How To Fix Vertical Blinds That Won't Rotate

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen
Lots of homes in America have vertical blinds to shut out light and grant homeowners privacy from their neighbors. But what happens if your vertical blinds cannot rotate? Whether it be removing jams or using WD-40, let’s take a look at what you can do to rotate your vertical blinds.

Vertical blinds are a popular window covering used in homes throughout the United States. They provide excellent functionality and are a fairly affordable way to cover windows.

However, like all window coverings, vertical blinds sometimes stop working. One of the more common issues with them is failing to rotate.

To fix vertical blinds that won’t rotate, start by adjusting each blind individually and removing any items that may be jamming them. You may be able to solve the problem by patching any holes in the blinds or by spraying them with WD-40. If that all fails, you may need to replace a blind or a carrier stem.

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What Are Vertical Blinds?

Vertical blinds are an alternative to their more popular horizontal counterpart. They feature large slats that hang vertically from a headrail. They’re usually mounted on a track so that they can be operated with a wand or pulley system.

Vertical blinds are typically best suited for sliding doors and wide windows. They’re easy to open and will have no trouble covering even the widest doors and windows. Vertical blinds are also popular due to how easy they are to clean and their ability to block more light than horizontal blinds.

Horizontal blinds are better suited for tall and narrow windows. They last longer than vertical blinds and make less noise when being opened and closed.

Horizontal blinds have the benefit of providing homeowners with more privacy. They also work well with curtains.

Troubleshooting Basic Vertical Blind Rotation Problems

Since vertical blinds can stop rotating for many different reasons, it’s worthwhile to start by addressing the easiest causes to fix. Doing this will ensure you don’t waste your time or energy on repair efforts that are unneeded.

  • Adjust blinds that aren’t turning. This is usually the easiest way to fix a vertical blind rotation issue. If one or two blinds aren’t turning, it could be because they’re backward and need to be manually rotated into their proper positions. You can do this gently with your hands.
  • Patch up any holes you notice. Holes can affect the rotation capabilities of vertical blinds. If you suspect this issue is affecting your blinds, you can purchase a cheap repair kit at a department store or online. You can also simply put some tape over the holes to try and fix the issue that way.
  • Remove items that may be jamming the blinds. Look at the slots where the blinds connect to the carrier stem. There might be something jammed in one of these holes that are preventing the blinds from rotating properly. This could be dirt or a small piece of the blind itself. Either way, you can resolve the issue with your hands.
  • Spray WD-40 where the rod connects to the blinds. If all of the repair efforts above fail, try this step next. It’s possible that the rod itself is preventing your blinds from rotating. Spraying it with WD-40 can fix that issue.

How to Replace a Vertical Blind

If none of the simple troubleshooting steps above work, the next step is to check each blind for problems individually. You may be able to fix your rotation issue by replacing, repairing, or adjusting an individual blind.

  • Start by removing the spacer chain if necessary. Some vertical blinds are connected to one another by a spacer chain. If yours is, you’ll need to detach the blinds from this chain by locating the clip that secures it at the end of your blinds. Twist it off with your fingers and feed the chain in the opposite direction until you find the problem blind.
  • Lift each blind off of its hook. You can typically do this by simply raising the blind upwards. You may need to bend it slightly to get it to detach completely.
  • Try attaching a replacement blind to the hook. Do this by pointing the blind in the same direction as the others. Then, reattach it to the spacer chain.
  • Test the blinds again to see if they rotate properly. If they do, congratulations, you’ve fixed the issue. If not, you’ll need to repeat this set of instructions until you’ve tried replacing every problem blind.

How to Replace a Carrier Stem

If you’ve already tried both simple troubleshooting and replacing your problem blinds, the next step is to replace your carrier stem. It could be preventing your blinds from rotating if it’s cracked or damaged in some way.

  • Start by opening your blinds.
  • Remove the blind that attaches to the carrier stem. You may need to remove your spacer chain in order to do this, depending on the model of your vertical blinds.
  • Use needle-nose pliers to grab the carrier body. This is a small piece of plastic that’s located near the top of the blind. It’s shaped like a rectangle. Clamp it with your pliers once you find it.
  • Use your free hand to twist off the carrier stem. Work gently to avoid breaking it. While twisting, pull downward until the stem detaches from the body completely.
  • Find a replacement stem. This needs to be an exact match to your existing one. Otherwise, the replacement stem won’t attach to your blinds correctly.
  • Install the new stem by pushing it into the carrier body. You’ll notice a knob that fits into a hole in the carrier body. It should slide right into the hole.
  • Push your blade back through the stem. After, you can put everything back together and try to rotate your blinds again. If you’ve made it this far, this should fix the issues you’ve been having once and for all.

How Do Vertical Blinds Work?

Vertical blinds feature a series of long slats, which hang from a rod. They feature two mechanisms that give them the functionality that homeowners across the country rely on to cover their windows.

First, vertical blinds feature a sliding mechanism. This gives users the ability to open the blinds with a simple pull, making it possible to let light in or enjoy privacy with ease.

This is possible because each blind is attached to a sliding piece. That sliding piece is inserted into a track near the top of the blinds that allows for effortless sliding one way and the other.

The other mechanism offered by vertical blinds is the ability to rotate them. This is made possible by a gear mechanism that’s attached to the blind wand.

Simply turn the wand and the gear rotates in turn. This causes an axle that runs along the length of the headrail to turn. Every blind is attached to this gear, which is why vertical blinds are able to rotate uniformly.

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Related Questions

How much do vertical blinds cost?

Vertical blinds are a highly cost-effective way to cover your windows. Their costs can vary based on the materials you select and the size of your windows and sliding doors.For example, vinyl vertical blinds can cost as little as $20-$40 per window. Wood vertical blinds, on the other hand, can cost between $100 to $200 per window.

Which materials work best for vertical blinds?

Homeowners can choose from vinyl, metal, fabric, and wood vertical blind options. Each offers a unique set of pros and cons.Metal blinds are durable and easy to care for while fabric blinds are quiet and the most decorative. Wood blinds are expensive but long-lasting while vinyl blinds are cheap but brittle. The specific material that’s right for your needs will vary based on your values.

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Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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