We lead busy and sometimes hectic lives. It's easy for someone low on sleep and high on stress to accidently bump into their garage door leaving a little damage. If you're lucky it's just an individual garage door panel that's been damaged. This will leave you with the option of garage door panel replacment. There's a chance it might cost you upwards of $150-200 to spot repair damaged garage door panel. If it happens to be an in-production model, they probably will be able to repair or replace the entire panel (if needed) for $250-400. Unfortunately if you've got an older model of garage door the panels may no longer be in production. This might seem like a disadvantage because you'll end up having to just replace the entire door. Many times it's actually easier and more cost effective to just replace the garage door.
If your door feels heavy, it is likely that your springs have started to wear down and are no longer capable of bearing the weight that they once did. Now, don’t worry, just because a spring is starting to lose its strength doesn’t mean it will snap at any moment. However, simultaneously, a weak spring isn’t any safer to try and repair on your own.
Some of the best garage door openers offer special features like a backup power source or a timer that automatically closes the door behind you at a predetermined time. While the door openers we reviewed vary in terms of power, noise and efficiency, they are all effective in the all-important task of letting you come and go with the simple push of a button. Here are the criteria we used to rank the top garage door openers:
A torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a center bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the center bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.
In my case, removing and replacing the relaxed springs required that I take down the assembly: torsion shaft, lift drums, and bearings. Doing that requires unbolting the center bearing plate from the wall, removing the drums from the shaft, and finally sliding the shaft back and forth out of the end bearings to remove the whole assembly off the wall. I am fortunate to have a lot of clearance in this garage to make the disassembly simpler. Tighter clearance to walls or ceiling would make disassembly a more difficult manipulation.
Note the left winding cone with red spray paint. This shpritz of paint is applied to create fear and doubt in the mind of the do-it-yourselfer. Sometimes it is a color code for the wire size (using a DASMA standard, red indicating 0.2253 inch diameter wire). Sometimes it indicates the winding direction: red may indicate right-hand winding, but don't rely on that; do you own independent analysis. Sometimes it is a manufacturer's private code for another dimension than wire size. This color code is for the installer's information when the spring is new; I would not depend on interpreting the color code properly on an old spring, since one can't be certain of a correct interpretation without documentation from the original supplier.
The prior clamping of the set-screws tends to have pressed a dimple into the hollow shaft and to have distorted the shaft's roundness into an eccentric shape. While releasing the set-screws, I was careful to loosen them enough to let the cone swing around any such distortions. I was also careful to observe any binding of the old cones on the eccentricity or burring on the shaft. The fit of the cone on the shaft is supposed to be loose enough to avoid binding, but if it were to occur one would have to be careful not to assume the spring was unwound when in fact the cone was just stuck on the shaft. If I had a stuck cone that I could not unwind with a little extra force, then I would have called in a technician to deal with it. In the worst case, I suppose the spring must be deliberately broken with some hazard, thus releasing it for a forceful disassembly, and the shaft and some other parts replaced. But this is an unlikely situation and in this case was not necessary.
Note that I am measuring a spring that is fully relaxed because it is broken!. The length of the relaxed, unbroken spring is the specification of interest. It is harder to measure unbroken springs on an intact door because the springs should not fully unwind, even at the top-of-travel. If you can't be certain of the spring diameter from indications on the cones, then you have to go through an unwinding procedure to relax them fully for measurement, or perhaps reckon the size from measuring the somewhat smaller diameter at the nearly unwound condition when the door is at its top-of-travel (although one should not attempt to raise a door with a broken spring).
You can choose from three basic types of steel door: (1) steel only; (2) steel with insulation on the inside; and (3) steel on both sides with 1-3/8 to 2 in. of insulation. Other features that add to the cost are thicker insulation and windows, especially insulated windows. The do-it-yourself tensioning systems also add a little to the door’s cost. Be sure to specify exactly what you want.
Fiberglass and vinyl garage doors are composite units, combining a steel core behind a fiberglass or vinyl skin. They have also polyurethane insulated base sections, or other type of foam insulation. These premium doors can match steel garage doors, and be a realistic imitation of wood (namely fiberglass units), but they may be more expensive than steel units.
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.
The deluxe-model upsell trick: Don't you want the best? Don't you want to protect your family? Galvanized springs may be offered to you at extra expense as "longer lasting". Although bare springs (also called "oil tempered") can develop a light film of rust, the eventual failure is due to fatigue and not corrosion. The use of coated springs (whether galvanized, painted, powder-coated, or surface-converted) is mostly about appearance: the customer likes his new door to look shiny, and the customer doesn't like repair parts that show superficial rust from storage.
Lift cable placement: On the standard residential door mechanism, the loops at the lower ends of the two lift cables loop over the two bottom roller shafts which project from the bottom bracket on the door. The upper cable ends fasten to the drums using one of the methods described above. The drums are positioned along the torsion shaft such that the inner edge of each drum is approximately over the edge of the door. The cable winds onto the drum from outside in, so at the top of travel the cable is winding onto the inner edge of the drum, vertical from the edge of the door where it is looped over the roller shaft. As the door is lowered, the cable winds out to the outer edge of the drum, and thus is a bit out from the vertical, but the cable still falls in the gap between the guide rails and door edge. My cables rub and slap on the rails a bit, but after 30 years and many 10,000s of cycles, they don't seem to have worn at all.
You might not think it could get easier than pushing a big button to open a door, but some garage door openers make things even simpler by offering keyless entry and multiple remotes. Many models come with a keyless entry pad that mounts outside the garage door so you can gain access without a remote. While a remote is preferable for most situations, there are times when you need to get into the garage and don’t have it handy, so this is a nice feature to have.
You depend on your garage doors to provide safety and security at your home or office. They are also great for enhancing your property’s curb appeal and increasing its value. With their many moving parts and how they operate, you must have access to a reliable service company when something goes wrong. Houston residents and businesses trust us to make sure their garage doors will work when they need it to.