to drive the bottom rail off. Once you have access to the door bottom then you can get to the roller assembly, hidden inside.
After you have obtained the replacement roller assemblies, lubricate them along with the upper and lower tracks with silicone spray, do not use grease or oil. Insert them in the door and reinstall the door. Next you need to take the weight off the door so that you can adjust the rollers. Put a screwdriver under the door to raise it up, then adjust the roller either up or down as needed. You want the door to be plumb with the opening, you dont care if the door is actually plumb, just plumb to the opening.
Sliding Patio Door Parts
To find out more information about our available Sliding Patio Door Parts please call us at
513-931-4432 or send us an email.
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the large variety of different
parts, you may need to ship us a complete sample of what you
need in order for us to positively ID your part.
PICKENS WINDOW SERVICE
7824 Hamilton Avenue Cincinnati, Oh 45231
513-931-4432 513-931-4450 [fax]