Garage door/opener: repair or replace?

One of the torsion springs on our garage door mechanism broke, the door closed with a bang, and the idler sprocket (plastic of some kind) shattered into pieces.
I have already read a warning that trying to replace one of these torsion springs can result in injury or death, so we'll have to call someone.
The question is: to what extent are the torsion spring mechanism and the opener interrelated? It's an old All-O-Matic opener (installed by a previous owner) with no optical sensor to prevent injury to people who happen to be in the doorway when it closes (although it does reverse if it meets a physical obstruction). There is also no way of opening it just a little way (e.g., to get the newspaper) then closing it again without first opening it all the way.
So if we want to install a more modern opener soon anyway, do we still have to have this spring replaced first, or do we need to think about a whole new mechanism, perhaps of a different type?
Perce
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"Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:

Folks installing a new opener are not going to want to use your old stuff for legal reasons.
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 00:28:35 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"

Depending on code for y'all, you may find that if you attempt to repair/replace the old unit, you will have to have one with the optical sensor installed---here it is not optional. May be some help here: http://www.garage-door-hardware.com/index.html or here http://www.doorsandopeners.com /
You can also read: How I replaced the Deadly Garage Door Torsion Springs - and lived to tell the tale: http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm
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The basic door opening mechanism, ie either torsion or regular springs, is completely seperate and unrelated to an automatic door opener. You can replace either without involving the other. However, for an automatic door opener to work, the door does need to have working springs and be balanced correctly.
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Lowes & HD sell replacement parts, including springs, for garage doors. Just raise the door all the way up to take the tension off the springs, wedge a board under the door so it can't drop, then replace the spring. If it were me, I'd replace both of them. The warning you mention is a CYA by the manufacturer to protect themselves from idiots.
Bob S.
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On 08/16/05 09:39 pm Bob S. tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

The job is done: at 8:30am called the co. whose sticker was on the door, and the repair guy arrived about 1pm. Took less than an hour. $30 for the spring, $50 for labor/travel. The remaining (unbroken) spring was obviously much newer, and he said it probably didn't need to be replaced.
The warning against trying to replace one of these springs without the proper tools and experience didn't come from any manufacturer. It's on numerous Web sites and was mentioned frequently in a 117-message thread in this ng last year. Somebody even said that some states prohibit the sale or rental of the special tools to untrained persons.
Perce
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 22:48:39 -0400, Percival P. Cassidy wrote in alt.home.repair:

Not likely. The only "special" tool that you wouldn't already have is a pair of 1/2" (3/8"? - I don't remember) steel bars, about 2 feet long.
You also need a functioning brain and a LOT of fear. Familiarity breeds contempt and contempt kills. Or at least maims, but it's not nearly as bad as getting careless around a table saw. Mostly...
--

Why put fault tolerance in the OS, when it\'s already built into the
User?


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Not too bad of a price for a torsion spring replacement.
Don't forget to lube your spring's coils and shaft end bearings when you perform routine preventive maintenance.
Rich http://www.garagedoorsupply.com
Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

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TORSION SPRING Not a standard coil spring. Different process, different parts.
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