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.
When you're done watching this video you'll know how to determine whether the company you hired to replace your garage door spring installed the right size spring on your door. You'll also learn the consequences to your garage door opener if the wrong size spring is used. If you are having a problem with your garage door spring, the 2:30 minutes you spend watching this video is time will spent.
You can expect to pay between $130 and $350 for a garage door opener, with most models costing an average of $200. The most expensive openers usually include extra accessories and smartphone controls, though most openers can work with a smartphone if you buy a Wi-Fi adapter such as MyQ. The types of garage door openers in increasing order of average cost are as follows: chain, belt, screw and direct drive.
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.)
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.
Spring rate and torque: In my spring replacement above, the wire size was d = 0.2253 inches, and the ID was 2 inches, giving a mean diameter D = 2.2253 inches. The number of coils is L/d = 24 inches / 0.2253 = 107, less about 5 dead coils on the winding cones, or 102 active coils. Thus the spring rate is K = (π*28.5*10^6 * (0.2253)^4) / (32 * 102 * 2.2253) = 31.8 in-lb/turn (IPPT). Winding 7.5 turns * 31.8 in-lb/turn yields a torque of 238 in-lbs per spring.
Garage door springs come in two styles: torsion (see above), which mounts on the header above the door, and extension (Photo 1), which floats above the upper roller track. In the past, extension springs were safer to install but didn’t have containment cables running through the center of the spring. Without cable, these springs become dangerous, heavy whips when they break. They also tend to be noisier than torsion springs, and we recommend you use them only if you don’t have the 12 in. of headroom above the door that a torsion spring requires.
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.
My door opener disengaged from the garage door. I made a call in late morning and was given an appointment for late the same afternoon. I received a call in early afternoon asking if I would like an earlier service call. Upon arriving the repair man introduced himself and explained that he would need a few minutes to assess the problem and perform an inspection. When he finished he provided me with a through explanation of the problem, the corrective measures he would take and some suggestions to improve operation. We discussed some options, agreed on the cost and the work was complete within a reasonable time frame. The door operates quieter and with less strain than it ever has. Pleasant, friendly, on-time and reasonably priced. Problem solved. It doesn't get any better than that.
Traditional One Panel: These doors consist of one large panel which tilts to open by employing a spring mechanism to swing upward. The wood version is popular in the South and Southeastern US, where a milder climate keeps the wood from rapidly deteriorating. Traditional garage door designs include Cape, Colonial, Ranch, Tudor and Craftsman. The disadvantage is these doors require a lot of clearance to operate correctly. Sometimes repairs can be difficult because of the heaviness of the door or its inaccessibility. Average cost to repair tilt-up doors is $172.
The various increments of standard wire sizes differ by only about 0.010 inch, so calipers or a micrometer would be the tool to use to be certain of the stepped size you have, or else a trustworthy ruler marked in tenths of an inch to use the measure-10-turns-and-divide-by-10 trick. The most common wire sizes in the US are 0.207", 0.218", 0.225", 0.234", 0.243", 0.250", and 0.262".
Since the springs are winding "up" when the door is closing and going down, the fully closed position is the most stressful on the steel and thus the most likely position at the moment of failure. This is a good thing, because failure near the top-of-travel means that you suddenly have a large, increasing weight falling. Thus we see the principle that you should never be standing or walking under the door when it is opening or closing, especially if you do so manually instead of with an electric opener. When the springs are working correctly, the door appears nearly weightless, but this is an illusion that turns into a calamity when the springs suddenly fail.
A standard double garage door is 7 ft. high by 16 ft. wide. Standard single doors are 7 ft. high by 8 or 9 ft. wide. Because the doors are so large, few home centers and only some garage door stores keep many doors in stock, so expect to order one instead of buying it off the shelf. Garage doors are available in wood, fiberglass and steel. Steel doors, like ours, are light, maintenance-free, affordable, readily available, and have an insulating value as high as R-19.
“This is not a simple thing to install,” cautioned one of our testers. “It's likely that you’ll make a few trips to the hardware store even if you’re very handy and have a relatively complete set of tools.” That said, our reviewers thought that this opener’s instructions themselves were very clear and that once setup was complete, the device “worked without lots of fiddling.” Another plus was its added security features, like keyless entry and smartphone app integration. Lastly, our testers did wish it had a built-in camera to allow surveillance in the garage at all times.
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.
An enantiomorphic (mirrored) pair of springs, such as my standard door uses, will consist of one left-hand and one right-hand spring. Note that this "right" and "left" has nothing necessarily to do with whether the spring is mounted on the left or right of the center bearing plate. Indeed, with my standard door, if you stand inside the garage, facing out, then the spring to the left is a right-hand-wound spring, and the spring to the right is a left-hand-wound spring. The photos above and below of the broken spring show that it is a right-hand-wound spring.
You'll never ask yourself that question again. Just look at your phone to know for sure. Most smart garage door openers will tell you if it's open or shut. They'll send a message every time your garage door is opened or closed too, if you like. Electric garage door openers provide a huge amount of convenience and safety. Imagine you're in a hurry, it's raining out, you pull out of the garage then press the button on your garage door opener remote. The garage door closes, and you didn't have to get out of your car.
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