One of these "sproing" events at our house finally motivated me to research how these repairs are done. This happened in 2002, when my wife parked the chariot and shut the door. After the door closed, there was a horrific noise that she could only astutely describe as, "a big spring snapping and vibrating". Although I have hired professionals several times in the past to install or repair garage doors, the difference this time was the innovation of Google and newsgroups like alt.home.repair. I was determined to learn the process and to search for online parts vendors.
The classic telephone bait-and-switch: This time-honored swindle, also called "false advertising", can show up in the garage door business. Here's how this scam works: When you call and say you have a broken spring, and ask for a repair price, you are told over the phone that the price is X dollars, which typically might seem a little better than the competition. When the repairman shows up, after looking at your broken door, he will casually and matter-of-factly tell you it will cost 2X. If they told you over the phone that it would cost X, well, that was only for one spring, and he must (he must, mind you) install not just one, but two. He will act surprised if you object, as if you should have known that from what you were told over the phone. If you expected to really pay just X, it was your fault for misunderstanding because you don't know anything about how garage doors should be repaired. (You will feel intimidated at this, since you honestly don't know anything, else why would you have called a repairman? Intimidation is a powerful tool against customer resistance.) If your door used only one spring to start with, he will insist on converting yours to two, telling you it is safer the next time a spring breaks. If you originally had two springs, he will tell you that he must replace both springs, and you must therefore pay double what was quoted. While it is true that converting or replacing both springs is a good idea, the bait-and-switch pricing is not. The "bait" is the low price quoted to you over the phone, which they never intended to honor, and the "switch" is switching the price to something higher on a pretense. This method of selling is literally criminal (for example, see Florida Statutes 817.44, all states have similar laws), but a service business can usually avoid detection or prosecution because there are no printed advertisements or other tangible evidence, just one-on-one phone calls. If you find yourself in the middle of this trap, then the proper response is to dismiss the repairman without paying a nickel. Don't expect that you will be able to negotiate a fair price with someone who is using criminal business methods. Certainly don't expect that he will accept a lower price because you accuse him of false advertising. If you absolutely cannot wait for another service call, then you'll have to accept the fraud, in which case you should do so quietly. People that use these methods typically have ways to mentally justify their behavior to themselves as a reasonable business practice, and won't react well to your suggesting otherwise, even though they are in fact small-time criminals, not shrewd businessmen.
Repair Sagging Garage Doors – As doors and homes age, they can shift and move and sometimes this results in a garage door that needs to be realigned or reinforced. We will send a technician to your home to adjust the doors and to inspect the entire opening to make sure the door isn’t damaged. Once we understand the problem, we will fix the needed parts and make any adjustments to the door.
If you have an oversized door, one made of a heavier material such as wood, or a one-piece door, you should consider getting something stronger. In these cases, look for a garage door opener motor rated between 3/4 horsepower and 2 horsepower. There’s nothing stopping you from using a 2-horsepower opener on a smaller door, which can make for smoother operation and a longer service life, but high-horsepower units cost more.

We are a family owned and operated, local garage door company in the Carlisle area that believes in attention to detail and an emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. We even offer same-day service because we know that when your garage door isn’t working the way it should, you need it fixed fast. We offer affordable rates that will fit your budget, and we’re confident you won’t find another garage door installation company in Carlisle or the surrounding areas with the same dedication to our customers and the quality of our work at the affordable rates we offer our clients.
The torsion shaft with lift drums on the ends is above the door. The standard residential door shaft is a 1-inch outside diameter hollow steel tube. The inside diameters of the bearings, drums, and winding cones are sized to loosely fit that 1-inch diameter shaft. At the center is a bearing plate, on either side of which are the torsion springs, or in some cases just one larger spring. The spring pictured on the left in the photo is broken about 1/4 of the way in from its left end. The black shaft with dangling rope and door bracket is the track for the electric opener.

I make no recommendations of, and have no connection to, any of the following suppliers. These are just those whom I have learned about from my Web searches, from correspondence with those sending email about their experiences, or directly from the suppliers. I have removed several contacts that were generating complaints to me from dissatisfied customers. I have added this list to this page due to all the email queries I was receiving daily asking where to obtain parts. If you are a supplier and would like to be added to the list, see my email address at the end of this page.
The best garage door openers have a lifetime warranty on their motor and belt or chain. While it’s common for motors to come with lifetime warranties, belt and chain and parts warranties are often not that generous. However, it’s not uncommon for parts warranties to extend several years. Often the warranties are limited and subject to specific stipulations that vary and are detailed in the user manuals.

To estimate the maximum physical force required to wind these springs, consider that they are balancing the weight of the door with a torque applied to a lift drum on each end of the torsion shaft. The lift drums have a 2-inch radius, which is the standard residential size, and corresponds conveniently to about a 1-foot circumference. If we pessimistically assume the 10-by-7-foot door has a weight of 350 pounds, this implies a torque of 350 pounds on a 2-inch radius, that is, 700 inch-pounds, or 58 foot-pounds. Each of the two springs should be exerting slightly less than half of the balancing torque, or 29 foot-pounds. Compare this to, say, the bolts in an automobile, which are typically torqued to values of about 50 foot-pounds, or tire lug nuts, which may be torqued to well over 100 foot-pounds.
When buying an opener, choose a 1/3 hp or 1/2 hp opener for a single garage door (1/3 hp can be hard to find at some home centers). Go with 1/2 hp for a double door and 3/4 hp for a door that has a wood or faux wood overlay (they can be heavy!). Openers have a set opening speed, so installing an opener with a higher horsepower won’t open your door any faster.
The most common problem with garage door openers is the door reversing when it’s closing, even when there’s nothing obvious obscuring the photoelectric eyes. If your closing force is adjusted correctly, then the problem is almost always the photoelectric eyes. The eyes are very sensitive— even cobwebs can interfere with them. First make sure the eyes are still in alignment (some- thing may have knocked them out of whack). Then make sure the eyes are clean and the path between them is clear. Finally, look for loose wires in the eyes and the opener.
To estimate the maximum physical force required to wind these springs, consider that they are balancing the weight of the door with a torque applied to a lift drum on each end of the torsion shaft. The lift drums have a 2-inch radius, which is the standard residential size, and corresponds conveniently to about a 1-foot circumference. If we pessimistically assume the 10-by-7-foot door has a weight of 350 pounds, this implies a torque of 350 pounds on a 2-inch radius, that is, 700 inch-pounds, or 58 foot-pounds. Each of the two springs should be exerting slightly less than half of the balancing torque, or 29 foot-pounds. Compare this to, say, the bolts in an automobile, which are typically torqued to values of about 50 foot-pounds, or tire lug nuts, which may be torqued to well over 100 foot-pounds.
The open-ended work-order trick: You may be very surprised if you allow work to proceed without signing a work order with a specified price. Or, you may sign a work order, and think you're protected against open-ended wallet-reaching, only to find a much higher price due at the finish than you expected, because you signed a "parts as needed" order that got loaded up with a long list of parts (that likely were still in serviceable condition). You might have been quoted a price, but then get a bill for that price plus a lot more added for the "service call" and the "parts", and be told the quote was just for the labor. While this is the normal way of abusing your finances down at the hospital, you shouldn't agree to it for a garage door service call. These guys are not doctors.

Luckily, there is a bit of science to questions of garage door repair and replacement. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on when to replace a garage door. We’ll prepare you to compare repair vs replacement garage door costs. We’ll discuss the ways in which repairs are the most affordable option while also exploring those moments when replacement will in the end provide you with more value added.
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I repeat my caution about the uncertainty of interpreting color codes. A professional installer reading this page emailed me to say that the red color indicates the springs are right-hand windings, not the DASMA color code for the wire size. But this photo shows both a right- and a left-hand spring, and both have the red paint on the cones and set-screws. I conclude it is prudent to make your own measurements and analysis. Do not rely on the colors on old installations. The only time I would respect them would be on new parts that carried documentation giving the code.
Loosening or tightening the set-screws is the moment of most risk, since the end-wrench is a potential missile if you slip, and your hand is close to the cone. When the wrench is removed and only the rods are in place, it would seem that the worst that could happen is that the rod is flung out and the captive spring and cone rattle around, assuming you are keeping yourself clear of the rod's radial disk of rotation, and not leaning on the rod such as to fall into the apparatus were the rod to slip out of your grasp. The torsion shaft design has the virtue of capturing the mass of the spring and cones reliably on the shaft, preventing these parts from launching themselves as projectiles, even in an accident.
See the Sectional Overhead Garage Door catalog (PDF file) from the Prime-Line replacement hardware company. Their brochure Sectional Garage Door Torsion Spring Installation Instructions (PDF file, part number GD-12280) is brief but informative. Apparently you can only obtain their torsion springs as special order items through mom-and-pop type hardware stores like Ace and True Value, and not the big-box Home Depot and Lowes.

Insulation, which increases energy efficiency and can help to lower utility bills, is crucial when a garage door is attached to the home. In this case, doors with high R-values are preferred. This means it has insulation that can keep the heat in. The higher the R-value, the better insulated your garage will be against outside noise and cold and hot air.
With good looks, modest cost, and solid return on your investment, a new garage door is the Triple Crown of curb appeal projects. According to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the national median cost of a garage door replacement project is $2,300 and recovers 87% of your investment if you sell your house — one of the highest percentage of recovered costs in the “Report.”
When picking the best garage door for you, a good place to start is with material type. Most garage doors are made from either wood, steel or fiberglass. These three materials are strong, durable and each have their unique benefits at various price points. In order to pick the perfect fit for your home we have developed the DoorView® garage door designer. This interactive visualizer tool helps you design your dream door and allows you to see how it will look on your home with just the push of a button. You can also try it on your Apple iPad and Android devices.
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