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.
Here's a view of my door and its broken torsion spring. This door is 10 feet wide and 7 feet high, constructed of 3/4 thick hollow wood panels inside with 3/4 inch plywood siding outside to match the house exterior. This is original to the house which was constructed in 1978, and is much heavier (238 pounds, as I measured later as described below) than the steel doors most common today in new construction. The 10-foot width is a little larger than usual for a one-car garage; such doors are typically only 7 or 9 feet wide. The ceiling height is 9 feet, providing 18 inches clearance above the torsion shaft. This is in a 3-car garage with 3 separate extra-wide doors. Every man's dream! ('cept when the door is broke.)
For Sears Garage Door Installation and Repair Services, making your garage door safe is as important as making it function well. For this reason, all of our repair services and tune-ups feature a 20-point safety check. Our technician will carefully examine your garage door panels, springs, sensors, safety release, hardware, track, and more. This ensures that, not only has our work been done well, but that your garage door poses no danger to your vehicles or family. Due to the intricacy of garage door systems, only garage service professionals should attempt to adjust, repair, or service door equipment.
And for some extra features, you'll appreciate accessing the system through the MyQ smartphone app. You can set up this Chamberlain opener to automatically close the door after 1, 5, or 10 minutes, which is great for people who are a bit forgetful. We also really like the motion-detecting control panel, which turns on lights whenever it records nearby movement.
Reduce your monthly energy bill with insulated garage doors. They feature an insulated core made of polystyrene that’s surrounded by a steel cover. This can help you maintain the temperature inside your home no matter if it’s extremely hot or cold outdoors. Insulated garage doors are also known for their quiet operation. Be sure to look at the insulation rating – or R-value – when considering garage doors. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.
Those who benefit from this anti-competitive behavior have many excuses for it. They claim that the product is too dangerous and infrequently needed for the public to purchase directly. They say the job is hazardous and requires techniques and tools with which the amateur will rarely practice, which is true. They write me in anger saying I don't understand how expensive it is to put a truck on the road with a technician and parts and salary and benefits and insurance and advertising and every other common business expense. They say it will take the homeowner hours of effort to do this safely and correctly, while they can do it in a fraction of that time and at a price that isn't worth the effort to save. But should they set themselves up as the judge of what you can and cannot do? Of what is an economical use of your time? Imposing minimum order quantities or charging retail prices for small orders is legitimate; inquiring into the purchaser's background is not.
As in an elevator, the electric motor does not provide most of the power to move a heavy garage door. Instead, most of door's weight is offset by the counterbalance springs attached to the door. (Even manually operated garage doors have counterbalances; otherwise they would be too heavy for a person to open or close them.) In a typical design, torsion springs apply torque to a shaft, and that shaft applies a force to the garage door via steel counterbalance cables. The electric opener provides only a small amount of force to control how far the door opens and closes. In most cases, the garage door opener also holds the door closed in place of a lock.
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As noted above, set-screw clamping may have distorted the cross-section of the shaft and made it difficult to slide off all the hardware. With the shaft on the floor, it may be possible to restore enough roundness to proceed, using compensating clamping force to the distorted area via a machinist's vise, an arbor press, a hydraulic shop press, etc., on the shaft body. Burrs and other slight distortions on the shaft can be filed off with a hand file or touched with an abrasive wheel on an angle grinder. At some point, the condition of the shaft may just be degraded enough that it ought to be replaced.
Kevin gave 30 mins advance notice via text before arriving, and he was very friendly and knowledgeable about the Chamberlain garage door opener that we ordered on Amazon. I was pleased with the thorough model description provided, and customer reviews which helped with our decision making, and our package came on the same day that it was ordered! I liked the process of choosing 3 preferred appointment times, and receiving a confirmation email which included Kevin's picture. The install price was very reasonable, and I would gladly use your Home Service again!
When ordering springs, be aware that a number of different sizes of springs will make proper replacements, not just the specific size being replaced. The wire size, winding diameter, and length can be traded off to make springs of varied geometry but equivalent torque characteristics. This will also affect the expected lifetime (in cycles) for the spring(s). Since the critical specification for a replacement is the weight it is designed to bear, not the sizes per se, there are likely several stock sizes that replace a given old spring. The spring distributor's inventory may happen to offer only a different size with an equivalent weight-bearing specification. One has to judge whether to trust the advice of the seller in such situations. The seller should have the data to know what substitutions are proper.
Customers who have purchased this garage door opener for their homes have been mostly satisfied with the performance of it. Many have raved about how quiet it actually is—one said instead of hearing the metal squeak and clank like with their last one, only the sound of the “wooden door being jostled around as it is pulled up and down” is all you hear with this one. Customers were also happy with the features including the automatic closer when you forget to shut it after you go inside. Some had had issues with the manual being hard to understand while installing it themselves. But most were happy with the overall performance.
Cost was $88 for 2 pairs of springs, plus $21 shipping. (I had to order 2 pairs to meet the $50 minimum order.) They came with new cones inserted as shown at that price, so I didn't bother trying to remove and reuse the old cones to save a few dollars. The cones are quite difficult to remove from old springs and to insert in new ones, and the spring supplier will have the right tooling to do that easily. That was the best price I could find on the Web at the time, and didn't seem out of line with what parts like this might cost at at the building supply (if they only sold them). Contractors buy these much cheaper in quantities; they're just an ordinary high-carbon steel wire turned on a winding machine. I also found Web sites asking a lot more money, obviously trying to cash in on search-engine traffic from do-it-yourselfers. Others report that some local dealers sell springs at retail, but at a high price that eliminates any economy versus having them installed.
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.
Cable fail-safe redundancy: Based on the proper setting of the drums on the torsion shaft, the two lift cables divide the lifting force equally to keep the door level as it rises. This not only levels the door, but also provides a fail-safe mechanism. If one of the cables should fail, such as from breaking or losing its end attachment, the other cable will then carry the full weight of the door. This will pull the door up on one side with twice the normal force, while the other side falls from its now unsupported weight, tending to make the door bind in its tracks and jam. Although not foolproof, this is a safety feature of the design which keeps the door from falling catastrophically if a cable were to fail while the door was traveling. The jammed condition also prevents a lowered door from opening with the hazard of a single broken cable, further minimizing the chances of both cables failing. Since if one cable fails the other must sustain the full weight of the door, the cables and attachments are rated many times the normal working load of half the door weight. A proper safety inspection of the door should include a critical look at the cables and their attachments.
A knowledgeable installer with good inventory can offer you upgraded spring lifetimes by using longer, heavier springs than were originally installed. For example, you may be offered more expensive springs with expected lifetimes of 15, 25, or even 100 thousand cycles, instead of the standard 10 thousand. The difference in labor to substitute this upgrade is nil. Since the dealer's cost of springs is proportional to weight, and typically a small part of the job price anyway, the dealer's cost for this upgrade is slight. This would seem to be a excellent option to offer every customer, and if correctly calculated and reasonably priced, one that you should take as cost-effective. Yet you may not be offered such an upgrade, if the installer is not adept at making the rather simple calculations, or if the optional springs are not on his truck, or if you're not around to be asked, or if the installer just doesn't like selling or taking time to discuss such details.
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.
In my case, removing and replacing the relaxed springs required that I take down the assembly: torsion shaft, lift drums, and bearings. Doing that requires unbolting the center bearing plate from the wall, removing the drums from the shaft, and finally sliding the shaft back and forth out of the end bearings to remove the whole assembly off the wall. I am fortunate to have a lot of clearance in this garage to make the disassembly simpler. Tighter clearance to walls or ceiling would make disassembly a more difficult manipulation.
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.
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.
I obtained my parts, as described on this page, from American Garage Door Supply Inc. (http://www.americandoorsupply.com/) They may have raised their small-order prices or imposed a minimum order since I ordered from them in 2002 at the prices in my essay above. The Web site offers a free catalog by PDF download or mail. Springs in 2005 were priced at $2.25/lb.
Most doors come with electric door openers. After a while these openers malfunction and need to be replaced. If your opener is broken, you're in luck. These repairs don't cost very much and can be replaced easily. You might even be able to do it yourself. Learn how to replace your garage door opener in 15 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeaR6Yhx6IY.
Single panel doors are constructed from one monolithic panel. From the closed position a single panel door swings up and overhead with a hinge on each side (known as jamb type hardware) to the fully open position. A disadvantage of monolithic panel doors is that the swing up arc of the door occurs partially outside the garage. This means a vehicle must stop and park several feet in front of the door to avoid being hit by the garage door when it is opened.
Two of the spring references specifically for the garage-door industry are the APCO Spring Manual by Bill Eichenberger, and the Torsion Spring Rate Book by Clarence Veigel; these give tables of spring sizes and torque constants. Spring engineering principles in general are described in the Handbook of Spring Design published by the Spring Manufacturer's Institute; the formulas allow you to calculate torque constants knowing only the geometry and the Young's modulus of the material. You can also find some brief spring information in standard references like Machinery's Handbook and Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers.
If the spring is broken near a winding cone, you might think you can remove and discard the short broken piece of spring from the cone, clean up the end of the long remaining spring, and insert that end into the cone. This is another extrememly risky improvisation. The shortened spring is not going to have the correct weight-bearing characteristics for the door, so you will not be able to balance the door properly. The shortened spring will be proportionately overwound, resulting in extra stress that will increase the expectation of another fracture. And the aging and history of the original spring being broken greatly increases the likelihood of another fracture at other locations.
How many times a day do you open or close your garage door? You probably don’t even know because we take our garage door for granted until…. Until it doesn’t go up… until it doesn’t come down… until it gets noisy, difficult to open by hand or some other problem develops. You need help – and if you’re locked in or locked out, you need help in a hurry. You need A-Authentic Garage Doors. Here’s why:
(The Wahl correction factor accounts for additional stress in the material due to shear forces, although these forces do not contribute to the spring's torque. These shear forces become significant in designs using a low spring index, which is to say, a relatively thick wire for the coil diameter. The correction factor is applied to scale up the stress S to better predict the fatigue lifetime of the spring.)
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).
Step 2: Check the tracks with a level to make sure they're properly aligned. Horizontal tracks should slant slightly down toward the back of the garage; with roll-up doors, the vertical sections of track should be exactly plumb. Both tracks must be at the same height on the garage walls. If the tracks are not properly aligned, loosen but do not remove the screws or bolts that hold the mounting brackets, and tap the tracks carefully into position. Recheck the tracks with the level to make sure they're in the right position; then tighten the screws or bolts at the mounting brackets.
Safe automatic door openers. All automatic openers must now have an auto-reversing mechanism and photoelectric eyes located near the floor on both sides of the door (see photo). If the door is closing and the beam between the eyes is interrupted, the door will automatically reverse. If the eyes aren’t connected, the door won’t operate. For instructions on how to install a new garage door opener, see How to Install a Garage Door Opener.
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.