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.
Garage door manufacturers typically produce garage doors fitted with torsion springs that provide a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles and are guaranteed for three to seven years. One cycle is a single opening and closing sequence. Most manufacturers offer a 30,000 cycle spring. However, it is important to remember that if the weight of the garage door is increased by adding glass, additional insulation, or even several coats of paint, the life of the torsion spring may be greatly reduced. Additionally, springs at highly humid environments, such as coastal regions tend to have a significantly shorter cycle life, due to the corrosive cracking.
Beware of improprer prior installations: Sometimes the existing door installation is not correct, and the old springs should not be used as a specification for replacements. For example, the old springs might have been replaced with incorrect sizes because the last repairman didn't have the right one on his truck. If your door has never worked quite right, something like this might be the cause. To correct this, you must use the weight of the door to specify the spring, either from a spring rate manual giving spring torque constants, or from the formulas below.

The special-price don't-tell-my-boss trick: In this scheme, after the technician has worked on your door for a bit, he will grimly notify you that he has discovered an additional repair needed, not just the spring(s). He will offer to do the work at a "special price" if you agree not to tell his boss. This air of conspiracy to get a bargain distracts and disarms you from critically thinking whether you really needed the repair in the first place (likely you don't), and whether the price is really a bargain (likely it isn't).
Repair of garage doors is a licensed trade in many jurisdictions, and manipulation of the market inevitably follows. Look in your phone book yellow-pages under "garage doors" and you'll find a lot of big, costly ads for door service. The profits are quite juicy, I'm sure. The customers need service urgently, and this need will typically arrive suddenly and at a busy time when shopping for prices is not convenient. A few dollars in parts, an hour of labor and travel, and a $150 invoice (assuming the outfit is charging fairly, some are not). Lately (2006) I hear of outfits charging $200 or $300 for this work, and occasionally a story of a $500 or $800 service call. You'll also find the phonebook advertisers waiting eagerly for your call, because artificially high prices inevitably lead to an oversupply of service firms working under capacity.
They sent Doug Fussell out to my house on the day after Christmas! I had only called them three days before! Doug was a premier technician, very thorough and very efficient. I expected him to take two days, since he was replacing two doors and adding openers on each door. He only took the daylight hours of one day! I could not believe how fast he was! In addition, he thoroughly taught me how to use the remote openers. I highly recommend them to anyone!
Sterling Door is the only company we trust with our garage door. When our old door acted up, springs, track, etc., they were always timely and got the job done. Then when we made the jump to a new door, they were excellent. They helped us choose the right door, not just pushing the most expensive model. And installation was well done. I recommend Sterling Door for all of your garage door needs.
At Kitsap Garage Door, our Clopay commercial garage door catalog is designed to facilitate efficient and long-lasting operations. We have several options appropriate for any commercial industry, from fire stations and restaurants to concessions stands or ticket sales. Explore our selection of commercial garage doors, specialty products and accessories including:
Screw-drive garage door openers aren't as popular as some other types, but feedback indicates that those that give the Genie Excelerator a try are largely very happy that they did. It's a fast performer, owners say, and the company claims that it can move a door at a rate of up to a foot per second. It's relatively quiet, too -- perhaps not the absolute quietest that you can buy, but certainly quieter than a chain-drive opener, and quieter than older screw-drive openers, users report.
Garage doors are usually located in the home exteriors. As a result, they are directly impacted by the forces of nature causing damage and deterioration of the doors over a period of time. We are specialists of garage doors and know how to handle damaged garage doors in the best possible manner. Professionals in our team have complete knowledge on repair of garage doors and they implement the same in providing the best services to our customers in San Antonio and surrounding areas. We can assure of fixing your garage door problems promptly and that too at the most affordable rates!

The disaster-is-nigh technique: As he inspects your door, the serviceman grimly calls your attention to "cracks" in your garage door. These appear very faintly in the middle of the door where the panels bow under their own weight when the door is up. This is normal, but the type of thing you wouldn't casually observe yourself. This surprising revelation disarms you, and you may find yourself strangely susceptible to the pitch for an entire new door.


A torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a center bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the center bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.[7]
Trading wire size for length, diameter, or cycle life: Now we are really going to save you some money, if you just recall your high school algebra class (and I don't mean that cute cheerleader who sat next to you). If you further understand the role of the 4th power of the spring wire size (letter d in the formulas above) in the numerator of the spring rate formula, and how to increase or decrease d to compensate for changes in length, diameter, and cycle life, then you're qualified for elite spring calculations. Matching springs is a matter of equating the 4th power of the proportion in wire size change to the proportion of change in the diameter or length or the product of both diameter and length. However, it is usually best to only increase wire size when substituting a spring, since this does not derate the cycle life. If you observe that the formula for bending stress is proportionate to the inverse 3rd power of the diameter, then physically a proportionate increase in wire size will result in a dramatic increase in cycle life of the 3rd power of that proportion. Trade-off example: Yawn with me while we ponder my original spring once more. Let's say I was in a fit of engineering mania, and wanted to replace my spring having a 0.2253 inch diameter wire (d = 0.2253) with a 0.262 wire version (d = 0.262). How much longer is the spring with equal torque rate, assuming we use the same coil diameter? The proportion of this change is 0.262/0.2253 = 1.163, and the 4th power of that is 1.83. This means the length must increase by a factor of 1.83 (again, not counting dead coils). Recalling that the length in Example 1 was 102 non-dead coils, the heavier wire spring must be about 1.83*102 = 187 coils, which when adding 5 dead coils and multiplying by the wire size to get the overall length, is (187+5)*0.262 = 50 inches, versus 24 inches in the original. So using this heavier wire more than doubles the length (and thus the mass and thus the cost). While the cost about doubles, the stress goes down by the inverse 3rd power of the wire size proportion, or 1/(1.163**3) = 0.64. Sress is favorably, non-linearly related to cycle lifetime (halving the stress more than doubles the lifetime), so this decreased stress should more than double the expected lifetime of the spring. While the up-front cost is more, the true cost of an amortized lifetime is much less. In short, per cycle it is cheaper. Ah, the wonders of engineering calculations! Conclusion: Observe that the stress formula (and thus the cycle lifetime) depends only on wire diameter (d) for equal torques. Thus the only way to improve cycle lifetime is to use heavier wire. For equal torques, heavier wire size, due to the exponents in the formulas, increases cycle lifetime much faster than it increases mass (and thus cost), physically speaking.

Fortunately, owners aren't bashful about weighing in on their garage door openers. Though some models get only a handful of reviews others receive hundreds of unique ratings on sites such as Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe's. If you are interested in a Craftsman garage door opener, Sears is the place to visit. While our research reveals that no garage door opener is perfect, several models jump to the fore as offering good performance and good value in the eyes of owners. These are the openers that we've named Best Reviewed for this edition of our report.
This work is risky, but the risk is comparable to doing your own car repairs, or climbing on the roof of your house to clean your gutters. These are dangerous things that many people can do safely, but that safety depends on intelligent understanding and application of proper techniques. Professional door repair technicians, who are fully knowledgable, skilled, and experienced, report that they nevertheless are injured from time to time, despite their best efforts. Coldly evaluate your abilities and motivations, to judge whether you can manage the risks of this work for the benefit of the money and time you might save.
Weight and cost: The 24-inch-long spring has a calculated weight of 8.4 lbs, not counting the winding cones. At less than $1/lb wholesale, and $3/lb retail for fabricated steel products, this spring should sell for about $8 to $25 (2005 prices) each, depending on the market and source. Since a pair is required, the expected cost for a pair is $16 to $50.
Spring rate, torque, and lift: The spring rate K for these measurements is π*28.5*10^6 * (0.273)^4 / (32 * 140 * 1.72) = 64.5 IPPT. Applying 7.5 turns on this rate will yield a torque of 7.5 * 64.5 = 484 in-lb, which on the 4-inch drums (2-inch radius) yields a lift of (484 in*lbs)/(2 in) = 242 lbs. Again we find good agreement with the approximate door weight of 238 lbs.
Right-hand versus left-hand winding: Springs are chiral, that is, wound or "laid" in either a left- or right-hand orientation. This is a critical property of their design and specification; you cannot substitute a left for a right or vice versa. If you were to grasp the spring in your hand, and if your right hand orients the tips of your fingers like the ends of the coiled wire when your thumb points "out" of the core of the spring, then you have a right-hand spring; likewise left (which end you grasp does not matter). (This also happens to match the "right hand rule" of magnetic polarity, if you happen to be knowledgeable in such esoteric subjects.) Another way to identify the winding is to examine the spring vertically in front of you; if the coils facing you rise going to the right, it is right-hand (thus you can remember, "rise to the right is right-hand"), and likewise left indicates left-hand. Another way is to view the coil axially; a right-hand spring winds in a clockwise direction as it recedes away, and a left-hand spring counter-clockwise. Yet another way, not so easy to remember, is to hold the spring vertically and compare the coil shape to the letter "Z" (indicates right-hand lay) or the letter "S" (indicates left-hand lay).

It you have a tilt-up door, you are looking at a $150 - $200 repair or replacement. If it's a roll-up door it's going to cost you more. Roll-up door spring repair or replacement is usually around $200 - $250 for a 2 car door. If the brackets need to be disassembled to remove the springs due to the shaft not sliding sideways enough it will cost you an additional $50 - $100.
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.

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