Location, climate and building codes are just a few factors to consider when determining which type of garage door is right for your home. Depending on the region you live in, you may need to choose a wind load option for your garage door. Wind loaded garage doors help safeguard your home in high wind prone areas. With garage doors serving as the largest and often times the primary entrance to the home, an insulated garage door may also be right for you.
Next, the torsion shaft is reassembled with the new springs, the drums repositioned loosely on the shaft, this whole assembly slid back into the end bearings, and the drum set-screws tightened down. I tightened the set-screws about 1/2 or 3/4 of a turn after contact with the shaft, which provides a good grip, but does not distort the shaft. The drums can be set on their old positions, if they were correctly installed, which is snug up against the end bearings to remove any longitudinal play in the torsion shaft. Now the lift cable can be reattached to the drums, and a slight temporary torque applied to the shaft to keep the cable taut while the first spring is wound. This temporary torque is conveniently applied with a pair of locking pliers clamped on the shaft, positioned such that they hold the torque by pressing lightly against the wall above the door, before you start the spring winding, The locking pliers stay on the torsion shaft until you have finished the spring winding locked down the spring cone(s) with the setscrew(s), and removed the winding bars. Then you simply remove them with the release on the wrench handle. I feel that any job that doesn't require a trick manipulation with either locking pliers or duct tape (or in the ultimate case, both!) is just too boring. My trusty pliers look a trifle rusty ever since I used them to clamp something on my outdoor TV antenna "temporarily" and left them out in the weather for, oh, several years. The white stuff on the drum is paint overspray from the original painting of the garage interior.
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.
Critical measurements: Torsion springs come a variety of standardized sizes, so you have to carefully measure the old springs to know what to order for proper replacements. Tables of standard sizes and designs are on the Web, such as here [www.industrialspring.com]. The four critical measurements (all in inches) are: (1) the wire thickness (which I'm measuring here with a dial caliper; you can also measure the length of a number of closely stacked turns with a ruler and divide by the number of turns in the stack, measuring 10 turns this way makes the math easy), (2) the inside diameter (not outside!) of the relaxed (not wound!) coil, (3) the overall length of the relaxed (not wound!) spring coils, not including the winding cones, and (4) the right- or left-hand winding of the spring. One must glibly quote those figures to the spring supplier, otherwise one's lack of expertise will be obvious, and one will not be worthy of buying the parts.
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.
The Genie SilentMax 750 belt drive garage door opener isn't as feature-packed as the Chamberlain B970, but its value is hard to overlook. The 75-HPc motor isn't as strong as the B970s, but is still plenty strong for any residential use, and the opener is widely judged to be pleasingly quiet. Smart features are built in, too, but using those requires the addition of the optional Genie Aladdin Connect module (Est. $95). The biggest downside is that there's no battery back-up.
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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With over 300 independently moving parts, your garage door is a deceptively complex piece of equipment. To help prevent malfunctions and break-downs, it is a good idea to occasionally perform a garage door tune-up to keep all of these parts in good working order. A regular tune-up service by a Sears professional can prevent unexpected door problems and prolong the life of your existing equipment.