Most garage doors from the past 15-20 years have a photo eye which detects if a person or object is blocking the door from lowering all the way. The photo eye will be about 4-6 inches off of the ground for most doors, with an eye that is about the size of a pea. It shoots a laser across the length of the garage that, if interrupted, will cut off the signal used to lower and raise the door.


From a big-box store, basic garage door cables can run between $8 and $20, depending on the product. Your pro may charge you a different cost if they provide the cables. Your cables may not need to be replaced if they have simply come off the track, but broken cables will need to be completely removed and replaced. In either instance, the pros will need to secure or take down the door; unwind the springs; reset or replace the rollers, cables, and drums; and then wind the springs once more. For example, a pro could reset cables that have come off the track for $129.99. The average national cost for a garage door repair specialist is $80 - $110 per hour and the typical cost to replace a broken garage door cable is anywhere from $130 to $200.

If your photo eyes are clean and the door still isn’t closing, the next thing you’ll need to do is check the alignment of the eyes. The eyes should be pointing in exactly the same direction and at the same angle. If they’re off, they won’t register that the other one is there, and it’ll assume something is in its path, causing the door to stay in the open position. When checking the alignment, measure the height of each photo eye from the ground. Use a level to make sure they’re pointing directly across at each other at the same angle. A laser level will make this part a little easier, but if you don’t have one, a regular level will work as well. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z_eZc-kh40c
6.7 It's now time to unwind the spring. Firmly position yourself on a steady ladder beside the garage door. Next, insert the bar into one of the holes of the winding cone. Make sure it goes all the way in. It should click when your bar hits the core. If you want to test the force you will be handling before loosening the set screws, push up on the bar one quarter turn and bring it back down. Next, while grasping the other end of the bar firmly, loosen the set screws with an open-end wrench or small adjustable wrench loose enough to come free should the cone spin. Be prepared for the torque to be transferred to the bar.
Step 5: Check for loose hardware, and tighten as needed. On swing-up doors, check the plates where the spring is mounted to be sure the screws are tight, and tighten any loose screws. On roll-up doors, check the hinges that hold the sections of the door together; tighten any loose screws, and replace any damaged hinges. Sagging at one side of the door can often be corrected by servicing the hinges. If a screw hole is enlarged, replace the screw with a longer one of the same diameter, and use a hollow fiber plug, dipped in carpenters' glue, with the new screw. If the wood is cracked at a hinge, remove the hinge and fill the cracks and the screw holes with wood filler. Let the filler dry and then replace the hinge. If possible, move the hinge onto solid wood.

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There are two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension. Torsion springs are horizontal and located near the top of the garage door. Check for a gap between these springs indicating a break. Springs on the sides of the garage door are extension springs. Inspect them to see if one or both of them have broken. If you have a broken spring, call a garage door technician to fix it for you as soon as possible. Never operate a garage door with a broken spring; it could severely damage the door and the operating system. Never attempt to replace a broken spring on your own, either. Replacing broken garage door springs is very dangerous for anyone other than a certified, professional repair technician.

It’s difficult to say how often the springs will need to be replaced since it’s different for everyone. It depends on how often you use your garage door, how cold and long your winters are, how well you maintain your springs and many other factors. The best rule of the thumb is to check your springs regularly for signs of wear and damage and to replace them when they begin to appear tired.


A common material for a new garage door is steel sheet formed or stamped to look like a raised panel wooden door. Steel doors are available in uninsulated, insulated, and double skin steel. A design mimicking carriage house doors has become popular since early 2000s, and many manufacturers clad the exterior of a steel door with composite, vinyl boards, or other trim to give it the appearance of wood.
Garage door manufacturers typically produce garage doors fitted with torsion springs that provide a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles and are guaranteed for three to seven years. One cycle is a single opening and closing sequence. Most manufacturers offer a 30,000 cycle spring. However, it is important to remember that if the weight of the garage door is increased by adding glass, additional insulation, or even several coats of paint, the life of the torsion spring may be greatly reduced. Additionally, springs at highly humid environments, such as coastal regions tend to have a significantly shorter cycle life, due to the corrosive cracking.
Squealing, screeching, or grinding noises from your garage door are usually indicative of a lack of lubricant or an accumulation of dirt or debris in the tracks. When removing debris, do not use harsh chemicals to clean the tracks. Once the track is clean, coat it with lubricant designed especially for garage doors, if possible. If you do not have access to this special type of lubricant, you can use WD-40 on the tracks and hardware. http://youtube.com/embed/Z_eZc-kh40c

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6.10 If the garage door comes off the floor when you pull down on the bar, and if the cone still won't loosen, tap the bar next to the cone with a hammer to force the cone beyond the swollen portion of shaft. Maintain a firm grip on the bar; keep it firmly inserted completely into the cone; and be prepared at all times for the cone to slip, break, explode or break free from the shaft and yank the bar down.

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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.[2] https://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c
Torsion springs have three advantages over extension springs: They’re quieter, safer and easier to fine-tune. Torsion springs are quieter because you don’t have a spring knocking against a roller track. They’re safer because when a spring breaks, it usually stays on the bar. Finally, you can fine-tune the tension on a torsion spring so the door is perfectly balanced. Setting the tension on torsion springs has always been very dangerous, but torsion and extension spring systems with easy, do-it-yourself tensioning (Photo 7) are available. If you don’t use one of these DIY-friendly, easy tensioning systems (Clopay EZ-Set Spring and Wayne-Dalton TorqueMaster are two brands), you should hire a professional to release and set the tension on a torsion spring.

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There are two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension. Torsion springs are horizontal and located near the top of the garage door. Check for a gap between these springs indicating a break. Springs on the sides of the garage door are extension springs. Inspect them to see if one or both of them have broken. If you have a broken spring, call a garage door technician to fix it for you as soon as possible. Never operate a garage door with a broken spring; it could severely damage the door and the operating system. Never attempt to replace a broken spring on your own, either. Replacing broken garage door springs is very dangerous for anyone other than a certified, professional repair technician.
If you have two torsion springs on your garage door, the good spring will most likely keep the cables on the drums when the other spring breaks. This makes it much easier to lift because the good spring will be pulling half the weight of the garage door. You can also use the garage door opener to help assist while someone lifts the door and acts as the broken spring. Use extreme caution when doing this to prevent damage to your garage door or injury to a person.

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Fiberglass and vinyl garage doors are composite units, combining a steel core behind a fiberglass or vinyl skin. They have also polyurethane insulated base sections, or other type of foam insulation. These premium doors can match steel garage doors, and be a realistic imitation of wood (namely fiberglass units), but they may be more expensive than steel units.
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.
9.13 If you have a spring anchor bracket with a fixed steel bearing, check for wear at the point where the shaft and bearing race meet. The shaft needs to be free to slide sideways inside the bearing. File the shaft if needed. Lube the bearing. Notice that only one bearing is needed for two torsion springs. This bearing keeps the shaft from rubbing against the inside of the stationary cones and on the center bracket. Your garage door may not have a center bearing. If so grease the shaft where it will be rubbing the bracket and the insides of the cones.
Inspect the area around your garage door to see if something is blocking the photo eye sensors. Then look at the tracks to see if there is any buildup on the inside. You’ll need to get a step ladder to look at the tracks on the top part of your garage, as it will be difficult to see from ground level. It may also not be a bad idea to proactively wipe down your garage door tracks periodically to prevent this type of buildup from occurring. Running a damp rag along each track should be enough to remove anything that’s lingering on the tracks.
First, check to see if the transmitter on the wall inside your garage still opens your garage door when pressed. If it does, then the transmitter in your car likely just needs a simple battery replacement. If you have more than one car transmitter for your garage door, then your other transmitters will likely need new batteries soon as well, since they were probably installed around the same time. 

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Garage doors are able to move due to a counterbalance system that usually consists of a torsion spring. We often find incorrect springs have been installed which result in an unsafe door that you may not be able to open manually when needed. The balance of your garage door should be tested annually to reduce wear on your garage door opener and ensure it can be opened if an emergency situation arises. Because of the dangers involved with torsion springs, garage door spring repair and installation should only be done by experienced professionals like our Medics.

2. These springs do wear out over time – in fact, they are commonly rated with what is called a cycle life. The average standard cycle life is ten thousand cycles with each cycle being one opening and closing of the door. This means for a door that sees four cycles per day you might expect to replace your springs after somewhere close to seven years of use.
Test the door balance. A garage door should require only a few pounds of pressure to move it up and down. If springs wear out and lose their resiliency, a power garage door opener may need to work extra hard to lift the door. This can quickly wear out the motor on the opener. Replacing worn-out springs is usually a job for a professional technician. 

Torsion springs have three advantages over extension springs: They’re quieter, safer and easier to fine-tune. Torsion springs are quieter because you don’t have a spring knocking against a roller track. They’re safer because when a spring breaks, it usually stays on the bar. Finally, you can fine-tune the tension on a torsion spring so the door is perfectly balanced. Setting the tension on torsion springs has always been very dangerous, but torsion and extension spring systems with easy, do-it-yourself tensioning (Photo 7) are available. If you don’t use one of these DIY-friendly, easy tensioning systems (Clopay EZ-Set Spring and Wayne-Dalton TorqueMaster are two brands), you should hire a professional to release and set the tension on a torsion spring.
The technician, Robert Helton, was very pleasant, helpful, and professional. He repaired the garage door opener expeditiously and explained why it hadn't worked properly. He also checked the chain mechanism and the door itself and showed me how to manually work the door should I need to do that in the future. I was very pleased with this repair work.

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I went on Garage Door Nation website to look at the conversion chart from 1 to 2 torsion springs. For my 1 spring, size 2"/0.250ID/30.5" length, they recommended 2 of 2"/0.207ID/24" length. I got this kit from Amazon for $64 with $11 overnight shipping even though I could get free shipping through Prime over the weekend, but I couldn't wait for 3 more painful days. Installed it followed YouTube video. Worked better than my old one, a lot quieter. Check the video if you want to install one yourself. Professional installation costs hundreds of $$$:
Installing an overhead garage door requires a few tools and a friend to help. First, the lower door panel needs to be set up in the center of the doorway. The remaining panels and tracks are held in place with hinges, brackets, and screws. Set up an easy-to-install torsion spring system to ensure that your door lifts properly for many years to come. 

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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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Instead, try other methods that might break the frozen connection between the door and the floor. For example, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the ice and free the door. Standard de-icing products can also work. And if you are careful not to damage the door or the seal on the bottom of the door, you can use a flat shovel or similar tool to chip away at the ice.
• Extension springs: Garage door extension springs stretch to provide lifting power for the door. These springs are typically made of steel and mounted above the horizontal track of the garage door. A safety cable should run through your extension springs to prevent possible injuries or property damage. Extension springs are the most common type of garage door spring for residential use and can break after excessive usage.

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Maybe the battery died or a spring broke, but you can't get into the garage to even see what the problem is. If the garage door is the only way in or out, or if you can't find the key to the door, you'll have to either find a way to break in or call a locksmith. As a preventative measure, it's smart to keep a spare key or install an emergency key release that would allow you to release the emergency disconnect to the operator so you can manually raise the door.
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
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