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Old 09-06-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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Screen door slider shatters

Just this morning - moving the slider to the left and **BANG** the whole slider shatters into a thousand pieces, maybe into a million pieces!! The top of the slider has a u-shaped black piece on it and the bottom of the slider is still in the channel. SO for those of you who have had similar experiences, a few questions:
1. How do you get the bottom of the slider out of the lower channel?
2. How do you pick up all the tiny pieces scattered around in the campground gravel right ouside the door?
3. Can the slider be replaced without taking the whole door apart? Will the replacement slip up into the upper channel and then drop into the bottom channel (when all the pieces are removed) - like screens in the windows?

Thanks for your help.
David
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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Was the slider made of glass? I have never heard of such a thing happening. All I have ever seen were made of some kind of plastic material.

As for picking up all those tiny pieces - do it very carefully.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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OK, #1 done, was able to pry the piece out of the lower channel.
And #2, found replacement online at Camping World.
#3 still open for any good ideas.
I always thought the pieces were plastic, so the question is - does plastic shatter like safety glass does, into millions of pieces? News to me.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Usually these sliding glass sections are in a track w/a plastic molding (sometimes the plastic has a sort of fuzzy look called whisker molding).
If that's the case, the track moldings may pry out first, glass maneuvered in, then moldings slid in between glass & metal track. If that appears impossible, then one track will have to be loosened from the door frame to slide glass in.
If you are replacing w/plexiglass, it probably has enough flexibility to bow the replacement & fish it into first the lower, then upper.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Sometimes plastic (Some plastics) can indeed shatter... Epically if they have been exposed to considerable sunlight. Beyond that I can't say much.

If the slider is like the slider on my RV it fits in J or inverted J shaped tracks (you said "U" but usually it's a J,,, longer on the back side)

You can flex a new slide slightly and snap it in no problem.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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Call PTL engeneering and get a glass replacement. You wont be happy with plastic. PTL Engineering | Committed to quality from start to finish
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Our slider did the same thing; it popped and produced a zillion pieces, mostly of the very, very tiny variety. Lots of luck picking up the pieces, that’s the fun part. Yeah, sure…

As has been suggested, yes indeed, use a pick to remove the bottom track, this will provide the necessary vertical space to install your new glass panels. I would not suggest even wasting your time with Plexiglas or Lexan; they both have their good and bad points, but both will gather dust and grit on the sliding surfaces and will soon scratch. I initially went with Lexan because of its toughness and it didn’t last but a few weeks before it began to scratch.

I checked with PTL Engineering and got the price for their very pricey replacement and the shipping charges; then went to a local glass dealer here in San Diego. The shop did the entire job in tempered glass for less than PTL’s price – they did a beautiful job and even drilled the hole for the knob. The total cost was $38.00, which of course further increased the total cost of the project because I had made the mistake of going with plastic first. My glass fabricator was Unik Custom Glass & Mirror, 6944 El Cajon, Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115, 619-589-8858. This same shop, a few years previously, had installed beautiful beveled glass mirrors above the kitchen back-splash areas; these folks are very good at what they do.

One final item, during my cleanup of all the broken glass I salvaged the fuzzy molding, not a fun job, but it worked. It is of the sticky-back tape stuff and was successfully transferred to both the plastic and finally the glass panels; it continues to function perfectly with absolutely no problems. Also, don't forget the end stop cushions, mine were little white felt thingies, they make for a very smooth opening and closing without banging the glass. You definitely don't want to put any more stress on these panels than you have to.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Tempered glass is most susceptible to breakage by impact on the edge, so don't forget the end stop cushions to protect the glass.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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What I've learned

OK, so it's tempered glass that shatters into a million pieces. And Camping World in Burlington, WA does not do glass work. They send that work out to a shop in Mt. Vernon, WA (across the river). And all that shop does is make a pattern and send it over to some place in Canada to do the tempered glass.
SO, for the moment, the piece will not be replaced. Maybe I'll get to that previously mentioned place in San Diego when I'm down there.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:22 AM   #10
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David, as mentioned PTL Engineering made the door, which includes the screen and that slider panel. If you need contact info, shoot me an e-mail. You can also see them here: PTL Engineering | Committed to quality from start to finish - Hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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Thanks again to all for your info.
Just spoke with PTL Ė they only do the slider in acrylic now as there were too many complaints about exploding tempered glass sliders. $25.12 plus shipping and they donít take credit cards so they ship on your email order and you send a check when you get it. It also comes with the felt pieces top and bottom already attached.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:27 AM   #12
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The reason the sliding glass breaks is the screw head on the knob hits the side of the stationary glass. You can put a knob on each end of the screw or a longer pumper and your glass won't break.
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