Garage Door Rollers: Buying Guide and How To Replace

garage door roller guide

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Introduction

Roller doors are door types that are typically used for garages and sheds. Most of the time, they consist of corrugated steel that rolls up on the top of the door. Garage door rollers are the circular movable parts of the door that allow it to move up and down. They consist of a roller fitted with ball bearings and attached to a shaft. Rollers work hand in hand with torsion springs, for proper functionality.

When the garage door opens or closes, the rollers ease the movement for smooth movement. Otherwise, you would have to use so much energy, and the friction would destroy the door. As such, without garage door rollers, opening and closing the garage would be cumbersome or have to be electric to make it easier. Even then, the wear and tear would mean that the cost of maintaining it would be high. Also, you would be required to do it frequently.

How do garage door rollers work?

Garage doors, mostly overhead garage doors, are made of individual slats that, when straightened out, form a curtain. When it opens, the individual slats slide over the rollers, which in turn spin to ease the movement and reduce the friction. When it is time to close, the same process applies. 

Since the slats have an individual bar-like shape, they can easily be folded into a bundle. This functionality helps save space and the energy that would otherwise be required to lift a single block of steel up above the wall.

The Two Garage Door Opening Systems

There are two types of garage doors opening systems: the electric garage opening system, that is motorized, and the manual system. A simple pulley operates manual systems. You pull or push by hand to close and open the door, respectively.

For the electric system, you have a handheld remote-like device to operate the door. The electric system is more comfortable as it saves you the hassle of having to get out of your car to open or close the garage door. However, it is advisable to have a backup system for operations when the system fails, or in case there is no electricity. It is also imperative to have an access door that you can use to get to your garage. It will come in handy when the electric system jams, and you have to access your garage manually to open or close it.

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying Garage Door Rollers

Rollers may look similar. For this reason, settling on one garage door roller may prove to be a daunting task. What makes the difference is the quality of its internal components.

Low prices may sometimes seem like a temping determinant in your decision to purchase a particular garage door roller. However, the problems that come with cheap and substandard garage door roller specifications should act as a good deterrent.

Cheap specification rollers tend to be unreliable. At first, the rollers work fine. It is after a short while that you begin to realize that your ‘bargain’ was, in fact, a costly mistake. They fall apart quick easily and after a short time. The moving parts are the first casualties, and since garage door rollers have quite a number, you are in for big trouble.

Here are some of the factors that you should take into account when buying rollers for your garage door

• The bearings used in the roller

Garage door roller bearings
Garage door roller bearings

As we have mentioned earlier, rollers have several moving parts. Therefore, bearings are a significant factor when it comes to a smooth-running garage door roller.

Usually, there are two types of bearings: open bearing, which is exposed to external factors, and the sealed bearings which are isolated from external factors.

Go for the sealed bearings. They are isolated and protected from dust, grime, and any debris. Dust-Free sealed bearings allow for a smooth and noiseless operation when you open or close the garage door. Besides, your garage door roller will last longer due to the reduction of wear and tear.

• Compatibility with standard shafts

When buying garage door rollers, you must check if they are compatible with standard shafts. Otherwise, you will be faced with extra hurdles when you have to replace the rollers. It can lead to added customization requirements, which means additional costs.

• The materials used to make the roller.

German manufactured aluminum slats have, for a while, been the best in terms of durability and strength. That, in part, is due to their experience, having been in the industry for more than a decade. They are also relatively cheaper.

You can also consider nylon, which has been an overall best option material for rollers since time immemorial. Steel rollers have proven to last longer as compared to nylon rollers. However, steel can be very noisy. And the last thing you want in your home is a noisy garage door. Nylon is also rust-resistant, which means it will take a long time to wear, as compared to steel. Notwithstanding, there are stainless steel options, which are great because they are rust-resistant.

To add on this, check out for garage door with insulation kits that will protect you from extreme weather elements. Insulation will help you tackle extreme hot or cold weather conditions.

• Find out the weight that each of your garage door rollers can take.

When you purchase rollers without confirming the maximum weight they can carry, you run the risk of damaging them. Because when they carry too much weight, more pressure is exerted on them. The rollers will then either break or wear out quickly.

Extra weight reduces their average lifespan, and you will end up replacing it more often. To guard against this, check the weight it can carry and used the correct types, or make adjustments.

• The number of cycles of opening and closing of the garage door

Different rollers have a different specified amount of fixed closing or opening cycles of a garage door. When buying rollers for your door, make sure you have the correct estimate of the opening and closing cycles of your garage door. Knowing this information will help you understand how long they will last.

• The size of the roller

garage door roller diameter and stem length

Generally, these rollers come in three main sizes; one, two, and three-inch rollers. To determine the size of rollers suitable for you, measure the roller’s head to determine its diameter. You should also ensure the stem length is the same as the existing one on your door.

Rollers are designed to operate within a track system. For this reason, the length of the rollers should be less than the width of its garage door tracks.

Industrial and commercial garage doors tend to use the larger sized rollers. Small scale home garage doors, on the other hand, tend to use the smaller sized one-inch rollers.

The best thing to do is to buy the size recommended by your garage door manufacturer.

• The cost of the garage door rollers

Having it down on the list does not mean it is not that important. The cost of acquiring and maintaining your rollers is a crucial factor. Do not be tempted to settle for cheap versions.

Buy cheap substandard versions, and you are likely to end up buying twice. On the other hand, expensive versions are costly to acquire. At times, they may be overrated products selling the brand name rather than quality.

Ask a lot of questions. Then, settle for the one that offers the specifications you want but at an ideal price. Rollers always come in a range of prices and quality.

Shopping around will get you the ideal product, be patient, and thorough.

• Trusted supplier and quality brands

Lastly, ensure that you get your rollers from a supplier with a good reputation. As you shop around comparing prices, compare the brand qualities available.

Trusted brands that have been around for a while tend to be more reliable because they have proven themselves over time.

Best Garage Door Rollers in the Market Today

We took the time to save you the hassle of researching for the best rollers in the market. If you are looking to purchase rollers for your garage door, currently, here is a list of the best garage door rollers available today.

1. Durabilt garage door rollers

Nylon door rollers are quiet and easy to use. Durabilt garage door rollers use ten or eleven balls and have a four-inch shaft, which is the standard shaft length. Thus, making it easier to replace.

In the long run, the nylon rollers reduce wear and tear hence decreasing your operating costs.

Individual rollers can support 75lbs with 15000 opening and closing cycles for a 12-inch door.

2. Ideal security garage door rollers

They are ideal for both commercial and residential garage door rollers. They are better standard OEM and have one of the best openers for the garage.

This is a special roller because it combines the durability of steel and the quietness of nylon together. How did the manufacturer accomplish that? They did that by putting steel wheels in nylon shells, meaning these rollers have a longer lifespan at the same time very quiet

They operate optimally with eleven ball bearings with 1-13/16 wheels, which fit two-inch tracks perfectly.

3. The 6200Z Fehr Bros. Garage Door Rollers

The company provides a long term and quieter option for garage door rollers. The shaft is a standard four-inch and is steel-plated. Smooth operation is guaranteed because of how good it has been sealed. Debris and dust cannot penetrate into the bearings. This ensures a smooth operation.

The 6200Z is the perfect option for the salty coastal regions since it is stainless steel. These are also steel wheels in nylon shells. So you are assured of a long lifespan whilst maintaining quietness. The rollers guarantee 100000 opening and closing cycles supporting a twelve-inch door.

4. National Garage Door rollers

These are high-quality nylon rollers and perfect for DIY garage door installation. They are easy to install so if you are the hands-on type of person, this is recommended for you.

Because it is a nylon roller, it helps reduce noise and vibration, giving you a smooth operation. They work with thirteen ball bearings. Which means there is less stress when opening or closing your door. Hence wear and tear are reduced, giving your rollers a longer life span.

5. F&T Garage Door rollers

They work with ten ball bearings and have a four-inch zinc plated shafts. Mostly used for commercial purposes, but can be used for residential doors as well. It is capable of handling relatively higher pressure since they are made up of high-quality steel.

They are also straightforward to install and replace, remove the bolts from the hinge leaving the last one. Then, loosen the bolts from the top side and swing the hinge sideways.

How to Replace Garage Door Rollers

how to replace garage door rollers
Replacing rollers of your garage

In this section, we are going to guide you through the process of replacing the rollers. It’s crucial to follow this guide step by step. It can be a daunting task for someone who is not handy with tools. If you are that type of person, that I recommend you consider hiring a garage door expert. But it’s fairly a simple process if you have mechanical knowledge and handy with tools. Bear in mind that there are other garage door problems. Read this post to know what else could be the problem with your door. Now let’s get into the guide.

Garage Door Guidance did an excellent job replacing the rollers on his garage door in the video below. However, you can follow along with the blog post if you prefer a well-written step by step guide

How To Replace Garage Door Rollers via Garage Door Guidance

Section 1: Getting your garage door open

Step 1: Open the garage door

You need to start by opening your garage door since this will make the work easier and faster. You could open your garage door using a power opener or simply using your hands.

Step 2: Find the power opener and disconnect it.

There will be a release rope firmly attached to your garage door power opener. Pull the release rope, which will, in turn, release your garage door. To ensure proper safety, climb up the garage door using a ladder and completely unplug the power opener. Disconnecting your power opener will ensure that it doesn’t activate during the roller replacement procedure and cause harm.

In some instances, the power-opener is permanently installed, and you will need to turn off the fuse or breakers to disable it. Safety is paramount when it comes to garage door rollers replacement.

Step 3: Use pliers to pray the track open

Once you identify the vertical track piece, on top of it should be a seam. Use pliers to gran either side of the track and bend it until you reach a 90-degree angle. Pray the track open until you achieve a one-inch bent section. The area you create is useful for popping the rollers out and into position.

Although a pair of pliers gets the job done well, you could equally use a claw hammer as well. To have more control, ensure you pry the track open one side at a time. When you pry both sides open simultaneously, the chances that your garage door suddenly falls out of track are pretty high. This will make the job much more complicated.

Section 2: Replacing bottom rollers

Step 4: pull your garage door down.

Slowly pull your garage door down to ensure you don’t lose control. Using your non-dominant hand, hold the door in place immediately when the first roller gets in line with the pried track you just opened. You could ask a third party to help you keep the door in position while you work on the rollers. Have your work table near your side to ensure you efficiently access your tools.

Step 5: Use a flathead screwdriver for popping out the first roller.

popping out bottom roller off tracks
Popping out bottom roller off tracks via PrettyHandGirl.com

Slowly slide the flathead screwdriver under the roller’s round part using your dominant hand. Once you pull up the handle of the screwdriver, you will be able to pry out the roller.

Step 6: put in the new roller.

Once you take out the old roller, you can easily take the new roller and slide it in place on the hinge. Remember that you shouldn’t need to tighten or loosen any nuts or screws to change your garage roller. To ensure your garage opens and closes smoothly, use hard nylon or steel rollers with an average of 8 ball bearings.

Step 7: Replace all the bottom rollers except the one on the top.

Follow step 6 above to replace all the old rollers on which side you are working on. Ensure you leave one roller on the top panel and then open the garage door. The number of rollers will range from 10-12 depending on your garage door height.

Step 8: close the section and work on the other side.

Close the section of track you were working on and move on to work on the other side. Repeat the above steps for the other side of the garage door. Once you finish, remember to bend back the track.

Section 3: replacing the top roller

replacing top rollers
Replacing top rollers

Step 9: Place a clamp

Open your garage door and place a hand clamp 1 ft. from your door’s bottom for safety. This step will ensure your garage door doesn’t fall when you are carrying out the replacement.

Step 10: use a screwdriver for popping the roller.

To access the top roller, you need to use a ladder. Use your non-dominant hand to support the garage door when carrying out this step. Once you pop up the top roller, the garage door should drop. You need to be cautious to avoid any injuries.

Step 11: Replace the old roller.

Slide in the new roller once you remove the old roller. Just like the bottom rollers, there will be no nuts or screws that you need to deal with.

Step 12: Repeat the process on your garage door’s other side

Once you complete one side, move on to the next side. Repeat the steps for replacing the top rollers, and everything should be okay.

Conclusion

We hope this post answers all your questions on garage door rollers, how to find the best one suitable for your door, and how to replace them properly. Do well to share this post on social media if you found it useful.

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