Whether you're planning on moving in the future or you're fixing up your forever home, replacing a garage door can provide an excellent return on investment and boost your home's resale value. According to Remodeling magazine's 2016 Cost vs. Value report, garage door upgrades provide a nationwide average return on investment of over 90%, making it one of the top five home improvement projects.

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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.)
Checking if the lift drums need resetting: The old position of the lift drums on the shaft may have slipped or otherwise lost the the proper position, requiring a reset of the drum position on the torsion shaft. You will also reset the drums if you are replacing the lift cables, since the new cables will not exactly match the length of the old ones. Problems like uneven tension on the cables, or a tilted door, or a door that doesn't easily stay aligned with the tracks, can be due to an improper "set" of the drums on the shaft. So one shouldn't assume the old positions are correct. Setting the drums on a "fresh" part of the shaft will avoid the possibility of damaging the shaft from retightening in the same dimples.
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.

However, in addition to potentially causing injuries to the under-prepared DIYer, a malfunctioning door can become a safety hazard to you and your family. Keep in mind, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), over 13000 people checked into hospitals with garage related injuries in the United States in 2007. You don’t want to turn a loved one into a statistic just to save a few dollars!
Since the springs are winding "up" when the door is closing and going down, the fully closed position is the most stressful on the steel and thus the most likely position at the moment of failure. This is a good thing, because failure near the top-of-travel means that you suddenly have a large, increasing weight falling. Thus we see the principle that you should never be standing or walking under the door when it is opening or closing, especially if you do so manually instead of with an electric opener. When the springs are working correctly, the door appears nearly weightless, but this is an illusion that turns into a calamity when the springs suddenly fail.

As we’ve mentioned before, springs are installed within your garage lift mechanism in order to help lift the door. Because doors are so heavy, the lift motor would undergo far more significant wear and tear if it had to lift the full weight of the door every time you opened it. Furthermore, in order to ensure that you can open your door even if you lose power in your home, springs allow you to lift the door by hand when the motor is disengaged.


While a sudden issue is usually easily repaired, a consistent issue that has gone unaddressed for months or years will likely require a total replacement. The problem is that garage doors have a number of heavy, powerful moving parts. If the door is working as it is designed, it can open and close hundreds and hundreds of times without issues. However, if there is even a small issue in the lifting mechanism that repeatedly influences the movement of the door, you will soon find that the damage caused over those hundreds of lifts can’t be fixed.


We are your trustworthy, affordable, and always accessible garage and gate service company. You enjoy quality service every time you choose Garage Service Pro. You can rely on our professional staff who are efficient and available every day of the week. We are a close-knit company that values loyalty and service. This is seen in our relationship with our customers as we truly care about delivering superior service no matter the job.


Annual maintenance. Make an annual check of all nuts and bolts on rails and rollers to make sure they’re firmly tightened. Check the condition of all cables to make sure they’re not worn or frayed. Lubricate rollers and springs with a garage-door lubricant (see How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door for maintenance and problem-solving tips). The door should operate smoothly and be properly balanced. Check the balance by disconnecting the opener and lowering the door halfway- the door should hold its position. If it doesn’t, adjust the spring tension or replace the springs.
We are a family owned and operated, local garage door company in the Carlisle area that believes in attention to detail and an emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. We even offer same-day service because we know that when your garage door isn’t working the way it should, you need it fixed fast. We offer affordable rates that will fit your budget, and we’re confident you won’t find another garage door installation company in Carlisle or the surrounding areas with the same dedication to our customers and the quality of our work at the affordable rates we offer our clients.

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