We almost always use torsion
springs in repairs, conversions, and new installations. There are only rare
circumstances that would ever lead us to using extension springs, such as very
low headroom and the inability to use a rear torsion spring for the door. Here are a few reasons why torsion springs
are growing in popularity and in our opinion, are a better investment:
Torsion springs are not fully extended the way
extensions springs are when the door operates. Extension springs fully expand and contract
when operating an overhead door. Torsion
Torsion springs are sturdier and last longer. Torsion
springs do cost more, but generally last between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles,
whereas extension springs last up to 10,000 cycles. For example, if you open your garage door 4
times a day, extension springs will last about 7 years. You can do the math on the torsion
springs. It only gets better from
Torsion springs allow for a controlled motion. Extension springs can result in a jerking
motion. There might be a lot of tension
when you first open the door, but then it once the tension is gone, the door can
fly up at a much faster speed. Torsion
springs keep a controlled, steady motion when the garage door opens and
closes. A lasting result of the
controlled motion is the ability to keep your door in proper balance. The jerking motion from the extension springs
can leave your door needing adjustment.
When a door is out of alignment or needs adjustment, it has a tendency
to wear or even cause damage to other parts of your garage door.
Use of torsion springs result in less wear on your
operator. Torsion springs allow
your overhead door operator to do its job without unnecessary wear or requiring
more power to function when compared to extension springs. In other words, your operator doesn’t have to
work as hard to open and close your door because it’s in better balance as a
result of the more controlled motion that occurs. This can result in you experiencing fewer
problems with your operator and it performing better and lasting longer for
Extension springs require more parts. When you have more parts involved, more
things can go wrong. For example,
extension springs have sheaves and require a longer cable. Torsion springs are easy to lubricate and
maintain, whereas wear and tear can take place on the additional door parts
needed with extension springs.
When an extension spring breaks, it can be more
dangerous than when a torsion spring breaks. When you hear of an extension spring
breaking, it can cause serious damage.
We’ve heard of them flying through garage windows, car windshields, and
we know they can cause serious injury and even death. When a torsion spring breaks, it doesn’t fly
off. You may hear a loud bang, but the
spring stays on the shaft. Broken
springs are serious; don’t hesitate to call your garage door professional if
you have questions or need assistance.
1. Protect the finish. Prevent scratches to the panels’ surface for both aesthetic and practical reasons.
- Paint - Prevent peeling paint by chipping away all lifted paint and sanding the door to prepare it for a repainting that will adhere well. Using a quality paint pays off with superior coverage. Exposed wood grain is vulnerable to water. Owners of wooden doors can plan on scraping and repainting every-other year.
- Wood stain - If the lacquer on wood wears too thin, water will seep in. Moisture can make the panels warp, rot, or mold. Prevent any water from penetrating the wood door’s finish if possible. Warping and moisture issues are much easier to prevent than reverse. Stains can fade in the sun’s UV rays, so a tint touch-up and fresh coat of lacquer keeps a wood-paneled garage door looking sharp!
- Powder coating - Similarly, plastic on metal doors serve more than decorative purpose. Powder coating is thick and resistant to scratches but is vulnerable to industrial solvents and household chemicals including an ingredient in sunscreen lotion. Clean the surface gently and use only mild soap or cleaners specifically listed as safe.
2 Avoid damage to the panels.
Protect them from high-wind damage by selecting the proper grade of resistance for your region and surroundings. Instruct kids (or anyone playing outside) to avoid playing sports directly next to the door. This counts for soccer balls and hockey pucks directed up the driveway, too.
3 Take good care of the movable parts. Use the track lubrication product recommended by the door’s care instructions. Tighten any loose hinges and make sure they are bending evenly. Look the track over for debris, loose hardware, or signs of warping. Tighten any loose pads or screws you discover. If you cannot lift the door yourself the track is possibly warped.
4 Establish a simple maintenance routine. If you tried to list all the things a homeowner must do in a year you may find it’s overwhelming. Taking care of a home requires just a little organization. Use a calendar or set electronic reminders to clean and maintain your door regularly. Schedule seasonal spot-checks and maintenance on your regular to-do list. Your organization system doesn’t have to be fancy; it’s more important to find a system that works for you and stick with it.
5 Work with your vendor. Establish a relationship with your vendor and have peace of mind when you need service. If you see any damaged springs or problems outside the scope of regular maintenance, you need a professional garage door repair specialist. When you purchase your garage door, ask about warranty options. A good warranty will guard against any defects in the components of your door and a premium plan can relieve your future worries.When properly maintained, you will get the most out of your investment. Your family needs a safe and reliable entry to the garage. Curb appeal is another high priority for homeowners, and it is largely influenced by the condition of your garage door. Devote a little time and effort into a maintenance program and you will be rewarded.Let us help you establish a relationship with a vendor, contact us today and we will set you up!
As garage door service professionals, we’ve pretty much
dealt with every issue you can think of when it comes to repairing residential
and commercial garage doors. Yet, every year we find a few more situations that
even surprise us. Like the Mud Dauber nest growing on a photo eye sensor to the
tennis ball that knocked the door entirely off the track. While there are times
that you need to call for help, many problems simply require knowing what’s
wrong to fix the problem yourself. To help you troubleshoot your garage door
issues, here are the top 10 reasons your garage door won’t work.
1. Transmitter Batteries
It may sound cliché,
but people still forget or fail to realize that the transmitter requires power
to work. And this can sometimes include the transmitter on the wall in your
garage too. You should also realize that if the battery goes in one place, it may
have run out in others at the same time because you probably installed them on
the same day.
2. Your Photo Eye is out of Alignment
On either side of
your garage door are photo eyes. Between the two eyes is an invisible beam that
when broken, prevents the door from closing. If your door won’t close, check to
make sure these photo eyes are not misaligned or dirty. If they are, here’s a
guide for cleaning and inspecting a garage door photo eye.
3. Track is out of Alignment
If you’re garage door
track is out of alignment, it can be a serious issue. The metal track that your
door runs on needs to be aligned properly for the door to move. If you see gaps
between the rollers and rail or bends in the rails themselves you have a
problem. The weight for the door can compound these issues over time until it
becomes dangerous to operate your door so call for help.
4. Garage Door
If you discover your
door opening or closing at random times, even when you are not home, it can be
a little disturbing. The first thing to check is your transmitters. Make sure
they are not stuck under something that can inadvertently depress the control
mechanism. For example, they could be under a pile of papers on your car seat
or in the dog house. You may also want to test your transmitter’s frequency. It
is possible that a neighbor has the same frequency and is opening your garage
along with their own.
5. Garage Door Closes Part Way, Then Opens Again
Garage doors are
designed with a reversing mechanism that prevent them from crushing objects in
their path. This can be triggered by objects on the ground blocking their path
such as garbage cans or toys, but could be caused by a buildup of debris on the
tracks that prevents the rollers from moving forward. This could include small
items like coat hangers, mud or gum. (Testing Reversing Mechanism of Your
6. Door Won’t Go Up
Garage doors can be
very heavy and despite what most people think, it is not the garage door opener
that does the heavy lifting, but rather the springs of the door. Doors come
with one or two torsion springs. If either spring is broken, the garage door
opener may struggle to lift the weight of the door or fail to open the door at
all. If the spring is broken, call a professional for service as these can be
very dangerous to work with.
7. Door Goes Down All the Way, Then Opens Again
If this happens, the
most likely culprit are the open and close limit settings of your garage door
opener. This range tells the garage door opener how far the door should move
before it is fully closed. If your settings are too high, the door will hit the
ground before the opener thinks it should and assume the door is hitting
something in its path. It will then automatically reverse to prevent crushing
it. Check your operator’s manual for how to set the open and close limits.
8. Automatic Garage Door Opener Runs but Door Doesn’t Move
Every garage door
opener comes with a disconnect switch in case the power fails to allow you to
open or close the door manually. This switch is usually attached to a rope or
knob that can be accidentally unhooked. Close or open the door all the way and
then reattached this hook secure. Then try opening or closing the door again with
9. Automatic Garage Door Opener Runs for a Few Seconds then
Turns Off but Door Doesn’t Move
This normally happens
when the door is closed and the motor is trying to lift the door and it won’t
move. First check the springs (see #6 above) and if that isn’t the problem
check the track for obstacles (see #5 above). If neither of these issues
exists, check to make sure your garage door doesn’t have a built in lock that
has been engaged directly. These are very common in older doors and can be
easily engaged by accident.
10. The Garage Door Closes Very Quickly, Often With a Bang
There are two
possibilities here. The first is a broken tension spring that should be
countering the weight of the door and the second is broken cables connecting
the tension spring on some doors. In either case, you should have a garage door
profession service your door as these can be dangerous components to work with.
A torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a center bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the center bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.
An extension spring counterbalance system consists of a pair of stretched springs running parallel to the horizontal tracks. The springs lift the door through a system of pulleys and counterbalance cables running from the bottom corner brackets through the pulleys. When the door is raised, the springs contract, thus lifting the door as the tension is released.
A popular accessory sold with new garage door openers is a battery back-up system that allows you to use your opener several times, even after the loss of power to your home. It’s a wonderful feature that prevents you from being trapped outside in a storm
The Safety Reversing Sensors
The most common reason for the lights to flash on the garage door opener and the door not closing is that the safety reversing sensors are misaligned or obstructed; this is a safety feature of the garage door opener.
When properly connected and aligned, the sensor will detect an obstacle in the path of its electronic beam. If an obstruction breaks the light beam while the door is closing, the door will stop and reverse to full open position, and the opener lights will flash 10 times.
Your garage door opener has a Self-Diagnostic
feature. The LED next to the learn button will flash a number of times, and then pause signifying the potential issue.
NOTE: The garage door can be closed by pressing and holding the door control push bar until down travel is completed.
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