Rollers are mechanisms for operating sliding panels like those found on patio doors, screen doors or some sliding windows. They keep the sash or door in its track and make movement smooth. Rollers typically come in sets of two for each side of the sash/door they are supporting.
This page will inform you on the types of rollers, what can go wrong with them and how to identify a broken roller.
Signs of broken rollers
Door is tilting to one side
Door is difficult to shut completely
Door is difficult to lock
Door is difficult to operate
Heavy debris in the bottom track of the window/door
Why do rollers break?
Rollers typically break from lack of maintenance.
They made of steel, plastic or aluminum and have the tendency to rust, break or get lock up with debris. Rollers need to ride on a clean, well lubricated track. Our Window Wellness Service © for patio doors includes a track cleaning, lubrication and adjustment of all moving parts on your door. We can often save rusted rollers by spraying them with a rust penetrating catalyst.
Many rollers, especially those on patio doors, are made to have adjustable heights. They need to be raised or lowered if the two are not level. You can tell if the rollers are not level by almost completely closing your patio door so that the reveal is just a sliver of light. See if the top or bottom has a wider opening. An uneven reveal means the door is leaning left or right and the rollers need to be reset. Uneven rollers interfere with the door's operation and distribute weight unevenly, leading to degraded rollers.
Patio door track filled with dust and debris
Screen door roller caked with debris
[Image showing patio door reveal]
Types of Rollers
Rollers vary between the size, model and manufacturer of doors and sliding windows. We can identify and order replacement rollers when they are too far gone to save.
Single wheel rollers are found on rolling patio doors and installed to the left and right underside of the door. They are adjustable to level the door in its track.
Dual-wheel Tandem Roller
Dual-wheel Tandem Rollers are found on larger patio doors and installed to the left and right underside of the door like single rollers are. They are also height adjustable.
Dual Wheel Tandem Roller
Screen Door Rollers
Screen door rollers are found on rolling screen doors that accompany rolling patio doors. The wheels are smaller and fit over the lip of the track on which the door rides. They can be adjusted and can be depressed to remove a screen door as necessary
Sliding Window Rollers
Sliding windows use smaller, plastic and metal component rollers to make the sash slide smoothly in the track. Some models have 2 wheels, others have 4. Wheel number depends on the weight of the sash. Some sashes use roller set ups that can hold 2 or 4 rollers. They are non adjustable.