Fixing My Coat’s Separated Zipper

After four problem-free years, my winter coat’s zipper started acting up on me.  Three times in one week, the zipper separated at the base. Fortunately, the teeth are all in good condition so it would be an easy fix.  An added plus – the entire zipper is metal, which is more likely to be repairable than plastic zippers.

To fix it, I first tightened up the base part of the zipper where the pin inserts.  Over time this can slowly get pulled opened and then pin can start wriggling itself out when the coat is zipped.  All I needed was a pair of flat nosed pliers (other types of pliers can be used too) and a moderate amount of force.  You don’t want to crush it or close it too tightly – you will either break the zipper or make it very hard to zip up.


Tightening Zipper Base


I noticed that at the bottom of the coat, the zipper slider would get a little stuck.  This was causing me to sometimes zip my coat up with the pin side one tooth higher – making it even easier for the pin to pop out.


Misaligned Teeth


Pencil graphite is an simple and effective lubricant for metal zippers. To catch the excess graphite dust, I placed a tissue underneath the zipper.  Then I ran the pencil up and down the closed zipper several times.  Once finished, it zipped smoothly.


Lubricating Zipper with Graphite


Since then, my zipper has not separated once and its been about two weeks.  It should not need anymore work for the rest of the winter, although I will have to redo the graphite when I wash it this spring.  For a five minute time investment and a little pencil lead, I got my coat back in good working order.