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.
While winding or unwinding, one must be mindful of the possibility that the spring could break during winding process itself. If that should happen while the spring is significantly torqued, hazardous forces on the winding bar will suddenly become unbalanced, and the bar will take an unexpected jump, possibly injuring your hand or anything else in its path. At the same time, the spring remnants, although captured on the torsion bar, will create a frightening racket that would give the bravest soul a start. So your winding technique should be firmly in control of the rods, and you should not be so delicately perched on a ladder such that a startle will result in a fall.
A torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a center bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the center bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.[7]
Mechanical garage door openers can pull or push a garage door with enough force to injure or kill people and pets if they become trapped. All modern openers are equipped with “force settings” that make the door reverse if it encounters too much resistance while closing or opening. Any garage door opener sold in the United States after 1992 requires safety eyes—sensors that prevent the door from closing if obstructed. Force settings should cause a door to stop or reverse on encountering more than approximately 20 lbs (9.07 kg) of resistance. Safety eyes should be installed a maximum of six inches above the ground. Many garage door injuries, and nearly all garage door related property damage, can be avoided by following these precautions.
I was careful not to assume that the previous installation correctly oriented the right- and left-hand springs on the correct sides of the center bearing plate. They could have been installed backwards by an incompetent installer, resulting in them having been wound looser (larger diameter coil) instead of tighter (smaller diameter coil) than when in their relaxed state, and if so I would have corrected them on the new installation. The proper orientation of the springs applies their reaction torque from tighter winding such that it turns the drums to lift the door. Verifying this is a rather simple exercise in mechanical visualization, but does require some care to be certain of correctness. If you were to install the springs backwards, and then start to wind them in the wrong direction, then the torsion bar will start winding the drums backwards, and not holding against the vise pliers, which should be obvious to inspection. Winding a spring backwards also tends to screw the spring off the cones; this error cannot proceed too far before the spring slips off the cones.
While many sites may encourage you to save on garage door replacement costs by installing the door yourself, this is severely discouraged due to safety concerns and the installation techniques and tools required to properly and efficiently replace a garage door. When installing a new garage door, the range of prices also includes the labor performed by the professional garage door technician. These costs can include:
Over the past 15 years, we've been providing professional garage door repair and services to families across the Lehigh Valley and Western New Jersey. We're a family-owned business, and we treat every customer as if they are family as well. We pride ourselves on our dedication to exceptional service. If you are having an issue with your garage door, we can help! We service ALL makes and models of garage doors and openers. Whether you need a repair, a replacement, or routine maintenance, you can rely on us to get the job done at an affordable price.
Note the left winding cone with red spray paint. This shpritz of paint is applied to create fear and doubt in the mind of the do-it-yourselfer. Sometimes it is a color code for the wire size (using a DASMA standard, red indicating 0.2253 inch diameter wire). Sometimes it indicates the winding direction: red may indicate right-hand winding, but don't rely on that; do you own independent analysis. Sometimes it is a manufacturer's private code for another dimension than wire size. This color code is for the installer's information when the spring is new; I would not depend on interpreting the color code properly on an old spring, since one can't be certain of a correct interpretation without documentation from the original supplier.
Replace your old garage door and give your home a new look. Make it a custom garage door down to the tiny details. It's easy, fun and you can put together as many as you like before you get the perfect style for your home. Try our online customized garage door selector tool, and you'll have the garage door of your dreams on its way to you in no time. Standard, yet dependable wood-look steel doors, grooved-panel steel doors and classic raised panel steel doors are some of your options. Boost your style with barn garage doors for a unique, old-time yet modern look. Choose from hundreds of garage styles including traditional, carriage house and contemporary. If you spend time in the garage, let some light in, get a garage door with windows. The garage doesn't have to be just for cars, use the space however you need it - a play room for the kids, a workshop for hobbies, a studio. Let fresh air in but keep the bugs out with a garage door screen.
We also Specialize in frayed and broken garage door cables. Our expert technicians arrive equipped with fully stocked trucks, ready to repair or replace any garage door and opener system. Systems serviced include Liftmaster, Chamberlin, Sears, Craftsman, Genie, Clopay, Wayne Dalton, Amarr, Reliabilt, Raynor,C.H.I, and more. If the door system is unable to be repaired including Wayne Dalton torqmaster setups and needs to be replaced, our technicians are able to upgrade the garage door system with extension or torsion garage door spring systems on the spot.
Furthermore, newer doors come with more improved security features, helping to improve the way you protect your home and loved ones. While older doors are easy to break into, whether through breaking the lift mechanism or even using a universal garage door remote, new doors come with many redundant security features, which will go a long way in deterring even the most ingenious burglar.
The "liability" angle: The flip side of "safety issue" is "liability". This is not used to directly sell you something; it is used to demean the cheaper alternative and prod you into buying a more expensive (and profitable) option. For example, you may be pressured into buying a whole new door, when you just need a new spring, by the salesman telling you he can't just replace the spring due to "liability" issues. Since product liability is a big burden on the garage door industry, and so many old doors (and especially automatic openers) are dangerous, this may be a genuine reason to accept a higher price.
Winding "up" starts out easy. It finishes at the proper number of turns, by which time you are pushing against the maximum torque. Count the turns of spring winding from when the springs are slack. To be sure you're winding the right direction, all you have to remember is that proper winding makes the spring smaller in diameter and longer in length as it twists "in". On the standard door (most common), this means you push the winding bars up to wind up the spring, which is an easily remembered rule. This is very apparent and should be verified during the first few easy turns. You can also think about the correct winding direction in mechanical terms, namely which way the reaction of the spring will torque the shaft and drums, which in turn will lift the cable. This should all make perfect sense before you attempt the manipulations.
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First, we always provide a written estimate that is signed before doing any work, fully explaining what we'll do in plain English so you'll understand it. When we've completed the job, we walk you through and show you what's been done so you can be confident that your door was fixed right. We stand behind the job with the industry's best warranty and our 24 hour call back policy.
Lower the door and dismantle it by removing the hardware. Lower a double door by recruiting at least two helpers to help with the weight, and place a 2×4 block under the door to prevent smashing a foot or finger when it’s lowered. Remove the sections one at a time by disconnecting the rollers and brackets. If you have windows, tape them to help control flying shards if they break. Then remove the old roller tracks and remaining hardware.

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At this point I weighed the unlifted door to confirm and fine-tune my calculations. This is not strictly necessary, but it makes the adjustments easier to perform, if you happen to have a scale with the requisite capacity. With some helpers, we first lifted the door a few inches and rested it on blocks of wood to provide clearance underneath. Then I slid a 400-pound-capacity freight scale under the center of the door, we lifted again to remove the blocks, and lowered the door gently onto the scale. This door weighed in at 238 pounds, which is very heavy for a single-car door. Since the outside of the door carries the 3/4-inch plywood paneling to match the house, and that plywood weighs about 2 lbs/sq-ft, I estimate the door weight to be about 7 x 10 x 2 = 140 lbs of paneling with the rest 238 - 140 = 98 lbs the interior panels, hardware, and cobwebs. Knowing this total weight will help later in adjusting the torsion on the springs. After weighing, we removed the scale and blocks, leaving the door fully lowered again. Had I not had a high-capacity freight scale, I might have improvised a crude weighing device from levers and smaller weights of known mass, or a lever arm pressing a reduced proportion of the full weight onto a lower-capacity scale. Another factor to remember is that The weight of a wood door can vary with humidity.
I mentioned earlier that this apparatus had at least one prior spring replacement, with a single longer spring having been replaced by two shorter springs. The clamping of the original spring had pressed dimples and an eccentric distortion into the hollow shaft. While this distortion was large enough to block the old cones from sliding across, I was able to remove the old hardware by just sliding them in the other direction. I did not have to bother trying to press out this distortion, since I could just work around it.
The lucky-for-you-I-found-another-problem trick: Another trick is to suggest your automatic opener was damaged (or "compromised") by the additional load or shock presented by the failure of the spring(s). The plastic worm gear used in the most common openers (see above) wears normally over the years and tends to leave a lot of debris inside the opener housing. Removing the opener cover reveals a lot of plastic shavings that may be cited as "evidence" you need a new opener, when the gears are actually still serviceable. Nevertheless, you may have indeed worn out the gear if you repeatedly cycled the door with the opener despite having broken springs, which is possible if you have a very lightweight door.
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.
It can be very problematic if one's car doors are not fitted properly. The garage is the place where people house their cars with a lot of safety and security and it is only natural that they would want the very best for their doors. With the increase in burglary and other anti-social activities, it has become all the more important to take the necessary step towards building a strong garage with reliable door opener. At Larry Garage Door, we try to do this with the most efficient staff who are dedicated towards serving their clients and give them a door at an accessible price. We have made sure that whichever type of garage our client might have, they will find the right door and opener with us. We have years of experience with us and we have worked with clients all over the California's Central Valley. We only use the best aluminum and steel if their preference is more towards the metal doors, and also giving a very low price to our clients.
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.
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.
A torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a center bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the center bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.[7]
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.
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