Castor wheels can be found on a range of different equipment and furniture from office chairs to trolleys to hospital beds. They are an extremely versatile accessory but some castors are bound to break or corrode after a while.
When that time comes, this handy guide will lead you through the step-by-step of how to replace castor wheels.
What to consider before replacing
There are some factors that you will need to bear in mind before replacing a castor wheel. First, before you remove the old one you have to choose a replacement, and this can be affected by several factors.
Soft floor: a softer castor material such as rubber, or a hard material such as stainless steel work well on cushioned surfaces. They can prevent the castor from becoming stuck in the carpet and allow whatever you are moving to be more manageable.
Hard floor: if the item you are replacing the castor on is primarily used on hard surfaces, it’s best to choose a soft castor material such as polyurethane or rubber. Using hard material castors on hard floors runs the risk of damage to tile or wood surfaces.
It’s really important to bear in mind how much weight the castors will carry. To calculate the load capacity of each castor, divide the total gross load that the item will usually carry by the number of mounted castors.
It is always a good idea to add a 20% margin of error onto the value, just in case. That way you don’t run the risk of overloading the castors, which may cause them to break under pressure.
The type of climate that the castors will be used in also plays a role in deciding the best replacement one.
For example, if you need a replacement castor for a food or catering trolley, chances are it will need to be exposed to chilly temperatures in walk-in freezers and fridges. Some castors restrict mobility in cold environments and they also run the risk of locking up the bearings or breaking apart. Instead, castors that have low starting and rolling resistance should be used in this environment.
How do I replace a castor wheel?
- Remove the old wheel and measure it to find the right replacement size. Be sure to correctly measure the old castor stem or mounting plate so you can purchase a replacement castor that will fit.
- Consider the factors listed above, including type of surface and load capacity to ensure that your new castor stands up to the job. You can also consider other factors such as if you need a swivelling castor or if the castor will be used on slanted surfaces. If the answer is yes, you may benefit from getting one with a braking mechanism to keep the item from rolling around.
- Now it’s time to replace it. You can simply remove the old castor and the new one should slide right in into the same place. You may find that some castors may screw in and out in which case you will need a screwdriver to assist you.
- A difficulty that can occur is if the old castor post has broken off in the hole. If this is the case, a pair of pliers can be used to remove the broken piece.