Even though most of us are likely used to seeing this small spring in place on our garage door, we don’t often think too much about it, and we simply count on it working when we need it to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s best to be proactive and notice when it begins to look worn down before it actually breaks. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to open the garage door to drive to work one morning, only to find that the door won’t open because the spring is broken.
Garage door problems don’t have to mean the end of the world. Garage door repair is typically a one-day process and can be done for only a few hundred dollars. Common garage door repair requests include fixing slow or erratic garage doors, addressing strange sounds coming from the garage door or motor, fixing cosmetic damage such as dents or scrapes, repairing broken doors that are stuck open or closed, and troubleshooting inoperable doors.
In most cases, only one spring breaks or wears out at a time, and you can get away with replacing just the failed spring. But this is a little like replacing old car tires one at a time. You'll get the best performance if all the springs are new and have the same strength. Extension springs are replaced individually, making it more tempting to replace just one. With torsion springs, you have to disassemble everything to replace either spring, so it makes sense to swap out both springs during the repair.
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Weather conditions can make rails expand or contract slightly, which requires a little extra pressure from the opener to compensate. Turning the force-adjustment screw increases or decreases the force. However, adjusting the force is not something to play around with unless you are confident you know what you’re doing. The force adjustment signals the opener to stop and reverse when objects are detected in the closing path. Too little force and just about anything will trigger it to stop, but too much force and the garage door might not respond to resistance from something or someone in the path when the door is trying to close.
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Quite a few garage doors come with manual locks, especially older models, for added security for your house. These typically look like a knob or handle in the middle of your door with two bars running horizontally from each side. There may be a small button on the top or side of the handle that you can press to slide the bars across the doors, thus locking the garage door from the inside. It can be somewhat easy to accidentally hit that button, especially if you’re getting large objects out of the trunk of your car near the door.
Next, if you don’t find an obstruction, check the springs. If your door has torsion springs, which are horizontal at the top of the door, you can tell they are broken by checking for a gap between the two springs. If your door has extension springs, you can check by looking to see if they are hanging on the side of the door. If you have a broken spring, you’ll need to call a pro to replace it as this is a dangerous task.
However, in addition to potentially causing injuries to the under-prepared DIYer, a malfunctioning door can become a safety hazard to you and your family. Keep in mind, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), over 13000 people checked into hospitals with garage related injuries in the United States in 2007. You don’t want to turn a loved one into a statistic just to save a few dollars!
We look out for the safety of our customers and their families. That’s why we do not sell garage door torsion springs separately to consumers, and it’s also why we recommend putting your broken garage door in the hands of our experienced technicians. At Garage Door Medics, we are licensed, bonded, and insured. We have completed thousands of garage door installations and spring repairs, and we make sure they are done safely and with the right springs for your garage door system.
From a big-box store, basic garage door cables can run between $8 and $20, depending on the product. Your pro may charge you a different cost if they provide the cables. Your cables may not need to be replaced if they have simply come off the track, but broken cables will need to be completely removed and replaced. In either instance, the pros will need to secure or take down the door; unwind the springs; reset or replace the rollers, cables, and drums; and then wind the springs once more. For example, a pro could reset cables that have come off the track for $129.99. The average national cost for a garage door repair specialist is $80 - $110 per hour and the typical cost to replace a broken garage door cable is anywhere from $130 to $200.
Warning! If the door is partially open and crooked, don’t touch it. Period. It’s a sign your door is off balance, and it’s usually caused by a problematic cable. It’s likely the door is still under tension from the spring, and one false move could send a 150-pound door crashing down, causing damage or injury, says Vincent Johnson, owner of Garage Door Doctor of Cypress, Texas.
However, if you are confident that you don’t just need new batteries, make sure to call a professional. A service person with a lot of experience will be able to look at the problem and quickly diagnose the issue, saving you precious time. Again, while you may be able to save money in the short term by taking a day off and troubleshooting the problem yourself, the amount of energy and time lost as you search out the issue will quickly surpass the cost of a professional repair.
In order to replace your garage door spring(s), you will need to find the current measurements in order to accurately replace the spring(s). This should take about 3 minutes and you don't need to remove the springs or loosen the tension to measure them. Our springs are made to be a bit flexible, so you don't have to get it to an exact measurement.
However, if you lose power and use the disconnect switch, you’ll need to reattach it to use your garage door motor to open and close your door again. Open the door all the way and then reattach this hook. Then try opening or closing the door again with your transmitter, and you should be all set. It will be easiest to reattach this hook when your car is not in the garage, as you’ll need to place a step ladder underneath the motor to reach it.