As in an elevator, the electric motor does not provide most of the power to move a heavy garage door. Instead, most of door's weight is offset by the counterbalance springs attached to the door. (Even manually operated garage doors have counterbalances; otherwise they would be too heavy for a person to open or close them.) In a typical design, torsion springs apply torque to a shaft, and that shaft applies a force to the garage door via steel counterbalance cables. The electric opener provides only a small amount of force to control how far the door opens and closes. In most cases, the garage door opener also holds the door closed in place of a lock.
They sent Doug Fussell out to my house on the day after Christmas! I had only called them three days before! Doug was a premier technician, very thorough and very efficient. I expected him to take two days, since he was replacing two doors and adding openers on each door. He only took the daylight hours of one day! I could not believe how fast he was! In addition, he thoroughly taught me how to use the remote openers. I highly recommend them to anyone!
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.
One of these "sproing" events at our house finally motivated me to research how these repairs are done. This happened in 2002, when my wife parked the chariot and shut the door. After the door closed, there was a horrific noise that she could only astutely describe as, "a big spring snapping and vibrating". Although I have hired professionals several times in the past to install or repair garage doors, the difference this time was the innovation of Google and newsgroups like alt.home.repair. I was determined to learn the process and to search for online parts vendors.
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.
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The classic telephone bait-and-switch: This time-honored swindle, also called "false advertising", can show up in the garage door business. Here's how this scam works: When you call and say you have a broken spring, and ask for a repair price, you are told over the phone that the price is X dollars, which typically might seem a little better than the competition. When the repairman shows up, after looking at your broken door, he will casually and matter-of-factly tell you it will cost 2X. If they told you over the phone that it would cost X, well, that was only for one spring, and he must (he must, mind you) install not just one, but two. He will act surprised if you object, as if you should have known that from what you were told over the phone. If you expected to really pay just X, it was your fault for misunderstanding because you don't know anything about how garage doors should be repaired. (You will feel intimidated at this, since you honestly don't know anything, else why would you have called a repairman? Intimidation is a powerful tool against customer resistance.) If your door used only one spring to start with, he will insist on converting yours to two, telling you it is safer the next time a spring breaks. If you originally had two springs, he will tell you that he must replace both springs, and you must therefore pay double what was quoted. While it is true that converting or replacing both springs is a good idea, the bait-and-switch pricing is not. The "bait" is the low price quoted to you over the phone, which they never intended to honor, and the "switch" is switching the price to something higher on a pretense. This method of selling is literally criminal (for example, see Florida Statutes 817.44, all states have similar laws), but a service business can usually avoid detection or prosecution because there are no printed advertisements or other tangible evidence, just one-on-one phone calls. If you find yourself in the middle of this trap, then the proper response is to dismiss the repairman without paying a nickel. Don't expect that you will be able to negotiate a fair price with someone who is using criminal business methods. Certainly don't expect that he will accept a lower price because you accuse him of false advertising. If you absolutely cannot wait for another service call, then you'll have to accept the fraud, in which case you should do so quietly. People that use these methods typically have ways to mentally justify their behavior to themselves as a reasonable business practice, and won't react well to your suggesting otherwise, even though they are in fact small-time criminals, not shrewd businessmen.
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If you live in a home where there are living quarters directly above the garage, Garage Guide DIY says force-sensing technology built into the B730 ensures a smooth operation, no matter what temperature it is in your garage. The unit adjusts the motor's power on the fly, keeping it running smoothly. Amazon reviewer Steven Bone says the B730/WD962KEV opener runs extremely quietly and is easy to install.
This work is risky, but the risk is comparable to doing your own car repairs, or climbing on the roof of your house to clean your gutters. These are dangerous things that many people can do safely, but that safety depends on intelligent understanding and application of proper techniques. Professional door repair technicians, who are fully knowledgable, skilled, and experienced, report that they nevertheless are injured from time to time, despite their best efforts. Coldly evaluate your abilities and motivations, to judge whether you can manage the risks of this work for the benefit of the money and time you might save.
The two set-screws in the winding cones have a 3/8-inch square head, which fits a 3/8-inch open-end wrench or 8-point socket, or a 7/16-inch 12-point socket or 12-point closed-end wrench. I carried an extra wrench in my pocket while winding, since I didn't want to be holding a wound spring that I couldn't set because I had dropped the wrench (although one could rest the winding rod against the door in this case while picking up a dropped tool).
Once the springs are torqued, the setscrews tightened, and the locking pliers and winding rods removed, do not play with turning the torsion bar using the winding rods. Doing so even momentarily can relieve the tension on the lift cables, which then easily slip off the drums. Replacing the cables on the drums can be difficult without repeating the entire spring unwinding-winding procedure again, and the cables can be damaged if tension is applied while they are off the drums.
Good response time and service; Question - I googled to find the Sears Garage Door repair phone number. During the conversation, I was unsure if this was "Sears" or a "contractor service" or other service. I had to ask if this repair person was coming from "Sears" or an independent repair. I was concerned until the service man arrived in a sears truck wearing Sears apparel. You might want the process to be more clearly identified as Sears.
You might be thinking: Aha! Why don't we lift the door, clamp it in place, and install the springs while they are thus safely unwound, rather than deal with all that accumulation of hazardous torque? The answer: At the top-of-travel, the unwound springs are not fully relaxed; they are still clamped to the torsion shaft with a significant stretch along the shaft axis, plus about a half-turn to keep the door snug at the top. This extra length amounts to the stacking of extra turns that accumulate from winding, also termed "spring growth" in the business. In my case this is about 7 turns of 0.2253 wire, or about 2 inches. Stretching the spring that much and clamping it with a half-turn or so of twist is not feasible.
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If you're clever and equipped with a welder, you might think you could get away by welding a broken spring back together. At least two factors make this extremely risky. First, the weld itself may fail, either due to insufficient basic strength, or weakening of the nearby parts of the spring. Second, the fact that the spring was old and fatigued enough to break once, means that it is likely to break again soon at other location(s).