Your door’s torsion spring is located approximately one foot from the top section of your door when it is closed. It consists of two large coil springs, and is approximately the length of your arm. Its purpose is to balance the weight of your door so that a door weighing between 160 and 185 pounds is practically weightless to lift. As such, it makes it possible for a garage door opener to raise the door using only ten pounds of pressure.
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When one or both springs break, gravity takes over and you feel the full weight of the door when lifting or lowering it. It may be possible to pull the door up by hand, although doing so will likely be very difficult. In most cases, two or more people are needed to raise the door high enough for you to drive your car out of the garage. While single garage doors can typically be lifted, double doors are nearly impossible to manipulate due to their excessive weight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
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!
Luckily, your garage door is a pretty sound investment. According to Garage Wow Now, garage doors were ranked in the top three for home improvements whose costs are recouped through increased home value. Similarly, realtors regularly increased the list price of a home with a new garage door by 1 to 4 percent! That means, if you spend $2000 on a new garage door, you can increase the value of your home by almost $8000 if you have a $200,000 home. Furthermore, compared with the other two highest rated improvements — siding replacement and deck installation — a garage door replacement is far more affordable.
Test the door balance. A garage door should require only a few pounds of pressure to move it up and down. If springs wear out and lose their resiliency, a power garage door opener may need to work extra hard to lift the door. This can quickly wear out the motor on the opener. Replacing worn-out springs is usually a job for a professional technician.
Maybe the battery died or a spring broke, but you can't get into the garage to even see what the problem is. If the garage door is the only way in or out, or if you can't find the key to the door, you'll have to either find a way to break in or call a locksmith. As a preventative measure, it's smart to keep a spare key or install an emergency key release that would allow you to release the emergency disconnect to the operator so you can manually raise the door.
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Just like on a bike sprocket, your cables can sometimes become disengaged. Oftentimes, when a torsion spring breaks, the garage door cable will snap as a result. Sometimes, the cable will cause damage to a vehicle or wall, and if a person happens to be in the way of the cable it can cause serious harm. If you cables have snapped, you should call a professional to help you. See the video above.
10.8 After the cone reaches the mark, continue pulling the bar off the garage door and back toward the middle of the door with your left hand. Tighten both set screws 1/2 to 3/4 turns each after each screw first meets the shaft. This is the point at which you will feel the screw meeting resistance. If the garage door spring snakes after tightening the set screws, repeat the process and stretch the spring half as much as before. Residential torsion springs are stretched 1/8" to 1/4". Larger commercial and industrial overhead garage door torsion springs are stretched as much as an inch.
On average, to have your springs replaced on your garage door will vary anywhere from $200 to as much as $400 if you were to hire a professional. Breaking the costs down, the springs, depending on the part needed and the size, will cost about $20 to $60 each. Add in the labor, which can be $45 to $85 per hour, depending on your location, can bring the grand total to the estimate noted. A tilt-up door, on average, will be about 20 to 30 percent less than a roll-up door.
Garage doors have tension springs and cables that help to slowly and safely lower your door while closing. If these tension springs or cables break, you might find that your garage door closes really fast, often with a loud bang when it hits the ground. This is very dangerous as there is nothing preventing the garage door from crushing something that might be below it. It’s best to call a garage door professional as soon as you can to have them come out and repair these cables or springs.
Would have appreciated the technician to have explained in better detail about the quality of the first doors we received in our home. The garage doors that were installed recently were an upgrade. I would have selected the better quality of doors with the first installation if it had been explained in better detail and time of decision with the first doors. But, I really love the doors that were recently installed! Explained much better with the new doors. Time was well spent on my decision making and the technician this time was very helpful and knowledgeable. Thank You! Cathy Walsh
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.
As we’ve mentioned before, springs are installed within your garage lift mechanism in order to help lift the door. Because doors are so heavy, the lift motor would undergo far more significant wear and tear if it had to lift the full weight of the door every time you opened it. Furthermore, in order to ensure that you can open your door even if you lose power in your home, springs allow you to lift the door by hand when the motor is disengaged.
Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.
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Your decision on whether to try and replace a broken spring may depend on what type of springs you have. Garage door springs come in two main types: extension and torsion. Identifying which type you have is easy. If your door system has a long, skinny spring running parallel to each horizontal door track, then you have extension springs. If your door has one or more beefy springs on a metal rod parallel to, and directly above, the door opening, then you have torsion springs. Both of these springs are found on standard sectional garage doors. If you happen to have an old one-piece, swing-up door with vertical springs at both sides, you also have a variety of extension springs, sometimes called side springs.
2. These springs do wear out over time – in fact, they are commonly rated with what is called a cycle life. The average standard cycle life is ten thousand cycles with each cycle being one opening and closing of the door. This means for a door that sees four cycles per day you might expect to replace your springs after somewhere close to seven years of use.
Scott was exceptionally polite, professional and knowledgeable. He thoroughly checked my garage door opener, but also inspected the garage door itself and pointed out rust and deterioration that has occurred. Scott then gave me a quote on a new garage door, explaining the installation procedure and quality elements of the new door including the warranty. I was very pleased with the entire service appointment, and my husband and I are seriously considering the new garage door, but only if Scott is the installer! Thanks, Scott!
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Slide the left spring onto the tube and add the cable drum. When your new springs arrive, put the new left spring (the 1 with the end facing up and to the left) on the torsion tube, making sure that the stationary cone on the end of the spring faces the center bracket. After sliding the new spring into place, replace the cable drum and insert the torsion bar into the left bearing bracket.