Here's a view of my door and its broken torsion spring. This door is 10 feet wide and 7 feet high, constructed of 3/4 thick hollow wood panels inside with 3/4 inch plywood siding outside to match the house exterior. This is original to the house which was constructed in 1978, and is much heavier (238 pounds, as I measured later as described below) than the steel doors most common today in new construction. The 10-foot width is a little larger than usual for a one-car garage; such doors are typically only 7 or 9 feet wide. The ceiling height is 9 feet, providing 18 inches clearance above the torsion shaft. This is in a 3-car garage with 3 separate extra-wide doors. Every man's dream! ('cept when the door is broke.)
This page is a description of how I replaced torsion springs on a garage door. You may find that my experience either frightens you from trying such a stunt yourself, or encourages you to give it a try. You may curse me for revealing the techniques supposedly known only to the trade, or perhaps thank me for explaining how it's done. All the secrets are revealed below. Even if you hire this work out, just knowing how it is done will help you shop for the best deal and avoid falling prey to overcharging tricks.
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Using your drill, add tension to the torsion spring. This system uses a single spring for a double door, but many manufacturers use two springs for a double door. The painted line on the spring acts as a gauge for the number of turns you put on the spring. To keep the bar from turning while you’re adding tension, attach a locking pliers to the bar on both ends of the spring. Apply lubricant for garage doors to the spring.
Now 13 pounds of force must be respected when backed by many hundreds of foot-pounds of stored energy, waiting to be released. Holding this torque is equivalent to stalling a 3 horsepower DC motor. But holding and turning these handles does not require extraordinary human strength. Note that this maximum tangential force depends only on the weight of the door, and the radius of the drums, and is divided by the number of springs (some designs have only one longer spring, as mine did originally, instead of two shorter ones). Higher or lower lift distances imply more or less turns to wind the spring (and thus a different spring geometry), but not more force on each turn.
The second stage of the wireless garage door opener system solved the opening-the-neighbor's-garage-door problem. The remote controls on these systems transmitted a digital code, and the receiver in the garage responded only to that code. The codes were typically set by eight to twelve DIP switches on the receiver and transmitter, so they allowed for 28 = 256 to 212 = 4,096 different codes. As long as neighbors used different codes, they would not open each other's garage doors. The intent of these systems was to avoid interference with nearby garage doors; the systems were not designed with security in mind. Intruders were able to defeat the security of these systems and gain entry to the garage and the house. The number of codes was small enough that even an unsophisticated intruder with a compatible remote control transmitter could just start transmitting all possible codes until he found one that opened the door. More sophisticated intruders could acquire a black box master key that automatically transmitted every possible code in a short time. An even more sophisticated method is known as a replay attack. The attacker would use a code grabber, which has a receiver that captures the remote's digital code and can retransmit that digital code at a later time. The attacker with a code grabber would wait nearby for the homeowner to use his remote, capture the code, and then replay the code to open the door when the homeowner was gone. Multicode openers became unpopular in areas where security was important, but due to their ease of programming, such openers are often used to operate such things as the gates in gated apartment complexes.
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).
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Since we're using an 18-inch (1.5 feet) winding lever to wind each spring up to 29 foot-pounds, we must apply a maximum tangential force to the end of the winding lever of about 20 pounds. Later we'll see that the actual weight of this rather dense door is 238 pounds, implying a maximum tangential force on the winding levers of only about 13 pounds!
If return on investment is a priority and you don’t live in the West, your best strategy may be to buy a low- to moderately-priced door that significantly improves the look of your home. Consider adding an automatic garage door opener at the same time. The beauty of a new door and the convenience of an automatic opener are sure to be a winning combination.
When you’ve measured your door and found a replacement that you love, garage door installation and repair services are only a click or call away. Our vast network of independent Clopay Dealers provide dependable service, and are happy to help with regular maintenance and replacement parts after your door is installed. Replacement garage doors installed by our Master Authorized and Authorized dealers are also eligible for a 1-year installation warranty to ensure your door operates reliably. For a quote or to request local service, visit our convenient dealer locator to find a Clopay Dealer near you!
To install a single new garage door it should cost between $500 and $800. They demonstrate that the average homeowner can usually tackle such a project in a nine hour time span and a professional will be able to complete it in roughly five hours. Should it be a DIY project? Not really, most housing experts point out that it is a two-person job, requires advanced carpentry skills, and even knowledge of household electronic systems.
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.
Measure springs only when relaxed: Measurements must be taken on a relaxed spring because the winding adds significant overall length while reducing the coiled diameter. If you have a paired design, and one is broken and one is intact, then don't try to measure the length of the intact spring with the door down. A wound spring has 7 or 8 turns adding to the overall length, and will therefore be about 2 inches longer than when relaxed. Measure the lengths of the pieces of the broken spring, which will be unwound, and add them together. As a check, one can measure the length of the intact spring after it is unwound in the procedure to follow below. Be sure also to observe whether the springs are originally of equal sizes, because it is quite possible that they are not.
Great! We specialize in all sorts of garage door repair work. Working around the garage door can be fairly dangerous if you’re trying to repair this issue on your own. Most garage door companies will quickly remind folks about this, and it’s true. Their are some hazards to watch out for when working around these heavy and high tension doors. We recommend you give an expert a call to address the issue in a safe and timely manner for you.
The parts, parts, parts trick: You might be told you need new rollers, cables, drums, bearings, etc., when you don't, or at highly inflated prices. Good questions to ask when first calling for service include, "How do I know you will only charge me for the parts I actually need?", and "If you don't have all the parts I need, what will you charge me to come back?"
Install the vertical roller tracks first by wrapping the curved lip around the rollers. The top of these tracks should be approximately 8 in. below the top of the top section. Wait to install the upper tracks until this step is complete. Check the level of the top section to make sure the tops of the vertical roller tracks are level with each other. The bottom of the roller tracks should be at least 1/8 in. off the concrete floor. After leveling and mounting these tracks, install the upper roller (horizontal) tracks.
Insist on having any old parts returned to you, and have that noted on the written order before work begins. An honest and competent technician will not object to this. The evidence will establish whether you really needed the parts or not, and you can consult another opinion if you have any doubts. This tends to deter the parts-upsell scam, and protects you even if you know nothing about what you're buying while under the pressure of making a costly decision. If the old parts mysteriously "disappear", then you have reason to be suspicious.
An enantiomorphic (mirrored) pair of springs, such as my standard door uses, will consist of one left-hand and one right-hand spring. Note that this "right" and "left" has nothing necessarily to do with whether the spring is mounted on the left or right of the center bearing plate. Indeed, with my standard door, if you stand inside the garage, facing out, then the spring to the left is a right-hand-wound spring, and the spring to the right is a left-hand-wound spring. The photos above and below of the broken spring show that it is a right-hand-wound spring.
Correct spring size is determined by factors such as the weight and height of the door. You cannot substitute a different spring and just tighten or loosen the winding to make it balance the load. Why? To maintain cable tension under all operating conditions, the spring must retain about one turn of unspent wind-up at the top-of-travel position, which with the lift drum size and door height predetermines the number of turns of winding at the bottom-of-travel; and furthermore the torsion of the fully-wound spring at the bottom-of-travel must be slightly less than that needed to lift the weight of the door when translated by the lift drums.
Safe automatic door openers. All automatic openers must now have an auto-reversing mechanism and photoelectric eyes located near the floor on both sides of the door (see photo). If the door is closing and the beam between the eyes is interrupted, the door will automatically reverse. If the eyes aren’t connected, the door won’t operate. For instructions on how to install a new garage door opener, see How to Install a Garage Door Opener.
Garage doors are the largest moving object inside your home. If you have a problematic garage door, it compromises the safety of your family and home. Overhead Door Company of Atlanta is a professional company you can count on. We provide you with quality service at a reasonable price. We offer FREE estimates on replacement garage doors and are spring replacement specialists. 24 hours a day 7 days a week we are your number one garage door repair service.
Because your garage door can be customized, pricing varies. Our Clopay configurator will help you review pricing as you begin your project. You’ll start with your door size and whether you need a single or double car door. Next, you can choose the collection of door, which gives you options of various materials and styles. Then, you’ll choose your construction, which allows you to decide what you need in terms of energy efficiency, durability and noise control. Lastly, you will be able to visualize the design and see an end price. Other optional add-ons include windows, decorative hardware, smart features and the r-value. However, you do not have to use the configurator. We also install standard garage doors that have not been customized so you know the product price early on in the process.