The lucky-for-you-I-found-another-problem trick: Another trick is to suggest your automatic opener was damaged (or "compromised") by the additional load or shock presented by the failure of the spring(s). The plastic worm gear used in the most common openers (see above) wears normally over the years and tends to leave a lot of debris inside the opener housing. Removing the opener cover reveals a lot of plastic shavings that may be cited as "evidence" you need a new opener, when the gears are actually still serviceable. Nevertheless, you may have indeed worn out the gear if you repeatedly cycled the door with the opener despite having broken springs, which is possible if you have a very lightweight door.
Screw-drive garage door openers are another type of direct-drive garage door opener. The screw-drive's relatively simple mechanism, which moves up and down a threaded steel rod, makes for a powerful, low-maintenance garage door opener. They are quieter than chain-drive openers, and are fast workers, but, like direct-drive openers, they tend to be pricey.
Once the shaft, springs, and center bearing plate come down and lay on the floor, the old springs should be easy to get off and new ones slid on and assembled. Two bolts hold the center cones to the center bearing plate. The bearing on the center plate can be oiled while it is exposed from having the springs off. At this point it is a relief to be working with inert parts while standing on the floor rather than energized parts while up on the ladder. You might think it would save a little time to replace the spring with the shaft left up on the wall, but I found it was easier and safer to lower the works down to the garage floor first.
Whether you're planning on moving in the future or you're fixing up your forever home, replacing a garage door can provide an excellent return on investment and boost your home's resale value. According to Remodeling magazine's 2016 Cost vs. Value report, garage door upgrades provide a nationwide average return on investment of over 90%, making it one of the top five home improvement projects.
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Roberto was very courteous and explained the details of what he was doing. He also pointed out a repair I might consider having done (replacement of the bottom panel of my door) and asked the office to follow up with me on this. Someone did follow up with me and since replacement of the bottom panel is not an option and I would have to replace the door, I decided that I can wait.
In the photo, you can see an extra lag screw on the bottom of the plate, reinforcing weak anchoring from the original two screws (hidden behind the springs). This extra screw was applied by a professional garage door technician on a previous repair visit. I have since replaced the backing with a sound plywood panel anchored into the concrete door header. Since these bolts clamp all the opposing torsion to the wall, the attachment must be sturdy.
If you have paired springs, you can take a shortcut here instead of using locking pliers. Simply apply a slight torsion to the bar by clamping one of the springs with an easy half-turn or so applied. This will hold the lift cables in slight tension while you wind the other spring. If you have a single spring design, you can't use this trick, and have to use the locking pliers.
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.
If you're clever and equipped with a welder, you might think you could get away by welding a broken spring back together. At least two factors make this extremely risky. First, the weld itself may fail, either due to insufficient basic strength, or weakening of the nearby parts of the spring. Second, the fact that the spring was old and fatigued enough to break once, means that it is likely to break again soon at other location(s).
The replacement springs in my case proved to be 0.2253 wire size, 2.0 inch (inside) diameter, and 24 inches long, in a pair of one left- and one right-hand winding. Actually, the old springs in these pictures were a slightly smaller size, but another similar door on this garage was better balanced by that size. Whoever installed the old springs didn't quite get the weight and size just right; it is not unusual to find a repair service installing a slightly off-balance spring size that happened to already be on the truck during the service call. My electric opener had no trouble handling the small imbalance. But since it is safer to reduce the electric operating force as much as possible through careful balancing, I chose the size that was working better on the other door. The Chamberlain brand electric openers (also sold by Sears) I have incorporate a plastic worm gear that tends to wear out after some years of use, requiring a disassembly and installation of a $20 repair kit; this wear is minimized by a properly balanced door.
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If your garage door is opening slowly or making a lot of noise, the problem may not be your opener. So before you buy a new one, check for broken or wobbly rollers and brackets. But don’t replace the bottom roller bracket yourself—the cable attached to it is under extreme tension. You’ll need to call a pro. If you’re replacing the rollers, get nylon rollers. They operate quieter than steel rollers and cost only a few bucks more. Next, check the torsion spring (mounted on the header above the door opening) to see if it’s broken. When one breaks, you’ll see a gap in the coils. You’ll need a pro to replace a broken spring.