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Garage Door Roller & Pin Replacement

Garage door rollers are often the first things to break after a new door installation because of constant use.  They tend to last a couple of years without any problem, but when they break – they can cause the garage door to go off its tracks.  Rollers and pins usually break while the garage door is going up or down and can therefore be dangerous since the garage door is in motion.  It’s important to keep an eye on your rollers and pins each month and to try and get them replaced before they break, if possible.

What do garage door rollers and pins do?

The job of a roller and pin is to keep each panel of the garage door securely attached to the metal tracks that guide the garage door to the open and closed position.  It’s never a good idea to continue to operate your garage door with a broken pin or damaged roller.  When a door panel is not properly secured to the track it causes additional strain on the operator and can lead to additional damage to other parts of the garage door system.  The additional weight can also cause issues with the remaining pins and rollers.

What are Rollers Made of?

They are typically made of hard plastic, sealed nylon or steel and can be replaced individually when one gets damaged.  It is, however, a good idea to check the rest of the rollers and pins for any signs of wear and tear if one of them breaks.  While it’s possible that the one that broke could have had a defect when it was made, it’s more than likely a sign that the rest of the pins and rollers may be nearing the end of their service life as well.  Rather than risking another one breaking in the next few weeks or months, it’s a good idea to consider updating your pins and rollers all at once.  Of course, this also depends on the condition of the rest of the pins and rollers and how worn they are.

Choosing the right roller or pin for your garage door

When it comes to garage door rollers, the main things to consider are size and what material its made of.

Size:

The priority here is to make sure that the rollers you use are the right size, made to fit within the garage door track.  You have to have the correct size in order to even be able to install it, so there’s not much room for flexibility here.  A 3 in. roller simply won’t fit into a track that’s meant to work with a 1 or 2 inch roller.  The more likely mistake to make would be to use a smaller roller (ie. 1 or 2 inch) in a track that’s meant for a 3 inch roller.  Making sure you have the right size roller is the critical first step.

Materials:

The material used will have more of an impact on your choice of a garage door roller.  Materials range from sealed nylon, steel, zinc plating, and stainless steel.  The material you choose will depend on:

  • How long you want the roller to last
  • How resistant the roller needs to be to rust
  • How loud or quiet you want the garage door to be when it’s opened and closed
  • How heavy the garage door is that’s being lifted
  • How much money you want to spend

Hiring a Professional

A professional garage door repairman will be able to evaluate the condition of your rollers and pins and be able to tell you whether or not to go ahead and replace any that look like they may break soon.  That being said, a professional serviceman will have the knowledge and ability to show homeowners why they ought to replace their rollers and pins.  It’s always a good idea for homeowners to ask their technicians to show them the problem and get information about what caused the issue, before agreeing to any repair.