The first garage door opener remote controls were simple and consisted of a simple transmitter (the remote) and receiver which controlled the opener mechanism. The transmitter would transmit on a designated frequency; the receiver would listen for the radio signal, then open or close the garage, depending on the door position. The basic concept of this can be traced back to World War II. This type of system was used to detonate remote bombs. While novel at the time, the technology ran its course when garage door openers became popular. While the garage door remote control transmitter is low power and has limited range, its signal can be received by other, nearby, garage door openers. When two neighbors had garage door openers, then opening one garage door might open the neighbor’s garage door as well.
Since 2015, we’ve tested a variety of devices such as smart locks, video doorbells, DIY home security systems, thermostats and more. We use these testing experiences to inform our evaluations of other equipment. As time and resources allow, we occasionally test new types of products, but there are still some circumstances where we’re unable to conduct in-house tests. When testing isn’t possible, we conduct thorough research using the same standards we apply to our in-house tests – this is the case with smart garage door openers. We’ve reviewed garage door openers since 2011.
Capable of lifting a seven-foot garage door up to 500 pounds in weight, the SilentMax 750 comes with a number of convenience features for automatic and remote use. The included wireless keypad and dual remote controls will insure that you are the only one that has access to the door. Compatible with a number of in-car remote systems like HomeLink, you can also keep the remotes at home if you are worried about losing the “keys.”
We are a family owned and operated company with local offices in various cities. We have offices in Arizona — from Phoenix to Tucson; Nevada— covering the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area, from North Las Vegas to Henderson; the Sunflower State of Kansas, from Wichita to Junction City; Wisconsin — spanning the entire Milwaukee county, from Fox Point to South Milwaukee; and Michigan, with our base in Sterling Heights.
Critical measurements: Torsion springs come a variety of standardized sizes, so you have to carefully measure the old springs to know what to order for proper replacements. Tables of standard sizes and designs are on the Web, such as here [www.industrialspring.com]. The four critical measurements (all in inches) are: (1) the wire thickness (which I'm measuring here with a dial caliper; you can also measure the length of a number of closely stacked turns with a ruler and divide by the number of turns in the stack, measuring 10 turns this way makes the math easy), (2) the inside diameter (not outside!) of the relaxed (not wound!) coil, (3) the overall length of the relaxed (not wound!) spring coils, not including the winding cones, and (4) the right- or left-hand winding of the spring. One must glibly quote those figures to the spring supplier, otherwise one's lack of expertise will be obvious, and one will not be worthy of buying the parts.
The right side of the photo shows the center bearing plate where the stationary cones attach with two bolts. Some doors may have only one spring rather than two equal ones as shown here (indeed, old marks on the shaft show that this door originally had one spring about twice as long on one side). Above the center bearing plate is the bracket and track from the electric opener.
Clopay, a garage door manufacturer, provides online installation manuals for their products. These include excellent mechanical diagrams and brief instructions for winding torsion springs on their doors. Of course, this is specific to their product designs, which may or may not match what you have. Note that some of their products involve the "EZ-Set assembly option" mechanisms that use a geared housing for winding (instead of standard winding cones) and non-standard geometry for the drums. Clopay should get an award for at least acknowledging in their instructions that you might be able to install your own new door (although they insist you must not take out an old one if it has torsion springs).
Cost was $88 for 2 pairs of springs, plus $21 shipping. (I had to order 2 pairs to meet the $50 minimum order.) They came with new cones inserted as shown at that price, so I didn't bother trying to remove and reuse the old cones to save a few dollars. The cones are quite difficult to remove from old springs and to insert in new ones, and the spring supplier will have the right tooling to do that easily. That was the best price I could find on the Web at the time, and didn't seem out of line with what parts like this might cost at at the building supply (if they only sold them). Contractors buy these much cheaper in quantities; they're just an ordinary high-carbon steel wire turned on a winding machine. I also found Web sites asking a lot more money, obviously trying to cash in on search-engine traffic from do-it-yourselfers. Others report that some local dealers sell springs at retail, but at a high price that eliminates any economy versus having them installed.
Having a mismatched pair makes it difficult to specify the correct matched-pair replacements. To obtain replacement springs for a mismatched pair, you can either specify the same odd pair, try to calculate the equivalent matched pair sizes, or (this is the best method:) measure an accurate door weight and calculate the right spring size(s) "from scratch". The spring seller should be able to do the calculations from your accurate measurements of weight, height, and drum size; or you can attempt the calculations yourself using my engineering formulas below.