If the sensors are malfunctioning, it can cause the garage door to get stuck. One of the sensor lights will typically begin blinking if they aren’t working properly. The first thing to check for is an obstruction in the path of your garage door. If the doorway is clear, then check to see if the sensors are properly aligned. If they are out of alignment, then they can’t see one another and their line of vision is broken. Re-aligning them should result the garage door becoming unstuck if this is the case.
Over time, the springs in your garage door can wear down and break. While the average cost to repair garage door springs is between $100 and $200, in some cases you may need to replace them instead. Replacement can cost $20-$30 for springs plus labor which can cost up to $180. Here are some signs to watch out for when determining whether repair or replacement is the right course of action:
Snap a locking pliers onto the torsion tube to lock it into place while you tighten the drums. Rotate the drum to wind the cable into the winding grooves. Pull the cable as tight as possible before tightening the setscrews. Leave the locking pliers in place and repeat the tightening procedure on the other side. You want equal tension on both sides. Otherwise, the door will open unevenly.
NEVER use screwdrivers, pin punches or pliers handles to wind or unwind a torsion spring. Trust us: This is the best way to wind up in the hospital. Don't even think about doing this job without a proper set of winding bars. You can buy a set of professional hardened-steel winding bars for about $25 from online suppliers. (Garagedoorpartsusa.com and stardoorparts.com are two online sources that sell winding bars, springs and other parts.) Professional winding bars work with 1/2-in. and 7/16-in. winding cones. If your winding cones have 1/2-in. openings, you can make your own winding bars by cutting a 36-in. length of 1/2-in.-diameter round bar stock in half (buy round bar stock from any hardware or home center). Just file a smooth bevel on each end so it slides into the winding cone holes easier.
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.
When a garage door service company gets a phone call in reference to a broken spring, the first thing the homeowner usually says is “the cables are broken”. This makes sense because the cables on a garage door will fly every which way, fall to the ground, become disconnected from the door, or even get caught in between the garage door and the jamb. It is rare for cables to break or need replacing when a garage door spring breaks. If your garage door has two torsion springs, the second spring will keep the cables tight and on the drums. You will have to look up at the springs to determine if one is broken.
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7.4 Check to make sure the torsion hardware is secure. If needed tighten the lag screws that attach the spring anchor bracket to the header. If loose, replace with longer or thicker lags. Brackets for doublewide wood doors should have two lags on the bottom, because when the springs are wound the spring torque pulls the bracket from the bottom. Never touch these when the springs are wound. One of my customers removed the screws when the springs were wound. He broke his arm in 14 places and almost died. He spent a month in the hospital.
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.