Garage door headaches

I just bought my first house and have been trying to get it fixed up and in working order. My current project is the garage door. I have worked on garage doors before, including adjusting torsion springs. I've even lived to talk about it! The problem that I am having is the garage is a 1-1/2 car with a door that is 1 car wide. That means it's light, which means it has extension springs. This is a totally new area for me. After doing some research I have noted that my springs need to have the safety cable installed, which I will do promptly, but the problem is with closing the door. I don't understand how the door will ever stay down on it's own. I lower the door and it wants to spring back up, fairly violently. I have to put a pair of vise-grips on each rail to keep it shut. Is this amount of pressure correct? The door does not have any type of lock on it, i was thinking that one of those center handled locks with the two rods that go out into the rails would hole it down but I definitely think there is too much tension. There is no garage door opener on this door either, with no plans of installing one in the near future. I am thinking that I need to check the weight rating on the springs with the weight of the door. This door is only about 6 months old and it is thin. No insulation or anything just the basic sheet metal. How do I go about figuring out the weight on this door? I can lift it without the springs hooked up, though it is pretty heavy. Thank you guys for any help you can offer me. I want my garage to work so I will have a place to work on all the other projects that I need to for this house!
Jim
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Just Jim wrote:

Read the installation manual. It will explain how to adjust the springs. Properly adjusted the door will stay up or down and will be balanced at about half way between. Yours is not properly adjusted. Follow the procedure in the manual for your specific hardware.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

You can disconnect both springs and let the door (carefully) down on a bathroom scale.
If it's too heavy for the scale you can double the scale's capacity by using a piece of 2 x 4 about 18" long and resting one end on the scale and the other on a block the height of the scale, positioning it so the door weight presses on the center of the length of the 2 x 4.
That's what I did when I had to buy new extension springs for one of my garage doors and didn't know what strength springs it needed.
I can lift it

Someone may have installed or substituted the wrong strength springs for your door (or changed out the door, but not the springs.)
If you can't achieve the "balanced condition" Joseph described above by adjusting the length of the cables, then weigh the door and get a new set of springs rated for the weight you measured.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Will give that all a try. Thanks Jeff
Jim
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

I wish it was that simple. The door was replaced 6 months ago, I moved in 6 days ago. No manual for me.
Jim
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wrote:

Doesn't it say somewhere who put in the door? A sticker somewhere. They may have a manual. But I r emember what I was told when I was 19 and wanted a manual to fix my 50 Olds. I found a shop that had a manual for the 15 year old car, but he wouldn't lend it to me to get 4 pages photocopied. He said, Do it the hard way. You'll learn more.
It took about 18 hours when it should have taken maybe 8, but I think I did learn a lot of things.

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You can easily install a lock on your door. You will need a Dummy "T" handle, the latch and cylinder, lock bar guides and the lockbar. You can find this at http://www.garagedoorsupply.com/lock-handles.html .
As the other poster suggested, remove the tension from both springs and lower it onto a bathroom scale centered on the door. Then get the correct springs. http://www.garagedoorsupply.com/extension-springs.html
Contact me if you have any questions.
Rich ===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================

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You probably have the wrong springs from the previous do-it-yourselfer. No amount of adjustment will correct that.
Just Jim writes:

You need an accurate scale. A bathroom scale won't do, especially noised up with a lever. Otherwise it is trial-and-error until you get the right spring, which may be OK if you want to buy the whole range at Home Depot or Lowes and take all but one set back.
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On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 00:07:27 -0500, Richard J Kinch

Why do you say that? If the problem is calibration, it's easy to calibrate a mechanical scale -- in the range close to the weight of the door -- by putting weights from barbells on the scale. If one is not sure about the barbells being the right weight, he can take them some place with a "doctor's scale" a beam scale, and see what they really weigh.
An electric scale can be calibrated just by putting on a known weight, approximately the weight of the door, and seeing how far off the scale is. Then allowing for that when weighing other things.

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mm writes:

Your metrology is naive. Cheap scales do not have repeatable or otherwise predictable errors. You cannot just improvise accuracy with a trick. Calibration standards cost more than a good scale. You believe that a barbell weight that says 25 lbs on it weighs anything close to 25 lbs? You need a few percent accuracy on several 100s of lbs to know which garage door spring to buy, for a small door.
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On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 00:07:27 -0500, Richard J Kinch

Forgot to ask: Where would he find a scale more accurate than a bathroom scale?
I think my cheap electric one is less than 2 pounds off what a doctor's scale says.
The mechanical one I set to work at my weight. I don't try to make zero read zero. I make 190 be 190. For a door, I'd make 30 read 30.
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wrote:

I don't have my pressure modem installed yet, so I can't tell how much pressure you are posting.
But what you need to do is connect the vice-grips to the remote control mechanism if you have one.

You can probably get a remote that controls the vice grips only.

It's been 40 years since I had an overhead door, and I can picture it, but don't remember how the lifting force was negated during the last few inches of travel downwards. YOu should be able to figure this out, maybe by looking at neighbors' doors. It's a good way to meet your neighbors, "Excuse me. May I look at your door." See what reaction you get.

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