Modern UPVC doors have improved the thermal efficiency of properties in the UK since its introduction. Along with these improvements the various manufacturers of suitable hardware also made improvements to their product quality.
That being said still, everything hardware has a lifetime where it performs good for a time, and then due to a variety of factors including wear and tear and lack of maintenance, the hardware part gradually starts to function less well than it would normally do.
Nowadays industry standards are higher and manufacturers of hardware parts are required to do a “test cycle” in order to meet regulatory standards. These test cycles can be anything. This determines how many times a part can be operated before it starts to become dysfunctional.
Maintenance plays an important part in determining the lifetime of a hardware part. Moving parts such as hinges will require regularly maintenance including readjustment and using WD40 lubricant. Remember that significant weight rests on door hinges and since they move on a regular basis they will require more attention than other parts.
Nowadays, a typical door hinge carries a weight of around 30kg-70kg each. So if you have 3 hinges on a single door that's up to 210kg, which is usually a lot more than the actually weight of the door and glass/panel. This tends to give the door hinge (considering a variety of factors) an average lifetime of around 10-15 years. This however, does not mean that you must replace them immediately. In fact, provided they are maintained well and used in an orderly fashion then it could be longer. Still, the main decision is down to you, the end user of the door. You will be the one to decide if the door hinge is to be replaced or not. Believe it or not, some people have been using door hinges for up to 25 years.
Should you replace the door hinges?
Think about the following scenarios:
- Has the door started to hang downwards?
- Is the door sash scraping against the frame when opening and closing?
- Is the door lock hitting against the keep?
- Are you having problems locking the door?
- Are you getting draught through the hinge side of the door?
If the answer is "yes" to any of the above questions, then the obvious answer is also yes.
Can I buy any hinge for my UPVC door?
No. Every UPVC profile system has its own specification and there are specific types of hinges for them. If you are unsure what the brand of the UPVC profile is then you may be able to get this information from the double glazing company that installed your windows and doors. If you cannot reach them then you may be able to find a similar one online.
REMEMBER: although hinges you find online may appear to be similar, there are usually variations of that hinge which are suitable for the different profile brands. Having found the model that seems to be just what you need, be sure to find out the rebate of the hinge (the height of the bit that goes into the frame). Provided that the rebate is suitable for your door sash height then the chances are it will match perfectly, assuming everything else is as it should be.