If your garage door is equipped with extension springs (usually seen on single car garages), the cable and pulley might be hanging down when the spring break's. Extension springs use a two pulley system on each side of the door to lift the garage door up and down. When the spring break's everything goes haywire, causing the cables to become twisted or even frayed when they catch on the metal edge of the track. There is a lot of force being released when a garage door spring breaks.
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The new opener was installed yesterday and today for a while it wouldn't close properly. The customer service representative said they will probably have to reverse the sensors. However, no one could come out today (Friday) or tomorrow. She will call me by Tuesday of next week to schedule someone to come here. The customer service rep. and the technician were nice but as of now, my new garage opener is not working to my satisfaction.
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Loosen the set screws while holding each spring with a winding bar. Position a sturdy ladder to the side of the springs, rather than working directly in front of them, for safety reasons. Put on eye protection and leather gloves. Push a winding bar into the bottom hole of the winding cone on the outside of 1 spring. Use a wrench to loosen the 2 set screws. Keep a firm grip on the bar as the the spring will expand powerfully as the screws are released. Repeat on the other side.
Typically, it will cost less to install a steel garage door without an opener than to install a custom wood door with a garage door opener. Recent innovations have also yielded high-tech doors with thick insulation and energy-efficient glaze, as well as finished interior surfaces and other significant upgrades. These are more expensive doors, but they are also extremely durable.
The following procedures are based on my 30 years in the garage door industry. In spite of my high mechanical aptitude, even after 18 years in the trade I lost the end of my left index finger. A few years later I had five stitches in my right thumb, and a year later five stitches in my left thumb. In 2004 emergency room staffs dug steel out of my eye and sewed up my ring finger with eight stitches. The best I can do is help you minimize the risk of injury; that's all I can do for myself. I am not so naive as to think that I have made my last trip to the emergency room. Repairing garage doors, particularly replacing torsion springs, is dangerous work, whether you are a do-it-yourself homeowner or an experienced technician.
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Garage door springs come in two styles: torsion (see above), which mounts on the header above the door, and extension (Photo 1), which floats above the upper roller track. In the past, extension springs were safer to install but didn’t have containment cables running through the center of the spring. Without cable, these springs become dangerous, heavy whips when they break. They also tend to be noisier than torsion springs, and we recommend you use them only if you don’t have the 12 in. of headroom above the door that a torsion spring requires.
The garage door opens and closes many times throughout the year, and something may blow inside. While it is usually something such as loose leaves or small amounts of dirt, the rails that the door travel along can collect this loose debris. Over time, the buildup of debris creates a blockage on the rails. Note where on the rails the door is stuck and clean that area. If children use the garage to leave the house, it's sometimes something as simple as a small, bouncing ball that happens to land in just the right -- or wrong -- spot.
Springs are one of the primary components in all garage door systems. Torsion springs are usually mounted horizontally over the door opening. As the door closes, cables add tension to the springs and as the door opens that tension is released. The opening of the door causes the springs to unwind in conjunction with the weight coming off the door. This achieves a natural buoyancy. However, as the door moves up and down over time and the cycle count rises, the steel in the torsion springs will grow weak and will no longer be able to create energy or lift your garage door.
If you use the correct tools and follow our instructions, you can rebuild the entire torsion spring system in just a few hours, without any side trips to the ER. We won't cover how to replace garage door extension spring systems in this story. But we'll show you garage door spring replacement on the more common torsion springs, the kind that mount on a bar above the garage door.
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Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.
If your stuck garage door coincides with weather changes, you may need to adjust the pressure on the opener. Some openers have a force-adjustment mechanism that controls the force that's applied to operate the door. It's best to leave this adjustment to a garage door pro, as too much force may result in the door failing to stop when it should, posing a danger to people and objects in the door's path.
Even though most of us are likely used to seeing this small spring in place on our garage door, we don’t often think too much about it, and we simply count on it working when we need it to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s best to be proactive and notice when it begins to look worn down before it actually breaks. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to open the garage door to drive to work one morning, only to find that the door won’t open because the spring is broken.
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The problem is that one of the garage doors "catches" (i.e. stops) while going up at about 2 feet off the ground ~90% of the time. When the button is pressed again, it goes all the way down. This cycle can be repeated ad nauseum, or I can give the door a gentle tug upward just before the "Sticking" point, and this will give the door enough "impetus" to make it all the way up. http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
Replacing torsion springs is done with the door closed. You start by carefully unloading all of the springs (most standard-size doors have two; any broken spring will already be unloaded), using the winding bars. Then, you unbolt the springs from the central rod bracket, disconnect the cables from the pulleys, and loosen the pulleys and slide them off of the rod. Next, you swap out the springs, reinstall the pulleys and cables, and secure the inside ends of the springs to the central bracket. Finally, you wind up both springs (securing them with two setscrew bolts on the winding cones) and test the door for proper spring tension. Often, springs need an extra quarter-turn or two to get the door balance just right.
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On our EZ-Set Torsion Springs page you will find several options for replacing these springs. We also have step by step instructions for EZ-Set Torsion Spring Replacement. In addition, one of our customers has provided excellent EZ-Set Torsion System instructions for removing the spring without wrecking the winding unit that secures the stationary cone. Instead of a spanner tool, you may prefer to use a pipe wrench or large channel locks to hook the end of the spring and remove it from the cones in the last step.
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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.
The tricky parts of the job involve you carrying the tension of the spring. Replacing a spring requires that you first unwind the spring to relieve the tension, then wind it back up and secure it while it's under tension. Winding bars are used for all winding and unwinding actions—don't try to save a few bucks by substituting long screwdrivers or pieces of rebar for the real winding bars. Substitute tools are much more likely to slip, or they may bend or break under the load of the spring. https://youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
4. It is also important to note that extension springs sometimes do not break but rather ‘stretch out’. This is easy to spot as the space between coils when the door is closed is normally consistent. When the spring fails without breaking the space between the coils will become very inconsistent. This condition is quite visible and if it exists the springs should be replaced (Know when to call quits with your garage door).
To install a single new garage door it should cost between $500 and $800. They demonstrate that the average homeowner can usually tackle such a project in a nine hour time span and a professional will be able to complete it in roughly five hours. Should it be a DIY project? Not really, most housing experts point out that it is a two-person job, requires advanced carpentry skills, and even knowledge of household electronic systems.
It is precisely on those coldest days of the year when you most need and appreciate the convenience of opening and closing your garage door quickly. Sadly, that's exactly the kind of day when moisture and cold can conspire to make this difficult. Garage doors can and do freeze to the garage floor. Sometimes it is just a minor icy connection between the two that can be broken when you hit the opener button. If the door refuses to budge on the first attempt, though, resist the urge to keep banging on the automatic opener button. This is likely to cause a more serious problem with the garage door opener—including, but not limited to, stripped gears, broken springs, and a burned-out motor on the opener.
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The winding and unwinding is done at a metal fitting, called a winding cone, attached to the outside end of the spring. You stick a winding bar into one of the four holes in the cone and use the bar as a lever to turn the cone. Once you've completed a quarter turn, insert the other bar into a different hole in the cone and let the bar lever against the closed garage door to hold the spring tension. This allows you to move the original bar to repeat the process, alternating the bars with each quarter-turn. It takes about 30 quarter-turns to fully tension a standard torsion spring. https://youtube.com/e/Z_eZc-kh40c