Balancing a one-piece wooden garage door

Hi,
Does anyone have tips on balancing a one piece (non-sectional, non-rollup) wooden garage door (2-car garage). I'm replacing all four springs, and putting in a new Genie screw drive opener (last one lasted 26 yrs!) I've always been under the impression that if the door holds stationary when the bottom of the door is about a foot or two off the ground that the door is balanced...is this true?
Should the spring tension be increased if the door does not hold stationary...or decreased?
I'll post a summary if I get enough response.
TIA
--
SteveO

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On 12/12/2004 10:35 AM US(ET), The Guy took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Someone posted some rule of thumb here recently. It applied to a roll up sectional door, but it may be the same for your application. I'll paraphrase since I don't remember it word for word. When the door is hand lifted 1/3 of the way up and let go, it should close by itself. When the door is lifted 2/3rds of the way up and let go, the door should continue to roll to its fully open position. Adjust the springs as necessary to get both results.
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Umm, I have an alternate view. I adjust so that at hip height, it stays there. If I want to lower it, I need to push it down. If I want to raise it, from the midpoint, I push and it goes up. Actually makes it a bit easier for the opener, too. That way, if my wife disengages the door from the opener, and starts to raise the door, it 'wants' to go to midpoint, rather than to go down. And if she has had to disconnect the opener, I don't want her to work much to get the door up high enough to drive the car under it. I also don't want it to be drifting downwards as she is backing out, because it wouldn't be apparent from inside the car until she heard expensive noises.

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The Guy wrote:

four
lasted
holds
The door should stay fairly stationary (may drift a couple of inches) at any point in the travel.
If the door drops the spring tension would be increased, if it wants to fly open the tension would be decreased. Doordoc www.DoorsAndOpeners.com
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Is there a problem that requires NEW springs?
If not, Leave them alone and just put up a new opener if it has gone bad. I cannot see the benefit of changing something that is not having problems, unless you are going to change design type. Going to a Sectional overhead door, is a great excuse to change, but if there is no direct benefit from it other than , say,..........Cosmetics,..........Why bother?
I do believe a Sectional overhead to be a safer type of door than the one piece version you have described. I have had both and Wouldn't spend a dime for repair on a single piece unit. The weight of the single piece will almost certainly kill almost any new model consumer grade garage door opener in short order also. The one you had for 26 years was likely a much better quality unit than anything that can be bought nowadays and was probably built with the single piece door in mind, as more of them were used on residences at the time of manufacture.
This opinion and suggestion is merely that. I do understand your installation, but not the need to "fix" the unbroken.
Hope this helps at all.
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MUADIB
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Following your own advice huh?

I gave what I considered advice, and opinion. This was stated as opinion and recommendation in my post. If you do not agree, that's fine. If you have better advice or recommendation , that's fine. Give it. opinion stated as follows
from my first post/reply

Is it less condescending to admonish someone for their opinion stated as such,......or to just give your opinion? My original post was thoughtful, as you believe yours to be. I asked a question to help me get more info to go about forming a better picture if need be. I offered an opinion as to what might be considered in further discussion. I am not only familiar with the garage door type the original poster describes, I have practical experience.
What I offered, was an opinion. If it is not seen as such, that's fine also..............just mark it read in your browser. Hell,...............Just put my input on your KILLFILE list..............I don't unserstand what makes your condescending remarks any more helpful than the remarks I made , which you deem condescending................They were not intended as such, and if the original poster feels they are, I Personally apologize. I was only trying to help.
Pop, plonk me and save your typing time if I so offend you with my postings. Didn't your mother tell you to follow your own advice?
Your personal input is of little value as well. The door type that is being described was generally built on site out of simple lumber. 2X4's and Plywood normally. Simple things. The hardware and hinges were the part that is not manufactured onsite. I have not in my limited experience ever seen any such rule of thumb applied to single piece garage doors ever, either one, or two car sizes. The way they are built, it is next to impossible to "balance" one for anything other than ease of operation. There is no "level" or "height" of any part of the door to measure to "get it right", as they are built almost in place and vary extremely due to building materials. It is difficult to open a one piece wooden garage door even for healthy young folk. Even when they are "adjusted properly".
Now for a diagram and a Website that pretty much helps explain the workings and adjustment, since I went ahead and did a search for info..........Pop,...........you coulda done this too, but must have been pre-occupied trying to be my mother.
http://www.foothilldoors.com/helpgifs2/doorinstall.html
Is this like your door mounting?
Step 11 shows a basic installation and adjustment arrangement and explains the mechanism fairly well, Just from a picture. The doors I dealt with years ago, were not exactly like this, but the principles of the whole mounting and adjsutment were similar enough that i won't try and confuse things with my OPINION. Thanks Pop.
It is my recomendation, that when you post help. You reply to the person that posted................. Not to the reply posted to help them.
There are enough people in life that want to be someone's mother that are also as totally unqualified.
Something to ponder for all of the folks that happen to read this post completely:
If you have a question ask it. If you have an answer, give it. If you have an opinion , OPINE,................ If you don't like what you read,............... Move on to the next thread,.................It's only opinion!( throw in your opinion if you feel the need, but don't expect it to be taken as gospel or accepted without further comment,....yeah, start a flame war) If you're looking to change the environment on newsgroups, keep on trying, but be aware that it is futile.
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MUADIB
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<snipped to save ether>
I stand by each and every comment I made. You have demonstrated that you CAN be helpful in your separate answer to him, which is quite different from your original post, even a Very Good on the 1-5 scale, IMO.
Two things caused me to make the observations I did make: 1, what I said in the post that pissed you off, and 2. what you probably think is cute, in your sig. You see, I had something to say, so I said it. If your skin is so thin that things like that bother you, then I might suggest you need to thicken it up a bit, and be more specific in your postings. I abhor those who waste bandwidth with posts that either don't respond to the OP's question or are argumentative. No need to plonk you; if I dont' want to read something, I can remember well enough who/what it is I'm not interested in. Besides, all plonks do is hide a person's actual posts - you still see them referenced in other's posts. So, ain't no real future in it unless one enjoys a rules list so long it impedes d/l times. Only people I plonk are verified trolls or spidiots.
Pop
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Snippage8<

Snippage8<
Me too................
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MUADIB
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Dear SteveO,     My sincerest apologies If my original reply offended you, as suggested by Pop. I assure you it is only my wish to help others, not to beat them down with poorly thought out opinions. I am hoping to help further still, but without sounding condescending.
I did a little search to see if I could come up with something that I could identify your door installation. Here's what I found.
http://www.foothilldoors.com/helpgifs2/doorinstall.html
Is this like your door mounting?
Step 11 shows a basic installation and adjustment arrangement and explains the mechanism fairly well, Just from a picture. The doors I dealt with years ago, were not exactly like this, but the principles of the whole mounting and adjsutment were similar enough that i won't try and confuse things with my OPINION.
If this is not what your door installation looks like, please post a picture somehow to help in the discussion and maybe find even better adjustment information.
I am sorry If I sounded condescening before. I was actually trying to prevent any damage/danger by my suggestion/s.
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MUADIB
http://www.angelfire.com/retro/ssterile/MAIN%20PAGE.html
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