The typical electric garage door opener consists of a power unit that contains the electric motor. The power unit attaches to a track. A trolley connected to an arm that attaches to the top of the garage door slides back and forth on the track, thus opening and closing the garage door. The trolley is pulled along the track by a chain, belt, or screw that turns when the motor is operated. A quick-release mechanism is attached to the trolley to allow the garage door to be disconnected from the opener for manual operation during a power failure or in case of emergency. Limit switches on the power unit control the distance the garage door opens and closes once the motor receives a signal from the remote control or wall push button to operate the door.[3]
I was careful not to assume that the previous installation correctly oriented the right- and left-hand springs on the correct sides of the center bearing plate. They could have been installed backwards by an incompetent installer, resulting in them having been wound looser (larger diameter coil) instead of tighter (smaller diameter coil) than when in their relaxed state, and if so I would have corrected them on the new installation. The proper orientation of the springs applies their reaction torque from tighter winding such that it turns the drums to lift the door. Verifying this is a rather simple exercise in mechanical visualization, but does require some care to be certain of correctness. If you were to install the springs backwards, and then start to wind them in the wrong direction, then the torsion bar will start winding the drums backwards, and not holding against the vise pliers, which should be obvious to inspection. Winding a spring backwards also tends to screw the spring off the cones; this error cannot proceed too far before the spring slips off the cones.
Loosening or tightening the set-screws is the moment of most risk, since the end-wrench is a potential missile if you slip, and your hand is close to the cone. When the wrench is removed and only the rods are in place, it would seem that the worst that could happen is that the rod is flung out and the captive spring and cone rattle around, assuming you are keeping yourself clear of the rod's radial disk of rotation, and not leaning on the rod such as to fall into the apparatus were the rod to slip out of your grasp. The torsion shaft design has the virtue of capturing the mass of the spring and cones reliably on the shaft, preventing these parts from launching themselves as projectiles, even in an accident.
A standard residential door raises 7.5 feet, but since the door goes horizontal this is equivalent to raising the whole door for half that distance, or about 3.75 feet. So if the door weighs, say, 150 lbs, then the energy supplied by the springs is 3.75 * 150, or about 563 foot-pounds. This is like throwing a 50-lb sack of cement up a 11-foot flight of stairs. Or catching a 50-lb sack of cement dropped from 11 feet up.

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.


If you live in a home where there are living quarters directly above the garage, Garage Guide DIY says force-sensing technology built into the B730 ensures a smooth operation, no matter what temperature it is in your garage. The unit adjusts the motor's power on the fly, keeping it running smoothly. Amazon reviewer Steven Bone says the B730/WD962KEV opener runs extremely quietly and is easy to install.
Here’s an opener that comes with all the bells and whistles. Featuring an ultra quiet belt drive, you’ll be thankful you purchased one like this especially if you have a room positioned near or above the garage. It’s also got battery backup so if the power goes out, you can still get in and out with ease for up to 20 open and close cycles for the first 24 hours of an outage. And for the technology savvy will appreciate its MyQ smartphone control technology that allows you to control the door via an app on your iPhone or Android, plus you’ll receive safety notifications if you’re away from the house and the door opens or closes. And for extra peace of mind, there’s also a feature that will automatically close the door after a set amount of time — you know, just in case you forget.
Checking if the lift drums need resetting: The old position of the lift drums on the shaft may have slipped or otherwise lost the the proper position, requiring a reset of the drum position on the torsion shaft. You will also reset the drums if you are replacing the lift cables, since the new cables will not exactly match the length of the old ones. Problems like uneven tension on the cables, or a tilted door, or a door that doesn't easily stay aligned with the tracks, can be due to an improper "set" of the drums on the shaft. So one shouldn't assume the old positions are correct. Setting the drums on a "fresh" part of the shaft will avoid the possibility of damaging the shaft from retightening in the same dimples.
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.
A standard residential door raises 7.5 feet, but since the door goes horizontal this is equivalent to raising the whole door for half that distance, or about 3.75 feet. So if the door weighs, say, 150 lbs, then the energy supplied by the springs is 3.75 * 150, or about 563 foot-pounds. This is like throwing a 50-lb sack of cement up a 11-foot flight of stairs. Or catching a 50-lb sack of cement dropped from 11 feet up.
You can reschedule or cancel your service at any time. To reschedule, simply go to Your Orders, find your service order and click on the ‘Contact Provider’ button on Your Orders page. To cancel, click on the 'Cancel Order' button on Your Orders page. Payment goes to the pro from your secure Amazon account. Because you aren't charged until the actual work is completed, cancelling a job doesn't require a refund.
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).
If return on investment is a priority and you don’t live in the West, your best strategy may be to buy a low- to moderately-priced door that significantly improves the look of your home. Consider adding an automatic garage door opener at the same time. The beauty of a new door and the convenience of an automatic opener are sure to be a winning combination.

In 1992 the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission released new rules for automatic garage door openers. Anything manufactured after 1993 was required to include either an electric eye (a pair of sensors that detect an object obstructing the doorway) or a wall-mounted control button that users hold down in order to close the door entirely. Most manufacturers opted for the electric eye method, sometimes referred to as safety sensors.
Insist on having any old parts returned to you, and have that noted on the written order before work begins. An honest and competent technician will not object to this. The evidence will establish whether you really needed the parts or not, and you can consult another opinion if you have any doubts. This tends to deter the parts-upsell scam, and protects you even if you know nothing about what you're buying while under the pressure of making a costly decision. If the old parts mysteriously "disappear", then you have reason to be suspicious.

(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.)
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