Lower the door and dismantle it by removing the hardware. Lower a double door by recruiting at least two helpers to help with the weight, and place a 2×4 block under the door to prevent smashing a foot or finger when it’s lowered. Remove the sections one at a time by disconnecting the rollers and brackets. If you have windows, tape them to help control flying shards if they break. Then remove the old roller tracks and remaining hardware.
It is precisely on those coldest days of the year when you most need and appreciate the convenience of opening and closing your garage door quickly. Sadly, those also happen to be the kinds of days when cold and moisture combine to make this difficult. Garage doors can and do freeze to the garage floor. Sometimes it is a minor icy connection between the two that can be broken when you hit the opener button.
The history of the garage door could date back to 450 BC when chariots were stored in gatehouses, but in the U.S. it arose around the start of the 20th century. As early as 1902, American manufacturers—including Cornell Iron Works—published catalogs featuring a "float over door." Evidence of an upward-lifting garage door can be found in a catalog in 1906.
Lift cable placement: On the standard residential door mechanism, the loops at the lower ends of the two lift cables loop over the two bottom roller shafts which project from the bottom bracket on the door. The upper cable ends fasten to the drums using one of the methods described above. The drums are positioned along the torsion shaft such that the inner edge of each drum is approximately over the edge of the door. The cable winds onto the drum from outside in, so at the top of travel the cable is winding onto the inner edge of the drum, vertical from the edge of the door where it is looped over the roller shaft. As the door is lowered, the cable winds out to the outer edge of the drum, and thus is a bit out from the vertical, but the cable still falls in the gap between the guide rails and door edge. My cables rub and slap on the rails a bit, but after 30 years and many 10,000s of cycles, they don't seem to have worn at all.
Correct spring size is determined by factors such as the weight and height of the door. You cannot substitute a different spring and just tighten or loosen the winding to make it balance the load. Why? To maintain cable tension under all operating conditions, the spring must retain about one turn of unspent wind-up at the top-of-travel position, which with the lift drum size and door height predetermines the number of turns of winding at the bottom-of-travel; and furthermore the torsion of the fully-wound spring at the bottom-of-travel must be slightly less than that needed to lift the weight of the door when translated by the lift drums.
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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.
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.
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The second stage of the wireless garage door opener system solved the opening-the-neighbor's-garage-door problem. The remote controls on these systems transmitted a digital code, and the receiver in the garage responded only to that code. The codes were typically set by eight to twelve DIP switches on the receiver and transmitter, so they allowed for 28 = 256 to 212 = 4,096 different codes. As long as neighbors used different codes, they would not open each other's garage doors. The intent of these systems was to avoid interference with nearby garage doors; the systems were not designed with security in mind. Intruders were able to defeat the security of these systems and gain entry to the garage and the house. The number of codes was small enough that even an unsophisticated intruder with a compatible remote control transmitter could just start transmitting all possible codes until he found one that opened the door. More sophisticated intruders could acquire a black box master key that automatically transmitted every possible code in a short time. An even more sophisticated method is known as a replay attack. The attacker would use a code grabber, which has a receiver that captures the remote's digital code and can retransmit that digital code at a later time. The attacker with a code grabber would wait nearby for the homeowner to use his remote, capture the code, and then replay the code to open the door when the homeowner was gone. Multicode openers became unpopular in areas where security was important, but due to their ease of programming, such openers are often used to operate such things as the gates in gated apartment complexes.
Depending on the design, you can know in advance how many turns are going to have to be unwound. Lifting a 7-foot door by winding a cable on a 4-inch diameter (about 1 foot circumference) drum requires about 7 turns, plus one extra turn to maintain cable tension at the top-of-travel. Maintaining tension at the top-of-travel is critical; without it the cable will jump off the drum, requiring a serious repair.
Remember, not all garage door springs are alike. They are not one size fits all. If yours breaks, make a note of the brand and color code on the spring you need to replace. We'll get you the garage door opener parts you need, from seal kits to torsion and extension spring kits. Save money by replacing garage door hardware instead of replacing the whole unit.