The winding and unwinding is done at a metal fitting, called a winding cone, attached to the outside end of the spring. You stick a winding bar into one of the four holes in the cone and use the bar as a lever to turn the cone. Once you've completed a quarter turn, insert the other bar into a different hole in the cone and let the bar lever against the closed garage door to hold the spring tension. This allows you to move the original bar to repeat the process, alternating the bars with each quarter-turn. It takes about 30 quarter-turns to fully tension a standard torsion spring.
SNAP... bang... boom. That is the sound of a garage door torsion spring breaking. It can be a very loud noise that sounds like a firecracker or gunshot. Springs are rated for a certain number of cycles and are the first thing that will break in your garage door assembly. Broken springs are the #1 source of customer calls for garage door repair companies. If you have a broken spring, you should NEVER try to open the door, as it can be very dangerous. This repair should be left to a professional or someone with the right tools and skills.
Although garage door springs can break during any season and at any time, they most commonly break during the winter. This has to do with the temperature change. When the temperature sinks below a specific threshold, the metal will contract. This means it’s extremely possible for your door springs to shrink slightly during the winter months. This is hard on the springs and makes them more likely to break. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
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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.
Overhead Garage Door was prompt in keeping the appointment, efficient in their work and professional when they worked on my garage door. The garage door was broken and the technician couldn’t have been nicer or quicker in getting the door repaired. I don’t know when I’ve had such good service from anyone! To add to that already wonderful service, I then received a follow up from the owner asking me about my experience and to make sure my door was working well. I highly recommend Overhead Garage Door for all of your garage door needs. https://www.youtube.com/e/Z_eZc-kh40c?app=desktop
6.4 Test the fit of the bar in the cone before loosening a set screw. Insert one end of your winding bar into one of the holes of the winding cone. Pull down on the bar slightly to make sure the set screws are tight. Position your ruler between the bar and the garage door. Move the bottom of the bar from side to side and measure the play. It should be less than an inch and a half. If it is over 2" either get someone else to change your springs or have someone make some bars that will properly fit the cones.
Most garage doors from the past 15-20 years have a photo eye which detects if a person or object is blocking the door from lowering all the way. The photo eye will be about 4-6 inches off of the ground for most doors, with an eye that is about the size of a pea. It shoots a laser across the length of the garage that, if interrupted, will cut off the signal used to lower and raise the door.
Start your garage door spring replacement project by getting a rough measurement of your springs (length and diameter). Then measure the width and height of your door. Make sure the quote includes the trip charge, parts and labor. Then ask for a price based on 7x19 lift cables and double-life springs. Those items will give you more years of service and should only add $65 to the price.
These instructions were first posted in 2005, and they were updated in August of 2008. I have been frank about the hazards of garage door repairs and about my own accidents incurred while replacing torsion springs. For what it's worth, you might be surprised to know that I, too, have benefitted from producing these instructions. I have not had any garage door accidents since we first published these on the web in 2005. And, in as much as I have helped keep other DIY-ers out of the emergency room, I consider myself somewhat of a medical practitioner. http://m.youtube.com/e/Z_eZc-kh40c
In the home improvement world there's a common recommendation regarding garage door spring repair: always leave it to the pros. This is sound advice, but it's not as hard-and-fast as most sources claim. The fact is, a handy homeowner who's competent with tools and has a basic understanding of mechanical systems can replace either type of garage door spring. The procedures are pretty simple, but they involve many steps that must be done in the proper order, just like the pros do it. It's also critical that you get the proper size replacement spring. If you think you're up to the task, look at online tutorials by garage door pros to see what's involved. Helpful videos explain how to measure your old springs and order the correct replacement size as well as how to do the job from start to finish.
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10.6 Here you will need to do three things at once. With your left hand, lift the bar just off the top of the door and pull it toward the center of the garage door. While lifting up and back, tap the top of the bar just under the winding cone with your other bar. Pulling the bar back toward the center of the door as you tap causes the spring cone to bind on the shaft and not slip back.
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When you hire a professional, the first thing they will do is turn off the power as a safety precaution. They will then measure the existing door springs to make sure the new springs they order or have in stock fit accordingly. With these new springs, they will unwind the existing springs and install the new ones in its place, tightening them with screws. When tightened, the springs will be balanced, lubricated and the springs will be wound up. Lastly, the door will be tested and the tracks will be lubricated to move efficiently. https://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
I'm getting a good laugh on all the comments on "Garage Door Nation" on how easy they or people make it sound to order and change out their torsion springs. First off, if you do your shopping, the savings is about $50 - $75 having a company do it. Is it worth the 3 days wait without the use of your garage door, the safety risk and your time doing it yourself? If yes, then go for it!
The following instructions for replacing garage door springs are for do-it-yourself homeowners and for maintenance repair men who service their smaller commercial or industrial sectional overhead doors. These directions are designed for torsion springs mounted to both sides of an anchor bracket above the middle of the garage door as pictured above. Instructions for replacing a single torsion spring, for replacing garage door extension springs, and for replacing Wayne Dalton Torquemaster springs are linked to our DIY Instructions page above. You'll also find a link for any other garage door parts you may need while repairing your door.
Unlike torsion springs, replacing extension springs has long been given the "green light" for DIYers, primarily because you can complete the job without having to deal with spring tension. The general process is simple and safe: open the door to relieve the spring tension (and secure it open with C-clamps in the tracks); disconnect the spring from the track bracket and the spring pulley, and disconnect the safety cable from one end; install the new spring, reinstall the pulley, and reconnect the safety cable, and you're done.
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.