As mentioned in issue #2, garage doors are designed with a reversing mechanism that prevents them from crushing objects in their path. If you find that your garage door closes part way and then goes back up, this can be triggered by objects on the ground blocking their path such as garbage cans or toys. It could also be caused by a buildup of debris on the tracks that prevents the rollers from moving forward. This could include small items like rocks, gum or mud buildup. If the door hits even a small object on the track, it will go back up to avoid crushing whatever is underneath it.

These instructions are for doors with cable drums and cables that look similar to those in the picture below. The next part beyond the end of the spring assembly is the cable drum. The drum is cast aluminum alloy 4" in diameter and 12.6" in circumference around the flat portion. Just beyond the cable drum is the end bearing plate. The cable unwraps off the back of the drum between the drum and the garage wall or jamb and travels down alongside the door, inside the track brackets and behind the roller stems as shown.
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.

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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You may remember a time as a kid when you and your siblings would close the garage door and run underneath it as fast as possible to make it out before the door closed. Well, on any garage door installed after 1993, that’s no longer possible thanks to two tiny photo eyes on either side of the garage entrance. These photo eyes transmit an invisible beam between each other that detects if anything is in the garage door’s path when it closes. This safety measure is there to prevent automatic garage doors from closing on top of someone or something and causing serious injury or damage to property. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=share
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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The first thing to look for if your door is stuck is to check the sensors. Most automatic garage doors come with two sensors located on either side toward the bottom of the garage that will stop the door from closing in the event the event that a child or pet is in the way of the door. If your door gets stuck, the first thing to do is look at both sensors and make sure nothing is in the way.

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As the door is opened and closed over time, the steel in the springs can start to weaken as the door gradually becomes too heavy for them, rendering them less effective. The springs will eventually break, leaving the door closed. Torsion springs can also be affected by rust and cold weather. The good news is, the average garage door torsion springs will last somewhere between 5-7 years, and should last around 10,000 cycles. So, if you open and close your garage door 3-5 times a day for over 365 days in a year, you should get plenty of life out of your torsion springs.
NEVER use screwdrivers, pin punches or pliers handles to wind or unwind a torsion spring. Trust us: This is the best way to wind up in the hospital. Don't even think about doing this job without a proper set of winding bars. You can buy a set of professional hardened-steel winding bars for about $25 from online suppliers. (Garagedoorpartsusa.com and stardoorparts.com are two online sources that sell winding bars, springs and other parts.) Professional winding bars work with 1/2-in. and 7/16-in. winding cones. If your winding cones have 1/2-in. openings, you can make your own winding bars by cutting a 36-in. length of 1/2-in.-diameter round bar stock in half (buy round bar stock from any hardware or home center). Just file a smooth bevel on each end so it slides into the winding cone holes easier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&app=m
The first thing to look for if your door is stuck is to check the sensors. Most automatic garage doors come with two sensors located on either side toward the bottom of the garage that will stop the door from closing in the event the event that a child or pet is in the way of the door. If your door gets stuck, the first thing to do is look at both sensors and make sure nothing is in the way.

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If your garage door is equipped with only one torsion spring, it will be much harder to get your door open. You will need to get 2-3 people to help lift the door up because the full weight can be anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds. We don’t recommend lifting the door when the spring break's due to the danger of it falling on someone. If you absolutely must get your garage door open, raw strength is what you need. When you get the door in the up position, use vise-grips or a c-clamp on the track below the bottom roller to hold the door in the up position.

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10.7 Continue tapping until the cone moves out to the mark on the shaft. Continue holding the bar off the garage door and pulling back toward the center of the door. If the cone slips away from the mark, repeat this step. Keep an eye on the tape to make sure the bar doesn't slip out of the cone. If it does start to slip, rest the bar against the top of the garage door, insert a bar in the next hole and turn the cone up enough to make it possible for you to push the marked bar back into place.
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.[2] https://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c
With Garage Door Doctor, you can rest assured we will replace your springs correctly. We offer 2 types of springs – standard and high cycle. On a 7 foot tall door, our standard torsion springs will last 15,000 cycles and our high cycle torsion springs will last 50,000 cycles. How many years will this last you? That is based off only one thing – usage. For example, with standard torsion spring, if you use your door 4 times a day, you get just over 10 years of life. However, if you use your door 8 times a day, you would get just over 5 years of life. If you use door very little or if you are moving very soon, maybe standard springs would be best for you. If you use your door many times a day or if you don’t plan on moving for a while, high cycle springs would be best for you. Getting high cycle springs will ensure you won’t be stuck with a broken spring for many years to come. Either way, both types of torsion springs we offer work great – its just a matter of when the break again. Call Garage Door Doctor today to have your garage fixed properly!
9.8 Twist the garage door shaft to tighten the cable on the drum. While twisting, vise grip the shaft as shown to keep the cable tight on the drum. The top of the vise grip should be tight against the garage header. This will keep the cable snug on the first drum while you install the cable on the other drum and position it in place. It also keeps the shaft from turning and the cables peeling off when you wind the springs. That one grip can save many hours of walking back and forth and having to level and re-level the garage door after winding the torsion springs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
Install the stiffening strut on top of the top section of steel doors with the section lying flat. Then install the opener bracket that replaces the center bracket between the top two sections. While you’re working on the sections, protect them from scratches by putting carpet scraps on top of your sawhorses. Now, slide the rollers into the roller brackets.

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Jerrod the technician had answers to all my questions. He was very knowledgeable and very patiently explained what was going on with my garage door and the opener. I would definitely recommend A1 garage door service to friends and family. I was given options to either repair the door or replace it. I will get the door replaced when it gets non-functional from A1 garage door service.

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Jerrod the technician had answers to all my questions. He was very knowledgeable and very patiently explained what was going on with my garage door and the opener. I would definitely recommend A1 garage door service to friends and family. I was given options to either repair the door or replace it. I will get the door replaced when it gets non-functional from A1 garage door service.
Standard torsion springs (about $40 each) have a service life of 7,000 to 10,000 open/close cycles. However, you can buy double-life (25,000 cycles) replacement springs for about $65 per spring. If you have a two-spring setup and one spring breaks, the second spring will break soon. So replace them both at the same time. To get the right springs for your door, you'll have to provide the supplier some details. Here's how:

One of the best ways to care for your springs is to check them over for wear. You can certainly look at them for damage, but sometimes the damage isn’t something that’s visible. In these cases, try lifting the garage door up from the ground. About halfway up, let go. If the door stays, the springs are still working perfectly. If the door sags or drops at all, this could be a sign that your springs are beginning to weaken and will need replacing soon.


These instructions were first posted in 2005, and they were updated in August of 2008. I have been frank about the hazards of garage door repairs and about my own accidents incurred while replacing torsion springs. For what it's worth, you might be surprised to know that I, too, have benefitted from producing these instructions. I have not had any garage door accidents since we first published these on the web in 2005. And, in as much as I have helped keep other DIY-ers out of the emergency room, I consider myself somewhat of a medical practitioner.

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Refrain from parking your car in the garage until the garage door is repaired. Additionally, try not to open and close the door while it’s in this condition. With that amount of possible force coming from the springs or cables, they could potentially damage your vehicle or other property in the garage as well as cause serious injury. It’s especially important that you and your family stay away from these cables or springs until everything is repaired.
One thing to consider - assuming you have 2 springs and an opener, unless the other spring is quite new, you should replace it at the same time, first because it will probably break fairly soon anyway and changing two is only about $50 more than changing one, and because the springs on both sides should be of equal stiffness - if not, then the door will be unevenly weight compensated and try to open cockeyed, increasing wear and risk of damaging the motor.
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=youtube_gdata
10.7 Continue tapping until the cone moves out to the mark on the shaft. Continue holding the bar off the garage door and pulling back toward the center of the door. If the cone slips away from the mark, repeat this step. Keep an eye on the tape to make sure the bar doesn't slip out of the cone. If it does start to slip, rest the bar against the top of the garage door, insert a bar in the next hole and turn the cone up enough to make it possible for you to push the marked bar back into place.

One of the best ways to care for your springs is to check them over for wear. You can certainly look at them for damage, but sometimes the damage isn’t something that’s visible. In these cases, try lifting the garage door up from the ground. About halfway up, let go. If the door stays, the springs are still working perfectly. If the door sags or drops at all, this could be a sign that your springs are beginning to weaken and will need replacing soon.

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The low rating on the CS is due to the fact that inwas out of town and my wife called because the garage door wouldn't open. We had repairs to the only other exit, and the CS said because it could be opened manually, it was no emergency. She was stuck in the house for over Sixteen hours. No emergency crew came out. Steve, a tech who came out the first time, fixed the door. It is not his fault CS took their sweet time to help a 45 year customer. I commend Steve. I do NOT have anything good to say about CS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_eZc-kh40c

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. https://youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c
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