How to Repair a Broken Gear on a Vertical Blind

If you want to maintain the option of privacy while still enjoying natural sunlight, vertical blinds are a great choice. Plus, they're easy to clean and give your home a classic look.

Bright corridor on mezzanine floor
credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/GettyImages
How to Repair a Broken Gear on a Vertical Blind

Vertical blinds do often experience a significant amount of wear and tear and have the potential for a gear malfunction.

Step 1: Locate the Problem

Vertical blinds consist of vanes, stems and carrier bodies. The stems hold the vanes – the long and often vinyl strips doing the blinding – and the carrier body, which consists of a worm gear, maneuvers the vanes. If you are having a mechanical issue with your vertical blinds, the worm gear is usually the culprit.

Take a closer look at your blinds to see which gear needs repair. Maneuvering the blinds open and close will help locate the broken gear.

Step 2: Remove the Stem

Before repairing the broken gear, make sure your vanes are exactly straight open by adjusting the control cord. This will allow you to see the gear better and avoid further damage. Keep the track fully open for the remainder of the repair.

Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the entire stem holding the vane to get it out of the way. Then, you can see the carrier body and worm gear clearly.

Step 3: Replace the Broken Gear

Remove the worm gear from the carrier body, again using needle nose pliers. A screwdriver can also be helpful for precise removal.

Now, you can replace the worm gear with a new gear. Use the tip of your needle nose pliers to carefully place the worm gear onto the carrier body.

Find worm gear replacement parts at your local hardware store or window retailer. The internet is also a great resource to find replacement worm gears for vertical blinds.

Step 4: Put Everything Back Together

Now, you should have returned your vertical blinds back to functioning. It's time to replace the stem and vane and complete this repair project. You can use your fingers, placing one on both sides of the carrier body for stabilization, to carefully click the stem back into place.

Make sure your stems are lined up with the other stems and placed in the same direction.

When the stem has been placed, hang the vane to finish and test opening and closing the blinds to ensure your repair was a success.

When to Replace Vs. Repair

Vertical blinds come with a chain, cord or wand mechanism used to open and close the blinds. When you pull the blinds across the window or sliding glass door, you must use the cord to adjust the vanes to the open position before sliding the blinds forward or backward. If not, the mechanisms will break. In this case, it is more affordable to replace your entire blind system rather than doing individual repairs.

Similarly, when the entire carrier is broken and not just the worm gear, it may be a good idea to replace your blinds. Breaking the entire carrier can damage the headrail, which is not an easy fix.

If you simply need to replace a gear or two to get your blinds back in working condition, repairing them yourself is the best option.