When a pocket door is off the track, you will have difficulty opening and closing it. Depending on the weight of the door, it may be very difficult to move. To fix this problem the door will need to be re-attached to the hanger. The method will vary depending on which hanger has let go.
Not sure if this is your problem? See the article on 'Fixing and Troubleshooting Pocket Doors' for a complete listing of all the problems and the solutions for them.
Troubleshooting a Pocket Door Off the Track
The side of the door that is dragging on the floor is the one that is the problem. If the door is inside the pocket, you may not be able to tell which side is dragging the floor.
Check the edge of the door that is by the door jamb. Is there still a gap between the corner of the door and the floor? Yes, then it is the back hanger that has released. If the door is on the floor at the jamb, it is the front hanger that has let go.
Locating the Front Pocket Door Hanger
The first thing you need to do is determine where the hanger is. If it is visible hanging from the guide track in the door opening, your job is much easier. Pull the hanger over into the center of the door opening.
The hanger may be inside of the pocket. You will need to get a flashlight to try and locate it. Look in the narrow space above the door that goes back into the pocket. The hanger will look like a bolt hanging down below the track.
Try to use a wire, screwdriver or something else to slide the hanger out into the door opening. Try not to push it any farther back into the pocket. It may take a little bit of patience. A wire with a hook on it is probably your best bet.
If the hanger is too far back in the opening to reach you will have to go to plan "b". Pick up the front edge of the door off the floor a little so it does not scrape. Slide the door as far as you can into the opening. The back roller and hanger will push the front one out to where you can reach it. Do this carefully, you do not want to pop the back hanger off.
When you have the front door hanger in the opening, you are ready to put the pocket door on the track.
Locating the Back Pocket Door Hanger
When the back pocket door hanger is off the track, it is a bit more of a problem. You are going to have to remove the pocket door to get the hanger out where you can work on it.
Moving the door when the back side is sliding on the ground is a little difficult. Try holding your foot against the bottom of the door and pull gently on the top of the door to lift the back side. Work the door slowly into the opening in this manner.
Bring the door to within a few inches of the strike side jamb. You may want some help at this point. Someone to hold the door while you release the retention clip on the door hanger. See the article 'Removing a Pocket Door' for more information on taking the door off.
After the door is taken out and leaned against the wall, you will have to locate the pocket door hanger. A broom handle works well for coaxing the hanger out of the pocket.
Use a flashlight so that you can see what you are doing. With the broom handle, slide the roller carriage out into the door opening.
Putting the Pocket Door Back On the Track
When you go put the door back on the track, you want to get the hanger on the top of the door aligned with the bolt and wheel assembly inside of the track. Putting a pocket door back on the hangers has an order to it like most other things. There are two sides to the door, the strike side (where the lock is) and the pocket side. With a pocket door you want to attach the hanger that is closest to the pocket side of the door.
Slide the pocket side hanger to where it is about six to eight inches from the edge of the jamb. You will need to angle the door, so that the strike side is out of the opening. You cannot get the door into the opening until the back hanger is installed. It is a good idea to have some help at this point.
There are basically two types of retention clips. One kind allows the hanger to slide sideways onto the hanger bolt. This type is more prone to coming off. The other type has the hanger going straight up onto the bolt. This type may require that you hold the retention spring open while lifting the door. You definitely want help with this style.
Make sure the retention clip is released and attach the clip to the back hanger. At this point you can start to slide the door into the pocket. You will have to pick up on the front side so that it does not drag on the floor. Be careful and adjust the angle of the door until it is inside the opening with the front edge four to six inches away from the strike side jamb.
After the back hanger is in place slide the door part way into the pocket. Repeat the process with the front hanger. Line up the front roller assembly with the hanger on the door. Make sure the retention clip is released and attach the front hanger.
Make sure the retention clips are engaged before you start to use the door. Otherwise, it will come off the track again.
Pocket Door Off the Track - Summary
Having your pocket door come off the track can be a little irritating. It is best to have help when you are trying to install or remove a pocket door.
Getting the roller carriages out of the pocket may have been the hardest part of this process. Hopefully, you were able to get your pocket door working properly again.