Garage Door Tension Springs

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Are they really that difficult to adjust?
16 ft door, spring on left "looks" fine, you know with a curvy appearance like it has proper tension. The spring on right side is straight, I can tell it has slipped back some because it used to look just like the one on the left and the door opener has just started having trouble lifting the door. If I help it (only needs very little assistance) when the button is pushed it goes right up. I unhooked it and tried manually and it's really hard to lift. So I loosened the set screws and I can not turn it any more than it already is. I probably need longer tools for more leverage, but seems that I should be able to get at least a half turn or so out of it.
Am I just a wimp? <-----that's rhetorical ;-P
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I've never adjusted these. But, from what I've heard, they are very dangerous. Not something to do your self. They contain a LOT of energy, and can do tragic things and cause injuries.
That's my take on the matter, for what you paid for it.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Are they really that difficult to adjust?
16 ft door, spring on left "looks" fine, you know with a curvy appearance like it has proper tension. The spring on right side is straight, I can tell it has slipped back some because it used to look just like the one on the left and the door opener has just started having trouble lifting the door. If I help it (only needs very little assistance) when the button is pushed it goes right up. I unhooked it and tried manually and it's really hard to lift. So I loosened the set screws and I can not turn it any more than it already is. I probably need longer tools for more leverage, but seems that I should be able to get at least a half turn or so out of it.
Am I just a wimp? <-----that's rhetorical ;-P
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On Sat, 3 Mar 2012 22:09:51 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

I've done a lot of them, and if you use common sense they are not terribly dangerous. I know, common sense isn't very common any more - but you need a good set of 2 bars that fit the holes in the winder properly - snuggly enough not to slip, but not so tight that you have troublre geting them in or out - and a wrench to fit the set screw - within easy reach. Worst case scenario the slack spring is broken and you need to dissassemble the whole mechanism. I've done that too - but for the average DIY guy that's the time to call in the pros.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Hi, If spring is broken it can be joined together with a small U bolt clamp and rewind it until replacement is ready. Once in a while I wipe the springs with oil soaked rag to prevent premature failure due to dry rubbing between coils which causes metal fatigue.
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wrote:

Talking about dangerous - - - I would STRONGLY caution EVERYBODY to ignore this advice. Attempting to clamp the spring will cause dangerous stresses, making the whole process (and door) much more dangerous. As for the oil - it just makes things dirtier and more difficult to work on - with virtually no advantage when it comes to the lifespan of the spring.
PERHAPS using a pair of clamps and overlaping more than half a coil - so the clamps are 180 degrees apart MIGHT work - but the saddles of the clamps WILL interfere with the spring which would STILL make the situation un-necessarily dangerous.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That is what you think. I did that once until ordered spring ariivedm nothing happened. I installed oper, replaced spring, replace broken string, etc. on our garage door, nothing hapened to me or to the door. I am 100% safety concious person. I should take a picture of springs here and show if it collects dirt?, No it does not.
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wrote:

You did it and got away with it. It is NOT recommended - and NOT safe. I have worked on, adjusted, and replaced springs on at least a dozen different overhead doors with torsion springs.
And oiling ANYTHING makes it attract dirt. That is a GIVEN.
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Have you ever done this? If not, don't assume and if so, then you did it wrong.
Were I work, we have several large overhead bay doors which are used daily and often. When one of the springs broke, it disabled the door. The door company we use often for door repair, frequently use the u-bolt clamp method while parts are on order. It doesn't endure anymore stress than in normal condition.
BTW, even a new pair of springs can break suddenly.
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The door company I used ALWAYS had the required springs in stock. Where I worked we had SIX overhead doors that were upened and closed many times per day. Every spring and every fall we adjusted the door springs to compensate for the weight of the doors that changed with humidity - and every once in a while we had a spring break. I replaced one of those big suckers - and convinced the boss to call the door company for the next one. In the neighbourhood I've adjusted and replaced the springs on about a dozen garage doors - both tension and torsion. NO WAY would I attempt to "patch" the spring with cable clamps ("U" bolts). It's a case of get the door down, and leave it there untill the spring is replaced.
And if a NEW spring breaks, you are buying junk springs.
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Such a wonderful world it would be if everyone had all the items we need right when we need it.
To each his own. All I know is, it held up fine.
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On 3/3/2012 8:02 PM, SG wrote:

Given the limited amount of info you gave, it sounds like you have torsion springs and it also sounds like you have a broken one. You need to call the pros to fix this if you are not experienced in torsion spring adjustment/replacement. ESPECIALLY with a big door!
--
Steve Barker
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My father got hurt pretty bad. Years later I noticed one spring broke when I could not lift the door. I called in help.
Greg
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SG wrote:

Hi, I went to get 4 ft long steel rod of 1/4 in. diameter. I cut it in half which make good tool for adjusting the springs. If you don't have proper tool, don't. It can be really dangerous and injure yourself. When properly adjusted door is moveable with one hand up and down and it won't try to go up or down by itself. It should stay where you leave it.
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wrote:

Many of the ones I have adjusted needed rods closer to 1/2 inch in diameter - REAL garage doors.
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On 3/3/2012 10:08 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

1/4" is not near big enough
--
Steve Barker
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On 3/3/2012 10:08 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I'd be scared to death to use 1/4 rods. Check the holes - 1/2" if I remember, about 12" long. Be VERY prepared for the spring to unwind with a great deal of force if you release the two set screws.
--


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Tony-
I think what is hurting your credibility is suggesting the use of 1/4" rod. The three garage doors I've worked on needed 1/2" rod....... I used some LONG 1/2" bolts with the threaded section cut off.
I can state for a fact.... 1/4" rod runs the risk of damaging the torquing fitting, bending the rod or losing engagement.
OP-
If oyu read & understand the info in <http://truetex.com/garage.htm
and have decent mechanical abilities & aptitude you can fix the door yourself.
Working on the door yourself is not without risk but it is doable.
Wear safety glasses
cheers Bob
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SG wrote:

One of the springs is broken. Call a pro in if you've never been shown how to do it.
--
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what if they don't have hands? They'll think you're cocky. -Mitch Hedberg
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On 3/4/2012 3:20 AM, G. Morgan wrote:

For many years, I always called in the pro. Then once, I tried it myself. I looked up on the Internet for methods, etc. The local Ace, of all places, carried the springs. After the 1st one, I could replace a spring in about an hour. Yes, the winding rods should be 1/2" as I recall. 2' long rods are probably too long. Mine are about 1' and give plenty of leverage even for winding the springs of a heavy, double wide door. BUT, IT CAN BE DANGEROUS if you are not careful as others have pointed out. BTW, one web site gave a good tip. Clamp a ViseGrip onto the pipe so that it will stop the pipe from turning. I know this won't stop the winding rods from flying around if you are not holding them when the set bolts are release, but it does keep things from moving. After reading the the horror stories, I was surprised at how little force it actually took to wind the springs. I was expecting much more. BUT, AS EVERYONE HAS SAID, IT CAN BE DANGEROUS if the rods get out of hand. If you feel hesitant, call a pro and watch and learn.
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G. Morgan wrote:

No! The spring(s) were not broke.
Call a pro in if you've never been

Did that, door man just left, lubricated and adjusted every thing, good as new again :-)
Thanks for all the suggestions and lively discussion.
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