Garage door sprint- Torsion to Extention

One on the tosion springs on my garage door broke the other day. I have never likes torsion spring systems (Close friend killed while he was working on one and he did it for a living).
Anyway, I want to switch over to a extention spring system. I have all the stuff I need but I have one question. When I remove the cable that is connected to the remaining tension spring drum, will that spring "untension" and cause possable damage or injury? I was at first thinking just to leave it connected, but I don't know if that would vcause an unbalanced "pull" on the side with 2 springs connected.
Any thoughts?
Thanks, Ron
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Ron wrote:

I think you're gonna have to remove that cable. You'd be wise to let a pro do it, because you're probably scared to death to do it yourself after losing a friend that way, and I wouldn't blame you one bit for that. I've long had a nagging fear of large amounts of stored potential energy, in springs, compressed gasses or suspended weights. (I lost a SCUBA diving buddy about 40 years ago when he had a "K valve" shear right out of the cast iron water pipe reducing bushing he'd foolishly used to adapt it to a fire extinguisher bottle he was using for a SCUBA tank.....and go right through his head.)
Remember to do yourself and your family a favor and rig safety cables through the extension springs so that when the day comes that one of them decides to break at a spring loop, it doesn't come flailing down on someone who happens to be near. It only takes a few minutes more to do that after the rest of the job is done.
I hope that when you got "all the stuff you need" you knew the weight of the door and got the right sized springs. If not, you should wait until you get that remaining drum cable off and weigh the door by lowering it down onto a bathroom scale. If it's too heavy for the scale, you can double the scale's capacity by rigging a simple lever (Use a 1 to 2 foot long piece of 2 by 4 with one end on the scale and the other end on a brick, with the door lowered onto the center of the 2 by 4.) When you know the weight of the door, you may need to swap the springs for more appropriate ones.
Just my .02,
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to
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When i have heard mine break its with a BANG And yes dont leave one connected. But most garage repairmen fix cables for under 100 , wouldnt that be the easiest way. Actualy when I had mine fixed I replaced both cables with the largest diameter they would take, Both were undersized , larger size = greater strength cable .
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Ron) wrote in message

YES, whenever you release kenetic energy, It will cause damage. you are dealing with a spring under high tension.
If you want to release that stored energy, I suggest raising the door completely, clamping it off, and then removing the cable.
I cannot say that this is a good idea, or that one spring is safer than the other.
torsion springs can cause a lot of damage. Extension springs store the same energy required to lift the same door, but in a different package. I have seen a extension spring go through a kitchen wall, and another completley distroy a tractor hood.
The one redeming quality of a torsion spring is that, it can't go anywhere. It is a spring, wrapped around a one inch shaft and can't fly through the air.
IMHO... it would be safer and cheaper, to have the original spring replaced, than to weigh the door, add four sheaves (pulleys), fourteen feet of cable, and safty cables to keep the springs in place.
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Horace Blake writes:

What!?
(1) The defect requiring the work to start with makes it unsafe to raise the door.
(2) The torsion assembly will still be under significant torsion at the top of travel.
(3) New cables are difficult to install and adjust properly when they have to also be wound on the drums.
(4) The repair will be undergo first trial under load with a raised door falling; any unforseen problem and you have a crash or jam.
(5) No way to safely lower or dismantle the door if the repair cannot proceed.
The springs should be unwound using the proper technique at the bottom of travel, by a knowledgeable person.
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Ron wrote:

I don't really know anything about changing the cables out, but after reading a couple of the other replies I do have a comment. Some of the replies suggest that you might as well leave the springs as is, since the energy is there any way. Well, one thing they don't mention is adjustment. The tension springs are much more easily adjusted than the torsion springs. Just raise the door and pull the cables up tighter or let them out a little. With the torsion springs there is a definite danger in trying to adjust them. So, I say go ahead and change them out, being sure to install the safety cable as Jeff Wisnia suggested.
Bill Gill
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Torsion springs are much safer than extension springs. When they break they stay on the bar. When extension springs break they can bend metal and penetrate a wall! Have a professional replace both torsion springs. Should be less than $200 labor+parts. Good Luck.
Greg
Ron wrote:

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Thanks everyone. I called a garage door guy that lives down the street and arouns the corner. He had both springs and cables (which were badly frayed)changed out in about 1 1/2 hours and charged me $125 parts and labor.
Thanks again everyone. This is my 1st time posting on this NG, I think I will hang out around here alittle more.
Thanks again, Ron
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Ron writes:

Could you detail that story?

Not generally possible, as the door and track designs are different.
Extension springs only work for smaller doors.
Extension springs are not necessarily safer.

(You sound a bit trollish, but I'll bite:)
Have the door lowered and the spring torsion properly removed before attempting any repairs or adjustments. Here's how I did it:
http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm
But this is risky to do yourself.
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Extension springs only work for smaller doors.
I'm surprised to hear that statement. Extension springs are used on large doors as well. I sell/replace them all the time and they are not limited to small doors. I sell 60" x 84" extension springs with 540 lbs. of pull. For those that don't know, a 60" spring with a maximum stretch of 84" is used on 14' high doors.
Extension springs are available for doors that weigh 1000 lbs. or better. No, I wouldn't say they only work on small doors.
Anyway Ron, I'm glad to hear that you opted to have a "garage door guy" do the work for you. Don't attempt to do a repair on something you have no experience with. Changing springs be it torsion or extension is not rocket science. It only takes common sense and mechanical inclination, if you are lacking either don't do it. Rich http://www.new-garage-door-parts.com

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Hmm, is there a particular reason for the tracks of an extension sysem being seen as different for a torsion system? My torsion springs have gone through at least 15,000 cycles, I know I'm on borrowed time, I've succesfully and safely adjusted them three times, but I'm considering shifting over to an extension spring system. Got any favorite self-help URL's?

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