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Shower Door Repairs for Common Issues

Shower Door Repairs for Common Issues

My very first shower door repair experience happened when I was about 14. My family had lived in a rental house temporarily, and my brother and I shared the downstairs bathroom.

The shower had sliding shower doors, and the problem was that every time we grabbed the metal bar to slide the door, we would feel a dull, pulsating current in our hands!

What’s worse, is it got stronger when we were wet, getting out after a shower. Clearly we had a unique and concerning situation.

We fixed our zapping shower door problem by removing the entire frame and wallboard around the outside of the shower. We discovered some electrical wires had been pierced ever so slightly with screws holding the shower door framing in place.

It was an easy fix, once we discovered the problem.

Not all shower door repairs are this mysterious or dangerous, thankfully! There certainly are plenty of other problems that can happen with shower doors, however.

What’s your problem?

Whether sliding or swinging, you’re probably here wondering how to tackle your own shower door repair situation.

Shower doors age, are around regular temperature and humidity changes, and get used a lot.

They are exposed to different materials besides water; with soaps, shampoos, shaving cream, etc. Let’s not forget all the bumping and abuse they take, plus the extra service they provide holding up towels or wet laundry.

It makes sense that sometimes things get a little old, and your shower door needs repairing.

Let’s look at some common issues that occur with aging shower doors, such as a shower door repair for swinging types and sliding types (directly below).

Sliding Shower Door Repair

typical sliding shower door example

It can be a real nuisance if every time you go to close your sliding shower doors that you have to brace yourself against slippery walls and tug with all your might.

Sliding shower doors are designed to roll smoothly and effortlessly on your part.

Here are some things you can do:

Clean the Shower Door Tracks

Poor some white vinegar into the tracks and let them sit for 5-10 mins. If the vinegar drains away quickly, then you may need to temporarily block the track’s weeping holes. Those are there normally to allow water to escape. 

Then, rinse thoroughly and try and see if any crud washes away. You may need to do this one or two more times.

cleaning shower door tracks

SCRUB Shower Door Tracks

If a simple vinegar and rinse didn’t improve things, you may need some elbow grease. Using vinegar or a mineral dissolving solution like CLR or Lime-Away, brush out the tracks.

If you need to literally chisel out crusted on mineral deposits for your shower door repair, use a rigid wooden edge.

You will definitely scratch the surface’s finish around the tracks if you get out a knife or screwdriver! Your better off to let the solution soak in for several minutes before you start brushing or scraping.

Remove Any Debris from Tracks

If it’s hard to spray out the tracks, be sure to inspect them closely. You may have to get a tweezers and remove small debris that lodged within the tracks. You’ll be surprised at what falls in there.

Also, if you’ve loosened a gummy surface, some of those pieces may not have washed away if you’re unable to rinse thoroughly.

Check All the Wheels/Rollers

No shower door repair would be complete without inspecting the door rollers. Ensure that they are all spinning as you move the door across.

Try cleaning them with solutions mentioned above with an old toothbrush. It’s possible that hair and years of dried up soap suds have prevented the wheels from turning like they should.

Again, you may have to be like a surgeon and remove this stuff with tweezers or toothpicks.

Swinging Shower Door Repair

swining shower door example

If you enter and leave your shower through a swinging door, chances are you’ve encountered some traditional wear and tear problems. In most cases, these issues are easy to repair.

You’re most likely facing one of the following:

  • Shower door keeps popping open and won’t stay closed
  • Shower door scrapes the bottom of the shower pan edge when opening and closing
  • Shower door is loose and needs tightening

For the above shower door repairs, the fix usually has to do with tightening up things.

Specifically, you need to check the hinges, handles and latches – this article covers tightening loose shower door handles.

Look for screws (or caps that can be popped off to reveal screws). Shower door hardware is almost always put together using screws.

Over time, they can become loose, and the shower door needs repaired. As a good rule, go ahead and tighten every screw you find, even if it doesn’t seem loose.

Another tactic here is to ensure the door and latch area is clean. Scrub or brush it with vinegar until it looks new.

Some doors are held shut with magnets. Gummed up soap or mineral coatings can affect the magnets’ holding power.

When all else fails, you can purchase a magnet strip at the hardware store and glue it on the door’s edge. Get it on straight and even, and it won’t look too bad!

If tightening doesn’t repair your shower door, and you see physical damage to the door such as a bends or tears in metal or screw holes, it’s time to replace the shower door instead of trying to repair it.

Repair Shower Door Frame

Sometimes your shower door repair has to do with the door’s frame. If it’s loose or broken apart from the wall, you need to address this.

Tighten Those Screws

First, tighten all screws that hold the framing to the shower wall. You may find that you need to replace old screws with new, longer ones.

If that doesn’t do the trick, try drilling new holes and insert new screws. Plug the old holes by keeping the old screws in place. Use the proper bit when going through tile.

Remove and Replace Old Adhesive

If the shower frame is glued on, you’ll need to pry it off.

First, remove the shower doors. Then, carefully cut away any sealant and work a knife or screwdriver behind the frame to dislodge it from the wall.

Clean all old glue and sealant off using rubbing alcohol.

You can place the frame back on either using screws or a good general adhesive (e.g. Liquid Nails or equivalent), then seal the edges with caulking.

If you work on problems with the frame, you’ll most likely improve the function of your shower door. Repair or replace any broken parts or hardware on frames if you see it.

Replace Shower Door Glass

installing replacement shower glass

New glass doors all come with tempered, a.k.a. safety glass. You should see this labeled somewhere on the door. If you don’t, you should really consider replacing it.

If it ever breaks, it can be really dangerous, let alone startling. Most home centers can work with you to select, order and/or cut a piece of acrylic to fit into your door.

In terms of safety, this is the smartest kind of shower door repair you can do.

FAQs

Why Does My Shower Door Keep Sliding Open?

There are actually many reasons why your shower door won’t close properly.

Here are some of the issues, along with their solutions:

  1. Dirt accumulation in the sliding track can keep a door from closing. Pour vinegar on the track and let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away clean.
  2. If the hinge, handle, or latch has loose screws, it may be preventing the door from closing. Tighten those up!
  3. Check if the door rollers are properly aligned. If not, adjust or reposition the sliding door and remove all obstructions.
  4. If your door has a magnetic locking system, the magnet may need to be replaced due to normal wear.

Why Has My Shower Door Dropped?

A shower door can start dropping, or sagging, because of regular wear and tear due to regular (and especially rough!) handling. Constant exposure to humidity can also cause sagging.

If you want to keep your shower door from dropping, be gentle when you close and open it. Regularly check and tighten the door screws.

How Do You Remove Shower Door Rollers?

First, unclip the bottom rollers by pushing them down and removing the shower screen glass from the top track.

Make sure you have a safe place to keep the glass once you remove it.

Next, remove the screw cover that keeps the rollers in place. Unscrew the top rollers carefully. Remove the old rollers and install the new ones.

Other Tips for Shower Door Repair

Most of us probably don’t have time to deal with repairing a shower door when it’s most needed. If you don’t have a safety issue on your hands, one quick fix is to just not use the door(s) at all for a while.

In there place, just install a shower curtain.

One time, we went months where we used a shower curtain OVER our broken  shower doors. It kept water from getting out, and it was easy for us to go in and out instead of dealing with the shower doors that needed repaired!

If you want a new look and are tired of the glass or appearance of your shower doors here’s an idea:

Find a local stained glass or window shop and see what they offer. They will be able to order and cut and frame something you like better.

It’s easy enough to install on your shower door, or you can bring the door(s) down to the shop and have them do it.

Sometimes a new, better looking piece can solve your shower door repair problems!

Sharing is Caring!

bruce

Sunday 26th of June 2022

This is worthless. Dosent tell or illustrate how to do any of the fixes. I already know what the problem is, I need to know how to fix it. A jole.

Gail

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

What about the rubber or plastic seal that is around the bottom of the door (that opens outward on a hinge)...that is ineffective in our case. There is a similar vertical strip on the frame of the door. They don't seem to really seal the water inside.

Deborah Probst

Thursday 11th of February 2021

Great info here! But how can I replace the ugly water guard at the bottom of my swinging shower door? It must have leaked over time, & water has seeped in.

Elizabeth Kammerer

Friday 4th of December 2020

The towel bar brackets keep slipping .what is the best way to fix this?

ernest p pavoli

Monday 3rd of August 2020

best way to clean lime build up on the chrome edge of doors?