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Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

We have 12 pocked doors in our house that were recently installed (2008) and not one of them is balanced. They either stay open or stay closed and to make them do the opposite, we have to use a shim to keep the door closed or open. I have looked at the door and consider myself pretty handy, but I can not figure out how to do it without taking all of the molding away from around the doors. I have looked ****** for some videos, but haven't found anything that is like ours. The doors are only hung from a track (no track on the bottom) and just a small guide to keep it plumb on the bottom.

Please help me Ask TOH.

Ryan Fiorini
Charleston, South Carolina

A. Spruce
Re: Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

Sounds like the top rails are not level, not much you can do about that without taking the frame out and resetting it.

Re: Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

how are teh doors for being even with teh floor. most pocket door kits have wheels that can be adjusted up or down to level the door

it requires an offset crescent wrench with should have come with the door frame kits. other wise you pretty much have to tear apart the drywall to re level the door frames header. either the guys who installed it went by measure and didnt level the frame when they installed it. or things have shifted. the latter being the reason i hate doing pocket doors. no matter how precise i am with installing them within a year or two im back pulling it apart fixing it. i stick to bifolds or regular double doors

Re: Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

The problem with adjusting a pocket door is accessability in the hidden part.

Pocket doors move the same way as some closet doors and some shower/tub enclosures, except that accessability is not an issue there.

If the top rail is off level, you need to level it. But how?

If the rail section over the opening is off level, you have access. But if the rail inside the wall is off level, you will need to cut the drywall to gain access, do the adjusting and then repair the drywall.

You said you have 12 pocket doors and they all off balance. Well, that is a lot of drywall cutting...

Good luck.

Re: Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

Low Country Wing Nut:

I agree with a previous post that said that the header rail wasn't level.

There will be an adjusting nut on each hanger in a pocket sliding door. However, the purpose of this adjusting nut is to raise or lower each side of the door so that it can be made parallel to the door frame. That is, when the door is closed, you don't have any gap between the door and the frame at the top of the door or at the bottom.

If the door rolls open or closed by itself, it's not because the adjustment on the door hangers is screwed up, it's because the rail it rolls on isn't horizontal. And, unfortunately, changing that rail's position requires opening up the wall the door rolls into.

Probably the largest manufacturer of sliding door hardware in North America is the K. N. Crowder Company.


I'd download pocket sliding door installation instructions from their web site to follow through the rail installation procedure, and maybe even click on their site's "Contact Us" link to e-mail someone in their technical department to confirm that the problem with your doors cannot be corrected by adjusting the door hangers.

Whomever installed the doors simply wasn't careful in getting the rail horizontal.

Re: Help Adjusting Pocket Doors

With the 'self-closing' ones, your work is cut out for you and already discussed well. For the ;self-opening ones' try this
Loosen the screws holding the track up in the opening, then work some cardboard or plastic shim material between the track and the header, tapering the amount of shimming down toward the pocket. tighten the screws and check for level. If you get close to level the friction of the rollers may be enough to tame the door, all you can do is try. You'll still need to adjust the roller hangers with the supplied wrench that came with the hardware kit. If you don't have one ask any new construction carpenter to save one for you the next time they hang one of these. One caveat of this shortcut is that the door may not be square in both the opened and closed positions so you may have to choose a compromise or which one makes you happiest.

I'd offer to mail you one but I'm down to my last one and may need it for repairs. My rule of thumb is to always save any hardware-specific tool; you may need to disassemble it or change it out later on and the next one you go to install may have the tool missing from the package. You should see my collection of lockset wrenches!

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