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 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that about 30,000 injuries linked to garage doors are now reported every year in the United States. Many of these injuries have involved bruised or broken extremities. However, some have included serious shoulder, back, and head injuries leading to permanent disability or even death. What is the cause of these garage door injuries? One leading cause has been homeowners trying to repair or replace their own garage door springs.
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If one of your door springs just broke and you are looking for instructions to decide if you can change the spring or springs safely and correctly, this page should help. DO NOT OPEN AND CLOSE YOUR GARAGE DOOR. Wooden garage doors are heavy and will probably damage or ruin the opener. The tops of steel doors often bend when operated with broken springs.
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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.
If your garage door goes up and down in a jerky motion, you might have one broken spring on a two spring system. Some garage door openers are strong enough to lift a door with only one good spring. The “herky jerky” motion is especially common with garage doors equipped with extension springs. It might be something as simple as lubricating your garage door pulleys, hinges, and rollers. When in doubt or if something doesn’t feel right about your door, call a service company to have it serviced.
Locating a contractor - there are many professional overhead garage door companies. It is always advisable to contact at least three different agencies and request a bid or quote for the work. Be sure that each quote includes the costs for a few different types of doors, any installation fees, and the cost of wiring the electronic openers. Standard prices range from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&app=mobile
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.
Homeowners have long been warned that torsion springs are extremely dangerous to work with and that replacing them must be left to a professional. But these claims are somewhat exaggerated. If you understand how they work, and you pay attention to what you're doing, you can replace them safely and surprisingly easily. Granted, they're a little spooky to work with at first (partly due to their reputation), but this is a good thing—you really don't want to forget that they're under tension. Thinking about every step — before you take it — is the key to staying safe.
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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
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