Garage Door Problem

Hi...my automatic garage door will only open about 12 inches before it gets stop. If I open it manually, I can then CLOSE IT automatically with no problem, though.
Does anyone know if the torsion springs are both supposed to be at the same tension? The left side spring is quite loose compared to the right side spring. When I first saw this, I thought this must be the reason the door wouldn't open. However, the springs on the garage door across the street are also not the same tension (one side is noticably looser than the other) and that door seems to work fine. So maybe my problem isn't related to the springs.
Any ideas, anyone?
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Does the door open easily when used manually? Does it open if you help it along? If the door is heavy to lift then you must adjust or replace the springs. Does the door bind when you lift it? Are the tracks straight and plumb? How are a the top brackets, bottom brackets, hinges and rollers? Check the cables to see if they are winding onto the drums properly. Lube the end bearings, rollers, etc. If the door is working properly and opens when you help it along, then adjust the up-force of your opener.
===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================

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Thanks, Rich. Yea, I'm not sure what "easily" means. I *can* open it manually, but I need to use two hands and a get a reasonable amount of leverage (feels like bench pressing about 80 lbs). I'll have to get doublecheck if it opens if I help it along.
The door does not bind when I open or close it manually. Visually, at least, the tracks look straight and plumb. The door has not been maintained, and definitely needs cleaning and lube. But, the brackets and hinges seem to me to be ok. The rollers are grungy, old, and slightly rusty (actually, if it's not a spring problem, then my next wild guess is that a roller is seizing up).
To be honest, I didn't even know you could adjust the UP-force (I knew you can adjust the safety reverse, though). Let me check it.
Incidnentally, to my original question...is it normal (or not) that that one torsion spring would be noticeably looser?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I really think that door is much too heavy and the torsion spring may be the problem. With the proper springs it is possible to adjust such that you could lift the door with a single finger.
Of course the rollers should be clean and well lubricated first. A seized roller would make it hard to open or close.
I would expect that both springs should have about the same tension. Can you tell if they are the same size? If the same I would expect them to be adjusted the same. Often they have a color coding to indicate their strength.
Adjusting is best left to a professional unless you are really mechanically inclined. I have done it with the door braced open. I have seen pros do it with the door closed and full tension on the springs. That scares me. A quick way to lose some fingers or worse.
Apparently you have a rather heavy door.
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Very, very helpful suggestions. In checking, I find the door *does* open if I help it along. I'll have to figure out- wish I had the manual- how to adjust the up/down force. I see knobs which relate to this, but it's not quite clear how to operate them.
First, though, better clean up the track and lube the roller bearings. May even need to replace some of them.
I suspect the springs are also in play here. I believe the door, when opening/closing it manually, should remain static at any point you stop it. But this door will not stay open half-way, for example. Rather it would insist on closing itself. But maybe the springs just need adjusting, and not replacing (by the way, they are, best I can tell, the same size).
I will definitely be asking a pro to play with the torsion spring. If you are one, and you happen to be in Vancouver, BC, then I like to ask for your assistance.
Thankya very much.
p.s. on double-checking, I should admit I *can* open the door with one hand, and it's not quite as heavy as I said before. But the door won't hold itself halfway open...it insists on closing. From your website, I see this is the symptom on springs that need adjusting.
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I believe you have extension springs & not torsion springs. Torsion springs are on a shaft & usually on the header above the door & extension springs stretch along the track.
The springs should have an equal amount of tension on them & if it feels that heavy the springs are probably fatigued & should be replaced. If the extension springs are rated for the proper weight of the door they should be stretched 1-2" when the door is open & they are usually stretched around 42" when the door is fully closed.
Doordoc
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Doordoc, I seem to have missed your post before submitting my previous reply.
Thanks for the comments. Though, I have torsion springs. On a shaft, above the door header.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Then as he said they should carry equal loads. The one has obviously slipped.
I would also expect that the door is not even. That is one side is probably drooping, touching the floor first.
Another thing to look at is the cables on each side to verify that they are winding up evenly on the spool.
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Rich256 wrote:

But he was assuming they were extension springs (but they're actually torsion springs). So I'm not clear if it's the same principle.

I'll check it again, but I don't notice this.

I think they are, but I"ll double check.
(sorry for not responding sooner. i had a big wipeout snowboarding this weekend, and couldn't get out of bed until now...ouch).
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Regardless they should have the same tension and most certainly the door should lift easily. It should not have the weight of a bench press 80 pounds. Some doors have springs of different weights (different color code and gauge) but still are always in use (never loose).
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Rich256 wrote:

Thanksya, Rich. On double-checking, 80 lbs was probably an overstatement (as I mentioned above). But, the problem remains the door won't stay where you leave it.
Well, I know u/stand a spring problem of one sort or another is probably at play here. And also the other door parts need some upgrading.
Thanks, guys!
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