Uncentered center bearing plate: The center bearing plate need not actually be in the center. It doesn't much matter where it is, since the purpose of the bracket is to anchor the spring ends. This anchoring must be secure, since all the torsion is held together at that point. On a stud-framed wall, this bracket may be placed over the stud closest to the center rather than exactly at the center of the door opening.
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.

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.
If your door feels heavy, it is likely that your springs have started to wear down and are no longer capable of bearing the weight that they once did. Now, don’t worry, just because a spring is starting to lose its strength doesn’t mean it will snap at any moment. However, simultaneously, a weak spring isn’t any safer to try and repair on your own.

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).


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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!
Since their invention in the 1920s, electric garage door openers have come a long way. Garage door openers work by using a trolley connected to an arm that attaches to the top of the garage door and slides back and forth on a track, which opens and closes the garage door. When operating the motor, a chain or belt turns and pulls the trolley along the track. A good garage door opener will have a horsepower of 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, or 1-1/4 HP. Garage door openers have the ability to open and close a limited number of times in power outage emergencies. Security is something else to consider when purchasing an opener. It's helpful to have sensors that will stop the operation of the garage door when a person, vehicle, or other obstacle is in the way.
If the wires that run from your opener to the photo eyes and to the wall button are exposed, replace them, too. Those wires have probably been in your garage for 10 years or more, and they may be nicked or worn. Newer openers are extremely sensitive and won’t work if a wire is damaged. It only takes about 15 minutes to run the new wire, so it’s time well spent. If the wires are protected inside the wall, you don’t need to run new wire.
Now 13 pounds of force must be respected when backed by many hundreds of foot-pounds of stored energy, waiting to be released. Holding this torque is equivalent to stalling a 3 horsepower DC motor. But holding and turning these handles does not require extraordinary human strength. Note that this maximum tangential force depends only on the weight of the door, and the radius of the drums, and is divided by the number of springs (some designs have only one longer spring, as mine did originally, instead of two shorter ones). Higher or lower lift distances imply more or less turns to wind the spring (and thus a different spring geometry), but not more force on each turn.
Speed of a thrown winding bar:: The springs, being in balance with the door, effectively are able to launch a typical 150 lb door at 10.6 mph speed. An 18-inch long by 1/2-inch diameter steel winding bar happens to weigh about 1 pound. Since momentum is conserved, this 150:1 ratio in weight of the door to the winding bar means the fully-wound springs could potentially throw a winding bar at 10.6 mph * 150 = 1590 mph = 2332 ft/sec, assuming the energy were perfectly coupled and transferred. If the energy transfer were only 1/3 efficient, this would still be the 800 ft/sec speed of a typical pistol bullet. Except it is a foot-and-a-half metal spear, not a bullet.
Roberto was very courteous and explained the details of what he was doing. He also pointed out a repair I might consider having done (replacement of the bottom panel of my door) and asked the office to follow up with me on this. Someone did follow up with me and since replacement of the bottom panel is not an option and I would have to replace the door, I decided that I can wait.
This opener is easy to install for most DIYers and comes with two remotes and a wireless keypad so you can open the door with a pin. If you are interested in having this smart-enabled you can purchase a separate kit to do so. The Safe-T Beam helps prevent accidents using a infrared beam that will open or close the door if a car is getting to close. 
Wood garage door: There’s no substitute for the distinctive look of wood. It’s typically made of moisture-resistant cedar, redwood or cypress and offers the most flexibility for custom designs. Depending on climate and exposure, wood doors require more maintenance. The average cost for a 16-by-7 double door made of quality wood: $1,200 to more than $4,000.
Having a mismatched pair makes it difficult to specify the correct matched-pair replacements. To obtain replacement springs for a mismatched pair, you can either specify the same odd pair, try to calculate the equivalent matched pair sizes, or (this is the best method:) measure an accurate door weight and calculate the right spring size(s) "from scratch". The spring seller should be able to do the calculations from your accurate measurements of weight, height, and drum size; or you can attempt the calculations yourself using my engineering formulas below.
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

These are just my observations as a consumer; I am not on a crusade to change the garage door industry. But I will observe that the Web is the innovation that can finally give intelligent consumers the advantage in these commercial games. Trade restraints work only when all sellers in the market collude in and agree to the scheme. If anyone, anywhere is selling freely, then the Web can help you find them. In the years since I have first published this information, a number of reputable Web-based merchants have appeared to supply the parts you need to repair your garage door as a do-it-yourselfer (and I have linked many of them below).
Insulation increases the efficiency of your door and can lower your electric will. You need R-value garage doors. These type of doors keep out hot and cold air and also provide a sound barrier between the outside and your garage. Insulated doors use polyurethane or polystyrene foam as insulation inside the door. More information about garage door replacement cost.
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).
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.

When garage door repair isn’t an option — perhaps the current door is beyond fixing or you want to upgrade to a quieter, more energy-efficient model — it’s time to buy a new one. But choosing a garage door is not as simple as it sounds, even when you know the right size for your home. A wide range of materials, styles and finishes are available, and each factor influences the cost. Garage doors are made of aluminum, steel, vinyl, fiberglass, masonite, wood (typically cedar or mahogany), or a composite of several materials. They may be insulated against cold or heat. Traditional and modern styles include raised panel, carriage house or crossbuck. Most styles have window or arch options, and are available in different wood finishes and neutral colors. Because garage doors account for a large part of a home’s exterior, their appearance is usually a homeowner’s top priority. An attractive garage door can increase a home’s curb appeal and resale value.
If your door feels heavy, it is likely that your springs have started to wear down and are no longer capable of bearing the weight that they once did. Now, don’t worry, just because a spring is starting to lose its strength doesn’t mean it will snap at any moment. However, simultaneously, a weak spring isn’t any safer to try and repair on your own.
There’s another reason new doors are superior to old ones: energy efficiency. Keep in mind, garage doors are large, and when they open, they let a lot of outside air into your home. While you may have significant insulation separating your garage from the rest of your home, eventually that temperature differential will start to influence your energy bills.

However, in addition to potentially causing injuries to the under-prepared DIYer, a malfunctioning door can become a safety hazard to you and your family. Keep in mind, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), over 13000 people checked into hospitals with garage related injuries in the United States in 2007. You don’t want to turn a loved one into a statistic just to save a few dollars!
Regardless of the material, you will likely need to perform some regular maintenance tasks. A garage door professional can examine common problem areas to ensure all are working as they should. Additionally, it is necessary to examine the integrity of the door itself, since your garage can be especially vulnerable to security issues if your door is not structurally sound.

Wood - Wood garage doors are sturdy and quite beautiful. However, if you live in a humid climate, your doors will be prone to rotting and splitting. If your wood is painted, you must also factor in the costs of painting as part of your regular maintenance routine. The cost of repairing the wood varies depending on the type. However, average cost to repair a wood panel is $190 to $215.
While there might not be a huge price range when it comes to garage door openers—they are all quite an investment—there a few less expensive options to consider. Here’s a great budget option from Chamberlain. It has a motor that’s equivalent to ½ horsepower and chain drive system that is quick and easy to install. You can also connect it to the MQ technology (gateway sold separately) to use with your smartphone. The product comes with two three-button visor remote controls, a multi-function wall control, as well as a wireless keyless entry system. It comes with a 10-year motor, two-year parts, and one-year accessories warranty.
The Genie Chain Drive garage door opener combines The Genie Chain Drive garage door opener combines powerful reliable performance with smooth operation to create a long-lasting and easy-to-install garage door opener. The unit's electronic push-button programming makes installation and setup fast and easy. Complete with accessories the system features a reliable DC motor that delivers quiet smooth operation ...  More + Product Details Close
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