Direct Drive - Unlike chain- and belt-driven systems, where the motor remains stationary while moving a chain, a direct drive motor moves while the chain stays in place. Because of this, the only moving part is the gear the motor uses to move while lifting the door. To our knowledge, only one company makes direct drive garage door openers: Sommer. The company claims the motors are more efficient and quieter than any other type of opener. However, this is the most expensive type of opener we’ve found, costing around $286 on average.
Good customer service is important for any product, but it is especially important for the class of garage door openers we considered. We looked primarily at models designed to be installed by a homeowner, not a professional. Even if you consider yourself to be pretty handy, you are sure to have questions at some point along the way. As such, we looked for companies that respond to all inquiries as well as for resources, such as a downloadable manual, to help with installation.
The torsion shaft with lift drums on the ends is above the door. The standard residential door shaft is a 1-inch outside diameter hollow steel tube. The inside diameters of the bearings, drums, and winding cones are sized to loosely fit that 1-inch diameter shaft. At the center is a bearing plate, on either side of which are the torsion springs, or in some cases just one larger spring. The spring pictured on the left in the photo is broken about 1/4 of the way in from its left end. The black shaft with dangling rope and door bracket is the track for the electric opener.
Cable fail-safe redundancy: Based on the proper setting of the drums on the torsion shaft, the two lift cables divide the lifting force equally to keep the door level as it rises. This not only levels the door, but also provides a fail-safe mechanism. If one of the cables should fail, such as from breaking or losing its end attachment, the other cable will then carry the full weight of the door. This will pull the door up on one side with twice the normal force, while the other side falls from its now unsupported weight, tending to make the door bind in its tracks and jam. Although not foolproof, this is a safety feature of the design which keeps the door from falling catastrophically if a cable were to fail while the door was traveling. The jammed condition also prevents a lowered door from opening with the hazard of a single broken cable, further minimizing the chances of both cables failing. Since if one cable fails the other must sustain the full weight of the door, the cables and attachments are rated many times the normal working load of half the door weight. A proper safety inspection of the door should include a critical look at the cables and their attachments.
Garage doors cause injury and property damage (including expensive damage to the door itself) in several different ways. The most common causes of injury from garage door systems include falling doors, pinch points, improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, attempts at do-it-yourself repair without the proper knowledge or tools, and uncontrolled release of spring tension (on extension spring systems).
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.
Given the complexity of a garage door and opener system, there are a variety of different areas something could go wrong. If your garage door shakes or is very loud during operation, the garage door closes all the way only to immediately open back up, the garage door opens slowly or closes too quickly, or the garage door opener and remote aren't working at all, you should seek help from a professional garage door repair specialist.

A basic low cost garage door is made of steel reinforced with cross members. It is light and durable. Steel doors have a wood grain finish so that they look very nice. Wood doors are not installed as often as in the past, but they are still available. For those for whom budget considerations are secondary to appearance and value, there are many, many types of doors. Decorative garage doors can make a big difference in the appearance of a home, raising the home's value by as much as 4%. When you're ready to discuss your garage door design options, just call us.


Torsion springs are devices that lift most of the weight of a garage door so that the door can be opened manually or by an electric opener. The torsion principle is applied via an efficient and economical apparatus consisting of a torsion shaft under spring torsion, which turns lift drums, which wind cables attached to the door near the bottom. All of this apparatus is mounted over the top of the door. The energy stored is sufficient, in an uncontrolled release, to break things, hurt you, or perhaps even kill you. The same could be said of jacking up your car to change a tire, or mowing your lawn, or raising children, so it is not crazy to want to do this yourself.
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.)
Looking for something powerful but don’t want it to be too loud? This garage door opener from Chamberlain is a great option. Featuring an exclusive Motor Vibration Isolation System which eliminates vibration for reduced noise, this is a good choice especially you have an attached garage with rooms above the space. It also has MyQ enabled technology that allows you to monitor and control the opener via your smartphone with an extra purchase of the product. You can set the opener’s timer to close the door one, five or 10 minutes if you forget, and it has sensors to make sure it won’t close if something is in its path. It comes with a lifetime motor, lifetime belt, five-year parts, and one-year accessories warranty.

Speed of a thrown winding bar:: The springs, being in balance with the door, effectively are able to launch a typical 150 lb door at 10.6 mph speed. An 18-inch long by 1/2-inch diameter steel winding bar happens to weigh about 1 pound. Since momentum is conserved, this 150:1 ratio in weight of the door to the winding bar means the fully-wound springs could potentially throw a winding bar at 10.6 mph * 150 = 1590 mph = 2332 ft/sec, assuming the energy were perfectly coupled and transferred. If the energy transfer were only 1/3 efficient, this would still be the 800 ft/sec speed of a typical pistol bullet. Except it is a foot-and-a-half metal spear, not a bullet.
Though we’ve grown a great deal, we still approach each customer with a focus on personalized service. We want to meet your needs as effectively as possible. We also provide a sense of urgency to each job, knowing that garage door needs often represent a significant life or work slowdown. Get in touch with us to schedule a visit, ask questions or to learn more about what we offer and how we can help get your garage door back up and running again.
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.
Location, climate and building codes are just a few factors to consider when determining which type of garage door is right for your home. Depending on the region you live in, you may need to choose a wind load option for your garage door. Wind loaded garage doors help safeguard your home in high wind prone areas. With garage doors serving as the largest and often times the primary entrance to the home, an insulated garage door may also be right for you.
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.

Garage Door Service Company

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