Let’s face it; fixing a pocket door can be challenging. It doesn’t matter what kind you have.
Dealing with door edges and hardware is a process on its own.
What if I told you that your headache could be resolved in the space of less than an hour without any outsourced assistance?
All you’ll need are a few simple tools, this how-to guide, and your hands. You might even congratulate yourself when the job is done.
In this post, we’ll be giving you a detailed how-to guide on fixing pocket doors.
We’ll also be sharing valuable tips and tricks that you can use to make the experience less tedious. So get your tools, and let’s get to work!
What’s the Problem with Pocket Door Tracks?
How many times have we found ourselves thinking that the solution to fixing the pocket door would simply be to slide it open and closed repeatedly? I’ve been there.
However, pocket doors need a little more work than that.
I remember my first encounter with a pocket door not sliding because it fell off its track.
I must say that having to fix one can be slightly intimidating, seeing that it isn’t as simple as your traditional interior doors.
There’s a lot to consider when dealing with a pocket door that has come off track.
Is the track a single-rail track, entire track, or overhead track?
What kind of pocket door are you dealing with? Is there even a small issue with the pocket door hardware, hanger, wheel assembly, metal roller bracket, trolley bolt head, latch, or lock?
It’s a lot to consider.
Generally speaking, the process is about taking the pocket door out of the track to place it in a proper wheel assembly.
But before we do that, there are certain tools that we need to use to ensure that the job gets done correctly.
You need to assess whether the pocket door fell off the track, is stuck, or needs a little oil on the wheels for smoother sliding.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to fix a pocket door off track.
This method will take you through preparation, the steps, preventative advice, and possible recommended products to use.
Estimated time: 1 hour
Have an oil lubricant for the wheels. You can use a multi-purpose drip oil product.
You’ll need a pair of pliers, a drill or screwdriver, and a door stopper that can fit underneath the door.
The Main Steps
Note that you can only use this method if you can visibly see the door’s track and wheels.
- Lubricate the wheels with the drip oil product to ensure that they can move around easier
- Run your fingers down the track to ensure that it’s smooth with no deformities like a bend or slight dent in the track
- If you do feel deformities, fix with pliers by softly squeezing the track back to normal
- Remove the screws from the track using a drill or screwdriver so that you can lower it
- Once you have lowered the track, place the wheels back on it
- When the wheels are back on the track, push the door back and place the stopper under the door to hold it up
- While the stopper is holding up the door, place the screws back in the track using the screwdriver or drill
- Close the door to have access to the back wheel, and spray the back wheel with the drip oil product
Best Advice to Keep Your Pocket Door on Track
When it comes to pocket doors, it’s always best to ensure that the wheels are well-lubricated at all times.
This prevents them from damaging the tracks by constantly gliding on them, which causes friction.
When the wheels are well lubricated, it also keeps the wheel alignment well in place, which reduces the chances of potentially kicking them out of the track or getting stuck.
Using a good drip oil product is key. That’s why I recommend the 3-in-1 multi-purpose drip oil, which cleans, lubricates, and protects against rust and corrosion.
It’s excellent for wheels and doors that slide.
For a quicker job, try using an electric drill to screw in the screws.
Anything Else You Need to Know? Yes!
Even if your wheels and track run nice and smooth with lubrication, here’s one more thing to check:
You want to make sure the wheels are each side of the door are level with each other.
This allows for a smooth alignment (opening and closing is easier!) but also prevents one side of the door jumping off the track, say, if the wheels are positioning too high on one side.
Get yourself a pocket door wrench if you noticed the top edge of the door is not parallel to the track above.
The wrench is a simple way to make necessary adjustments – you can read more about using a pocket door wrench here.
The above method is for how to fix a pocket door off track without opening a wall (also, without removing trim).
However, if the problem is related to the pocket door being stuck, then you may need to have the entire door removed to figure out the problem.
If the door is stuck, there could be an issue with its hardware and not necessarily with the wheel assembly.
Fixing your pocket door may require some new screws and trimmings, and you may incur a few scratches here and there.
In the video below you can get some easy tips and tricks to keep your door finish clean and looking brand new.
Will the above tips and methods work for an RV pocket door that’s off the track?
Unfortunately, no. The assembly of standard pocket doors and RV pocket doors are similar.
However, RV pocket doors have a latch mechanism to attach them to the track. It would help if you separated the latch mechanism first before getting to the doors’ wheels.
What is the best hardware to use?
Metal hardware is best when it comes to pocket doors. With the use of metal, objects can be installed more solidly.
Any minor mishaps can affect the mobility of the pocket door, so using solid hardware works best.
When dealing with a pocket door repair off track, the steps to do it are simple and straightforward with the right tools and a little TLC.
After reading this, you should be able to get this job done and become your very own professional handyman.