The salesman-disguised-as-technician trick: In this trick, you arrange for a service call to your home, perhaps paying a small fee up-front, and a neatly uniformed man arrives in a very technical-looking truck, carrying an impressive tool kit. He carefully examines your door, perhaps using some impressive testing devices to lend weight to his expertise. He then condemns your door as not worth repairing, and tells you, to his sincere regret, that you must have a new one. In fact, this technician is not a technician, but a salesman who only sells, and does not repair, doors. Even if he doesn't sell you, he is doing well just collecting fees for service calls that are no more than sales visits. He doesn't actually have to ever fix anything, and he may not even be capable of doing so himself. He's an expert at selling, which genuine technicians are not. In the worst case, when you refuse to buy a whole new door, he might refuse to follow up with a visit from an actual technician, either outright, or only with an unacceptable delay ("we're too busy to get a guy out until next week", when your car is trapped). If you find yourself closing in on this situation, then politely invite him to leave, and try someone else. That is your right, and in fact the only power you have to bargain in such circumstances. At that point, he may offer to promptly bring in his competent colleague, who will turn up lacking charm and looking awful, but might actually do the work, possibly at a fair price. If so, you will have beaten a legal variation of the classic illegal bait-and-switch (see below). The switch was attempted, but not required, which makes this legal. This is a hazard of any direct-sales situation. Because it rarely appears in everyday retail sales, it can surprise the unwary.
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.
Garage door repair is a specialized job, which is typically handled by a garage door repair service. Professional garage door repair technicians can test or repair a garage door system and fix cosmetic blemishes on doors. Common requests include help with jammed or inoperable doors, slow or erratic doors, unusual sounds, dents or scrapes on the door, and general system testing. Garage door repair professionals can work on single-car, double-car and RV-size garage doors.
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.
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Once you’ve decided it’s time to replace your garage door — whether the result of malfunctions or just seeking to modernize your home’s exteriors — you may be wondering how much a garage door replacement costs. While these numbers are often determined by several factors, including the materials and labor involved, on average, a garage door replacement can cost just over $1,000 but could range from about $300 to over $2,000.
By watching the chalk mark while winding, you can count the number of turns applied, and confirm the number later. My standard-size door (7 foot height) with 4-inch drums has a nominal wind of 7-1/4 or 7-1/2 turns, which leaves 1/4 or 1/2 turn at the top-of-travel to keep the lift cables under tension. After 7 turns on the first spring, I clamped down the set-screws, weighed the door again, and found a lift of about 100 pounds in reduced weight. As expected, this wasn't quite half of the full 238 pounds, nor would it leave any torsion at the top-of-travel, so I added an 8th turn. The door now weighed 122 pounds on one spring, which was ideal. After winding the other spring, the door lifted easily, with only a few pounds apparent weight. This confirmed that the spring choice was properly matched to the door design. I engaged the electric opener trolley, and adjusted the opener forces down to a safer level suitable for the new, improved balance. The door was now ready for return to service.
There are many potential problems with garage doors, but the most common problem is the failure of one of the garage door springs. Torsion springs, which run along a bar above a closed door should never be replaced by a homeowner unless they have had specific training. To solve broken spring problems just give us a call. We are always available for free phone consultations and we love helping people fix their garage doors.
See the Sectional Overhead Garage Door catalog (PDF file) from the Prime-Line replacement hardware company. Their brochure Sectional Garage Door Torsion Spring Installation Instructions (PDF file, part number GD-12280) is brief but informative. Apparently you can only obtain their torsion springs as special order items through mom-and-pop type hardware stores like Ace and True Value, and not the big-box Home Depot and Lowes.
Are you in need of an overhead door? Do you have a door that jams or needs repair? Then, turn to the River Valley's most-trusted garage door professionals. Windsor Overhead Door, Inc. has a lineage that stretches back to 1974 and has served from its Russellville, Arkansas location for over 25 years. The company has recently passed to its third generation of owners who themselves have deep ties to the Windsor tradition of quality workmanship and customer service.
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.
Measurements: With the door in the down position, I measure a wire size of 0.273 inches, outside diameter of 2.0 inches, and overall length of 41.5 inches. Relaxing the spring shortens the length by about 7.5 coils of wire, so to estimate the relaxed length, we deduct the wire diamter of 0.273 inches times 7.5 from the 41.5 inch wound length, yielding an estimated relaxed length of 39.5 inches. The mean coil diameter is 2.0 - 0.273, or 1.73 inches. Perhaps this was actually a 40-inch-long spring with a 1.5 ID, 1.75 mean diameter, and 2.0 OD, but let's continue on calculating with the actually observed sizes. The number of coils in the relaxed spring is the relaxed length of 39.5 inches divided by the wire size of 0.273 inches, or about 145 coils. Deducting about 5 dead coils at the ends yields 140 active coils.
Ryan came to my rescue within 6 hrs of my call. He was professional, knowledgeable, friendly, and very thorough. He got my door up and running after figuring out what 3 others could not! Don’t try and go the cheapest route like I did because you’ll end up wasting time and money. Hire the pros like Ryan FIRST! If I ever need someone in the future, I’ll be calling them first thing! HIGHLY RECOMMENDread more
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.
Resetting the drums, if needed: If the drums were incorrectly set in their old positions, one must reset both drums in new positions on the shaft. This is complicated by the presence of old dimples in the torsion shaft from previous setting(s), which must be avoided lest they improperly influence the new setting of the drums. To begin this process of resetting the drums, the door must first be lowered and resting level on the floor, the spring(s) must be in the unwound condition with their set-screws loosened, and the lift cables wrapped around the drums. If for some reason the door does not rest level on the floor, such as the floor being uneven, then insert temporary shims between the door bottom and the floor to bring the door up to level. Loosen the set-screws on the drums, and turn the torsion shaft to avoid the old dimples from the set-screws in the old drum position. Tighten the set-screw on the left drum (that is, on your left as you face the door from in the garage), creating a new dimple, and apply tension to its cable with the locking-pliers technique, enough tension to keep the cable taut but not enough to start to move the door up. Attach and wind the cable on the opposite (right) drum by hand until the cable is similarly taut, and set the screw, remembering that tightening the screw will tend to add a bit of extra tension to the cable. Both drums should now be fixed on the torsion shaft, with the cables about equally taut (listen to the sound when you pluck them like a guitar string) and the door still level on the ground. Setting the left drum first, and the right drum second, will allow you to take up any slack in the cable introduced by the left drum rotating slightly with respect to the torsion shaft as you tighten the set screws. This alignment and balance of the cables, drums, and door is critical to smooth operation and proper closing. If you have a single-spring assembly, the distance along the torsion tube from the spring cone to one drum is longer than to the other drum, which allows a bit more twist to one side than the other, and you may have to compensate with the setting of the drums.