Garage door springs weakening?

Other than breaking, is another failure mode for garage door springs a weakening of spring tension?
Our garage door is a sectional one and my notes scribbled on the inside of the door say I changed out the springs nine years ago and they are "150 pound springs".
For the last few weeks the door has occasionally stopped opening after about a foot and a half of upward travel. A second (or sometimes a third) try will get get it to go up the rest of the way.
I suspect the overload sensing detection of the garage door opener is making it stop.
I disengaged the door from the opener and lifted it by hand. It felt a lot heavier than I'd expect it to be, prolly too heavy for a little lady to lift.
So, is weakening of garage door springs something everyone but me knows about?
Thanks guys,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:06:51 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

absorb water and gain a lot od weight - if it is not a metal or fiberglass door.
Could even be a combination of 2 or all 3.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:15:22 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Yea, all of those things could be the problem, and springs do weaken over time. But it could be any of these (below).
Bad bearing or tightness in cable pulley. Stretched or breaking cable, or slipped cable clamp. Door tracks are not aligned, loose, or bolts are sticking out. Bad or stuck roller(s) on door. Obstruction stuck against door or track.
Begin by checking the whole frame an door tracks. Tighten all loose bolts.
Check all rollers (might require removing one at a time and lubricating or replacing them).
Inspect cables.
Check to make sure cable pulleys operate freely, replace or lube in they are tight.
If winter weather caused the slab to heave, the walls may have moved a bit too, and that can change the actual size of the door opening, which can make things rub or be misaligned. Garage doors are simple to understand, but difficult to keep them operating properly, and require EVERYTHING to work properly. On stuck roller or loose bolt can cause a huge hassle.
You can generally tighten the cables to get more torque from the springs. Each side of the door should be even. I have used turnbuckles where the cables attach to the wall. That way you can easily fine tune the tension.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote, on Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:06:51 -0400:

Everything I say below assumes torsion springs!
Yes. Springs weaken in tension. The proof is easy to see.
What I do is spray a line with spray paint along the length of the spring when the garage door is closed (i.e., the spring is wound up).
I spray this line of paint just before I oil a new torsion spring for the first time after replacing them.
Then I can see, over time, that straight line starts to slip and begins to curve (over a period of years).

What matters is the calculations of cycles that you can get here: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/index.php
The el cheapo springs most installers put on are, IIRC, 11,000 cycles, which is 11,000 open-close cycles. Do the math, where, if you open and close the doors thrice a day for 9 years, that's math of: 9 x 365 x 3 = 9,855 duty cycles
Of course, the springs I put on (which only cost about $15 more) are 70,000 duty cycles; so, it all depends on the springs that you put on.

Lots of things slip. It could be as simple as a loose end pulley slipping on the torsion shaft. Read the DDM doors site and Dan will help you out (I've called him many times and he has given pretty good advice, but, I would only do that if you plan on buying stuff from him).

Overload sensing?

Again, Dan shows how to balance the door on the spring. It should barely take any effort. It should stop half way and stay there.
What you need to do is balance it. It's easy to do, but don't even *think* of doing it if you're afraid of looking up the details on EXACTLY how to balance a garage door - because - one mistake - and you're dead - or missing parts.

I'd do first things first since your door is clearly unbalanced.
0. Bone up on garage doors by reading the tutorials on balancing the door on Dan Musick's site. 1. Decide if you want to balance it yourself. 2. Balance it.
That will solve any problems of slipping pulleys also, since you'll notice stuff when you start balancing the garage door.
Good luck. Google my name and alt.home.repair and garage door torsion spring, or search here: http://tinyurl.com/alt-home-repair
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Danny D. wrote:

Just time to check and rebalance the springs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

Yes, the Craftsman opener has two potentiometers for setting the maximum up and down opener forces at which the door will stop when opening or stop and reverse when closing.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:41:18 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

safety device because it was virtually impossible for a properly adjusted unit to harm anywone when closing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Danny D. wrote:

They are not torsion springs.
Sorry, I should have used the words "extension springs" in my OP.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/16/2015 9:49 PM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Last winter, in the bone numbing cold, one of the springs on my Mom's garage door snapped. When the repair guy came out, I watched. The cable had been installed in one place, and rebent, later. I could tell from the bends in the end of the cable. Someone many years ago had shortened the cable, presumably as the spring relaxed. The guy last year had to use the longer cable place, as the spring he put in had good tension.
So, yes, extension springs grow weaker. I also remember the cable and springs grew limp, on the next door family's garage door when I was a teen. I remember seeing that and mention to the home owner.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

Maybe I should just grind up some Viagra, mix it with oil and paint it on the cable and springs?
(I'll pick up a couple of new 150 lb springs and put them in this weekend.)
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/17/2015 11:35 AM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Viagra is much safer than doing your own install. Lot of stored power in those springs.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

as it will travel, then use a C-clamp on one rail to keep it there.
At that point the expansion springs are fully contracted and it's a snap to swap in new ones. I just picked up a new pair at HD this afternoon. They are color coded with red paint on one end, same as the ones I'm gonna chuck out.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:39:48 -0400, Stormin Mormon

Viagra!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oren wrote:

Absolutely!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Yes, they get overstretched as time passes. Is the door able to be lifted by grabbing it from either side without it being jammed in the track opening?
Extension springs are actually more dangerous than torsion springs. But they are also relatively easy to adjust. Raise the door and clamp a set of vise-grips on EACH side of the track equal distant on the track. You want the bottom rollers to make contact at the same point on each side with the vise-grips. This should make the door look level with the header if the opening is square.
Then you disassemble the springs, one side at a time and feel for the same amount of pressure you did the first one on the second one. Sometimes you'll get lucky and there will be a slot you can move the "S" hook forward one position forward without undoing the cables from the rectangular cable stay. With the springs in the relaxed position, it is sometimes very obvious one is stretched beyond usability, and needs replacement. Always replace both springs, never just one.
If you are not 100% confident you can do this safely, DON'T. If the old springs did not include a safety cable running through the middle of them and tied off at the back hang and front track, install some now. I've seen a spring break and fly though 2 layers of sheet rock. A safety cable keeps broken springs up there instead of flying around when one breaks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
G. Morgan wrote:

The weather here in Red Sox Nation finally warmed up a bit so I installed the new extension springs today.
As I suspected, the springs I replaced 6 years ago had "softened" noticeable as it was a lot easier to stretch them to unhook the fixed ends from the hook bolts they go onto but considerably tougher to stretch the new one to hook them on.
Frankly, I never realized that steel springs weakened with age that much when they weren't really stretched very far. Live and learn.
As I mentioned previously, before installing new springs, with the opener unhooked from the door it took quite a bit of effort to lift the door from fully closed to open by hand. The first thing I tried after installing the new springs was moving the door by hand. It was slicker than snot on a brass doorknob and moved quite easily all the way up and down.
I don't expect I'll be seeing the opener shutting down from "overload" while the door is opening anymore.
Case closed (for another six years.....)
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

The door should be able to raised with one hand, and stay balanced 1/2 up and stay there.

Do you have two torsion springs? One may be broken, you'll need to look at them closely. Sometimes springs do need a re-tightening though. Maybe one or two quarter turns. This happens when it gets cold. You should have noticed it before now, earlier in the winter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:27:09 -0500, G. Morgan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.