Horsepower is another key factor when it comes to garage door openers. Look into ½ horsepower garage openers if you have standard aluminum doors. Oversized doors and one-piece doors may require 3/4, 1 or 1¼ horsepower garage door openers. Garage openers with higher horsepower use less effort to operate and minimize wear and tear on the motor. This is ideal if your garage doors act as the main entrance to your home.
I obtained my parts, as described on this page, from American Garage Door Supply Inc. ( They may have raised their small-order prices or imposed a minimum order since I ordered from them in 2002 at the prices in my essay above. The Web site offers a free catalog by PDF download or mail. Springs in 2005 were priced at $2.25/lb.
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.
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.
One can overwind the springs slightly, up to about 8 turns on a standard residential door (that is, 1/2 or 3/4 extra turns), to compensate for undersized or fatigued springs, or increased door weight from painting or humidity, but this results in more stress on the springs and therefore decreased lifetime. If the door is too heavy for that slight tweak, then different springs are needed.

Trading wire size for length, diameter, or cycle life: Now we are really going to save you some money, if you just recall your high school algebra class (and I don't mean that cute cheerleader who sat next to you). If you further understand the role of the 4th power of the spring wire size (letter d in the formulas above) in the numerator of the spring rate formula, and how to increase or decrease d to compensate for changes in length, diameter, and cycle life, then you're qualified for elite spring calculations. Matching springs is a matter of equating the 4th power of the proportion in wire size change to the proportion of change in the diameter or length or the product of both diameter and length. However, it is usually best to only increase wire size when substituting a spring, since this does not derate the cycle life. If you observe that the formula for bending stress is proportionate to the inverse 3rd power of the diameter, then physically a proportionate increase in wire size will result in a dramatic increase in cycle life of the 3rd power of that proportion. Trade-off example: Yawn with me while we ponder my original spring once more. Let's say I was in a fit of engineering mania, and wanted to replace my spring having a 0.2253 inch diameter wire (d = 0.2253) with a 0.262 wire version (d = 0.262). How much longer is the spring with equal torque rate, assuming we use the same coil diameter? The proportion of this change is 0.262/0.2253 = 1.163, and the 4th power of that is 1.83. This means the length must increase by a factor of 1.83 (again, not counting dead coils). Recalling that the length in Example 1 was 102 non-dead coils, the heavier wire spring must be about 1.83*102 = 187 coils, which when adding 5 dead coils and multiplying by the wire size to get the overall length, is (187+5)*0.262 = 50 inches, versus 24 inches in the original. So using this heavier wire more than doubles the length (and thus the mass and thus the cost). While the cost about doubles, the stress goes down by the inverse 3rd power of the wire size proportion, or 1/(1.163**3) = 0.64. Sress is favorably, non-linearly related to cycle lifetime (halving the stress more than doubles the lifetime), so this decreased stress should more than double the expected lifetime of the spring. While the up-front cost is more, the true cost of an amortized lifetime is much less. In short, per cycle it is cheaper. Ah, the wonders of engineering calculations! Conclusion: Observe that the stress formula (and thus the cycle lifetime) depends only on wire diameter (d) for equal torques. Thus the only way to improve cycle lifetime is to use heavier wire. For equal torques, heavier wire size, due to the exponents in the formulas, increases cycle lifetime much faster than it increases mass (and thus cost), physically speaking.
"We had an unusual repair requirement. We have horizontal sliding steel doors on our 1950's equipment shed. The upper track was damaged by a roofer's forklift while they were loading supplies onto the roof. The track is made out of very heavy steel, not like the track in today's doors. Toby, responded to my request very quickly and came out of his way to inspect the damage. Although it was not something that he had encountered before, he was able to fix the track and the door is operating better than it has in years. Thank you."
Repair of garage doors is a licensed trade in many jurisdictions, and manipulation of the market inevitably follows. Look in your phone book yellow-pages under "garage doors" and you'll find a lot of big, costly ads for door service. The profits are quite juicy, I'm sure. The customers need service urgently, and this need will typically arrive suddenly and at a busy time when shopping for prices is not convenient. A few dollars in parts, an hour of labor and travel, and a $150 invoice (assuming the outfit is charging fairly, some are not). Lately (2006) I hear of outfits charging $200 or $300 for this work, and occasionally a story of a $500 or $800 service call. You'll also find the phonebook advertisers waiting eagerly for your call, because artificially high prices inevitably lead to an oversupply of service firms working under capacity.
The parts, parts, parts trick: You might be told you need new rollers, cables, drums, bearings, etc., when you don't, or at highly inflated prices. Good questions to ask when first calling for service include, "How do I know you will only charge me for the parts I actually need?", and "If you don't have all the parts I need, what will you charge me to come back?"
Widths - in addition to doors coming in a range of styles, they can be found as double-width and single-width styles. There are some serious considerations when opting for one over the other. For example, if a homeowner decides to use a single door that covers the entire opening of a two-car garage they will have to make serious structural modifications to the entry way;

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!

Critical measurements: Torsion springs come a variety of standardized sizes, so you have to carefully measure the old springs to know what to order for proper replacements. Tables of standard sizes and designs are on the Web, such as here []. The four critical measurements (all in inches) are: (1) the wire thickness (which I'm measuring here with a dial caliper; you can also measure the length of a number of closely stacked turns with a ruler and divide by the number of turns in the stack, measuring 10 turns this way makes the math easy), (2) the inside diameter (not outside!) of the relaxed (not wound!) coil, (3) the overall length of the relaxed (not wound!) spring coils, not including the winding cones, and (4) the right- or left-hand winding of the spring. One must glibly quote those figures to the spring supplier, otherwise one's lack of expertise will be obvious, and one will not be worthy of buying the parts.

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 I was determined to learn the process and to search for online parts vendors.
Since 2015, we’ve tested a variety of devices such as smart locks, video doorbells, DIY home security systems, thermostats and more. We use these testing experiences to inform our evaluations of other equipment. As time and resources allow, we occasionally test new types of products, but there are still some circumstances where we’re unable to conduct in-house tests. When testing isn’t possible, we conduct thorough research using the same standards we apply to our in-house tests – this is the case with smart garage door openers. We’ve reviewed garage door openers since 2011. 

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