Though you can do some maintenance to your garage doors on your own, it may be a good idea to schedule routine inspections with a professional. A typical service call will include a manual inspection of the door and opener. Then adjustments can be made including spring tension, chain/belt tension, limits and force adjustments and door lubrication. Fees for this service vary from place to place, but garage door repairs typically cost between $147 and $340.
We specialize in all varieties of garage door repair work. We have the tools and knowledge to get the job done safely. It can be somewhat dangerous to take on a garage door repair on your own, and most garage door companies will advise against attempting a DIY fix. There are some hazards to watch out for when working around these heavy and high tension doors. We recommend you give the experts at Girard's a call to address the issue in a safe and timely manner.
As we’ve mentioned before, springs are installed within your garage lift mechanism in order to help lift the door. Because doors are so heavy, the lift motor would undergo far more significant wear and tear if it had to lift the full weight of the door every time you opened it. Furthermore, in order to ensure that you can open your door even if you lose power in your home, springs allow you to lift the door by hand when the motor is disengaged.
One might stack lumber or arrange some other low platform for a steady footing, instead of the ladder. The aluminum ladder shown here is the splendid 16-foot Krause Multimatic, which carries a Type 1A Industrial rating (300 pound working load); I highly recommend it. However, product liability apparently forced this company into bankruptcy in September 2000 and the company ceased operations in June 2001; see http://www.krauseladders.com (this Web site went dead sometime in mid-2002). The world is a dangerous place.
Garage doors cause injury and property damage (including expensive damage to the door itself) in several different ways. The most common causes of injury from garage door systems include falling doors, pinch points, improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, attempts at do-it-yourself repair without the proper knowledge or tools, and uncontrolled release of spring tension (on extension spring systems).
If you've researched this subject at all, you will no doubt have heard that you shouldn't be attempting torsion spring replacement as a do-it-yourselfer. That is generally good advice, so if you have any doubts about your abilities to do risky physical work on your own, hire the job out like everyone else. I found I was capable of doing this work with acceptable risk, because I intelligently understood the techniques, paid careful attention to methods and safety, knew how to use common tools in good condition, properly improvised the special tools I didn't have, and diligently attended to correctly performing a few moments of hazardous manipulation. I learned to do it purely on my own based mostly on bits of advice reluctantly given in Internet forums such as the Usenet newsgroup alt.home.repair. When I first wrote this page in 2002, there was no other do-it-yourself information available on the Web, and it was not until 2005 that reliable information disclosing the techniques started to appear elsewhere (see links below).
Garage doors provide one of the major entryways into your home. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that they are secure and in good working order. If you are having problems with your current door, then you need to have a professional determine if it can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced. Here are some of the most common factors that will affect the cost of a garage door repair.
Tom was professional, knowledgeable, and very friendly. He arrived at my house within the time frame he said he would (nothing is worse than a late technician). Once he arrived, he assessed the problem, explained it clearly and concisely, and informed me he had the parts available with him to fix it. He fixed the issues speedily and I was able to return to work within the hour. The price was reasonable too. I would recommend Precision to any of my friends and neighbors. Thanks Tom!
If you have a steel door, but want the look of a wood one, it is not necessary to change your entire garage door. Often, it may be possible to mimic the look of wood with skillful painting. Your local home improvement store may be able to provide good advice about the type of paint and brushes needed to mimic the look of wood for your particular door material.
Manufacturers and distributors of torsion springs believe they are better off not retailing their product directly to the public. They believe they are maintaining higher prices for their product by restricting sales "to the trade." One brochure for parts even flatly stated, "We do not sell to the end user. We protect our dealers," which would seem to be prima facie evidence of an illegal restraint-of-trade scheme. But this is an old story which is true of virtually every product and service, going back to medieval guilds and before.
The various increments of standard wire sizes differ by only about 0.010 inch, so calipers or a micrometer would be the tool to use to be certain of the stepped size you have, or else a trustworthy ruler marked in tenths of an inch to use the measure-10-turns-and-divide-by-10 trick. The most common wire sizes in the US are 0.207", 0.218", 0.225", 0.234", 0.243", 0.250", and 0.262".
Unmatched or mismatched spring pair: You may find that you have a pair of springs that are different sizes. This mismatch may be a normal application, since the total torque on the torsion shaft is simply the sum of the torque contribution of each spring (indeed, very large doors can be lifted with 4 or more springs along the torsion shaft). The sum of the torque rates determine the lift; and dividing the torque among multiple springs does not change this. Some repair shops even apply mismatched pairs deliberately, since a few stock sizes of springs can be combined to fit a wider range of door weights than only matched pairs. For example, a technician may carry springs in increments of 20 lbs of lift, and when using pairs this allows a 20 lb increment in possible choices instead of 40 lb increments. Or, one spring from a pair may have broken and been replaced with a spring of equal torque rate but different size than the original.
The salesman-disguised-as-technician trick: In this trick, you arrange for a service call to your home, perhaps paying a small fee up-front, and a neatly uniformed man arrives in a very technical-looking truck, carrying an impressive tool kit. He carefully examines your door, perhaps using some impressive testing devices to lend weight to his expertise. He then condemns your door as not worth repairing, and tells you, to his sincere regret, that you must have a new one. In fact, this technician is not a technician, but a salesman who only sells, and does not repair, doors. Even if he doesn't sell you, he is doing well just collecting fees for service calls that are no more than sales visits. He doesn't actually have to ever fix anything, and he may not even be capable of doing so himself. He's an expert at selling, which genuine technicians are not. In the worst case, when you refuse to buy a whole new door, he might refuse to follow up with a visit from an actual technician, either outright, or only with an unacceptable delay ("we're too busy to get a guy out until next week", when your car is trapped). If you find yourself closing in on this situation, then politely invite him to leave, and try someone else. That is your right, and in fact the only power you have to bargain in such circumstances. At that point, he may offer to promptly bring in his competent colleague, who will turn up lacking charm and looking awful, but might actually do the work, possibly at a fair price. If so, you will have beaten a legal variation of the classic illegal bait-and-switch (see below). The switch was attempted, but not required, which makes this legal. This is a hazard of any direct-sales situation. Because it rarely appears in everyday retail sales, it can surprise the unwary.
Electric Garage Door Openers – Service and repair of the electric garage door opener itself, including the lift mechanism that pulls the door up and guides it down. This is typically not part of the garage door itself and is serviced and repaired on its own interval. Typical service includes inspection, repair, adjustment, and lubrication if needed. Also, we typically inspect the mounting of the unit as well as its attachment to the door itself.
When you install a new garage door, replace all the hardware as well. If your automatic opener doesn’t have an automatic reversing system that includes photoelectric eyes, replace it. Doors with openers also require two extra pieces of hardware that you’ll see in Photo 4: a support strut (usually included in the door kit) and an opener bracket (not included). For doors with torsion springs located over the door, spend the $50 or so to have a garage door professional release the tension.
Here are the new replacement springs I ordered from a distributor, which I found using a Google search for "garage door supply" (search that phrase now). You certainly won't find these at Home Depot or Lowe's (although last I checked Lowe's does carry the less daunting extension spring replacements). I also have a list of some suppliers at the end of this page.
Depending on the design, you can know in advance how many turns are going to have to be unwound. Lifting a 7-foot door by winding a cable on a 4-inch diameter (about 1 foot circumference) drum requires about 7 turns, plus one extra turn to maintain cable tension at the top-of-travel. Maintaining tension at the top-of-travel is critical; without it the cable will jump off the drum, requiring a serious repair.
Garage remotes work by sending a coded signal via radio frequency to the garage door opener. If this code matches that of the opener, then the motor will operate and raise or lower the door. Older devices use a single coded switch, whereas newer systems utilise a rolling code that changes each time the remote is used, increasing the security of the door by offering billions of combinations.
Most garage door openers are pretty expensive. So if you need an opener on a budget, the Genie 1035-V (also known as the Genie Chain Drive 500) gives you that desirable low price point. It doesn't have a lot of high-end tech features, nor will it manage heavy garage doors, but it does the basic work of raising and lowering the garage door perfectly well.
Since we're using an 18-inch (1.5 feet) winding lever to wind each spring up to 29 foot-pounds, we must apply a maximum tangential force to the end of the winding lever of about 20 pounds. Later we'll see that the actual weight of this rather dense door is 238 pounds, implying a maximum tangential force on the winding levers of only about 13 pounds!
When you're done watching this video you'll know how to determine whether the company you hired to replace your garage door spring installed the right size spring on your door. You'll also learn the consequences to your garage door opener if the wrong size spring is used. If you are having a problem with your garage door spring, the 2:30 minutes you spend watching this video is time will spent.
I was careful not to assume that the previous installation correctly oriented the right- and left-hand springs on the correct sides of the center bearing plate. They could have been installed backwards by an incompetent installer, resulting in them having been wound looser (larger diameter coil) instead of tighter (smaller diameter coil) than when in their relaxed state, and if so I would have corrected them on the new installation. The proper orientation of the springs applies their reaction torque from tighter winding such that it turns the drums to lift the door. Verifying this is a rather simple exercise in mechanical visualization, but does require some care to be certain of correctness. If you were to install the springs backwards, and then start to wind them in the wrong direction, then the torsion bar will start winding the drums backwards, and not holding against the vise pliers, which should be obvious to inspection. Winding a spring backwards also tends to screw the spring off the cones; this error cannot proceed too far before the spring slips off the cones.
However, if you are confident that you don’t just need new batteries, make sure to call a professional. A service person with a lot of experience will be able to look at the problem and quickly diagnose the issue, saving you precious time. Again, while you may be able to save money in the short term by taking a day off and troubleshooting the problem yourself, the amount of energy and time lost as you search out the issue will quickly surpass the cost of a professional repair.
Called for an appointment and was surprised that I could have a tech come the same day. Matt arrived ahead of schedule, inspected the garage door and gave me a tune up to get things working properly again. He explained what would need to be done in the future, and the cost. I will certainly call them when the time comes to get that work done.read more
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, those also happen to be the kinds of days when cold and moisture combine to make this difficult. Garage doors can and do freeze to the garage floor. Sometimes it is a minor icy connection between the two that can be broken when you hit the opener button.
You might be thinking: Aha! Why don't we lift the door, clamp it in place, and install the springs while they are thus safely unwound, rather than deal with all that accumulation of hazardous torque? The answer: At the top-of-travel, the unwound springs are not fully relaxed; they are still clamped to the torsion shaft with a significant stretch along the shaft axis, plus about a half-turn to keep the door snug at the top. This extra length amounts to the stacking of extra turns that accumulate from winding, also termed "spring growth" in the business. In my case this is about 7 turns of 0.2253 wire, or about 2 inches. Stretching the spring that much and clamping it with a half-turn or so of twist is not feasible.
The lucky-for-you-I-found-another-problem trick: Another trick is to suggest your automatic opener was damaged (or "compromised") by the additional load or shock presented by the failure of the spring(s). The plastic worm gear used in the most common openers (see above) wears normally over the years and tends to leave a lot of debris inside the opener housing. Removing the opener cover reveals a lot of plastic shavings that may be cited as "evidence" you need a new opener, when the gears are actually still serviceable. Nevertheless, you may have indeed worn out the gear if you repeatedly cycled the door with the opener despite having broken springs, which is possible if you have a very lightweight door.
The Heavy Duty Chain Extension Kit for 8 The Heavy Duty Chain Extension Kit for 8 ft. High Garage Doors is required for reliable everyday operation of Chamberlain heavy duty chain drive models in 8 ft. garage door applications. Featuring a quick-install extension rail and replacement chain the kit includes everything needed for quick and easy installation. Includes ... More + Product Details Close