You guys are backwards. If the door is all the way UP, then the tension is
mostly relieved. Sometimes you can pull the rope to disconnect the opener,
then push the door back far enough to get in the space between door & wall.
Use 2 C-clamps on the rails to hold the door in the up position. Then change
the springs, put about one turn on them and then hook the cables to the door
with the cable wound all the way around the 2 drums. Saves a LOT of
You, sir, are the reason I decided to try doing it myself.
Indeed, it can be dangerous, and your commentary was excellent.
I'm glad you're still around here so that I could thank you.
Now, indeed, this is really crappy weather to be learning how to
do it, and it would probably be more appropriate to have it done
by a pro, but your commentary would also help someone that is
having it done keep from getting screwed.
Same thing goes for operating a table saw, driving a car,
installing a window, etc. They're all dangerous, but it really gets
tiresome hearing about how the homeowner should never consider
trying to learn. Instead, they have some knuckle-dragger come out and
install the spring that he has on the truck, instead of the right one
No all springs are not the same & the two on your door may or may not
be the same wire size & length so you have to measure both of them
If you don't know what you are doing it can be very unsafe. Equipped w/
the right tools (mainly proper bars) & knowledge it still can be risky
but manageable, but it's not something I recommend that the average
homeowner attempt to do.
We normally recommend changing both springs at the same time since they
are under the same amount of tension & will usually fatigue at the same
rate. However, if the two springs are of a different wire size one may
last longer then the other, but the average life cycle is 7-8 years.
The quaility of the spring material is pretty much the same but the
galvanized steel springs that some are starting to use is expected to
last longer then the non-galvanized. However the wire size & length of
the spring determines it's life cycle for the proper amount of turns.
Springs are rated by IPPT (inch pounds per turn or lifting force) & the
larger the wire size, the longer the spring will be for the same IPPT,
& hence the longer the spring will last.
Really, it's not worth your time. As already stated, you will not save that
much money. I had mine done by a reputable local company for $35 more than I
could buy the springs for. When he was done he lubricated the door and spent
almost as much time adjusting the door and the opener as it took him to
install the springs. The door had never worked as well since I owned the
house. Money well spent.
DIY is good, but sometimes it is a fools folly. I just built a 500sqft
addition on my home. I went out and priced the insulation and was not
looking forward to that part of the job. So much so that I thought that I
would check with insulation contractors to see if the extra money would be
worth me not having to itch for a week afterwards. After calling around I
got the entire thing done for $100 LESS than I could have done it for.
Sometime it's smart to have someone else do the job if that's what they do
for a living.
I like being frugal (read cheap), but not stupid.
Yep, same here, only the item was carpeting. Got the same carpet,
with pad, installed for almost the same price of me getting it, having
it delivered, and installing it myself.
But it is worth the homeowner's time to learn how to do it, so they are more
diligent about watching for hangups in the track, poor lubrication,
Speaking of lubrication, a lot of folks grease the rails. But that just
causes dirt and other debris that the door collects to be deposited
in the rail. Causing problems.
If a person can get a good deal, it's far better to have it done. Instead of
agonizing over it, and having to learn everything at once.
I understand you in the figurative sense, but actually, I prefer
changing oil in my pickup myself. It takes less time than getting to
the oil change place, not to say about waiting in line and waiting for
the job to be done.
It depends. Doing it on one door, one time is not worth learning unless
you just like to learn things. That's the learning curve, but that has
changed to favor DIY with the innovation of ready information on the
If you have a lot of doors, or expect to have them over some multiple of
their spring lifetimes (about 7 years), then you'll save plenty. With a
three-door garage over a lifetime of home-ownership, I expect to save
I can now repair my garage door springs faster than I can shop for a
service call and nurse that task along. And I know it is done right.
And you may just save plenty learning simply knowing how its done. I've
gotten plenty of stories from those who have paid as much as $800 for a
job that should cost $100 or $150.
Eh? Either the spring were overpriced, or the service was underpriced,
likely the former.
If you priced uninstalled springs from a door dealer, you got either "we
don't sell springs", or a ridiculously high price. They're not really
in that retail business, and they want you to believe that you can have
a service call and installation for only $35.
Well, then it didn't work right before the spring broke, and if you knew
how to evaluate and adjust them, you could have had it working well all
along. Another benefit learning this yourself.
You'll also have the skills to replace the entire door, if that should
ever become necessary. That's also going to save me a bundle on my
aging, 25-year-old doors.
I have done both torsion and extension spring replacements on garage doors.
The last time one broke I called around to get a price on the torsion
springs and if memory serves me they were $55 a piece. I have seen them on
the internet for maybe $45. I was busy and didn't really have time to do it
so I called the guys who do it for a living and the whole job was done for
$135 plus tax. Over priced springs, maybe. Under priced service, maybe but
the company has been in business for 35 yrs. They must do something right.
Yes, they make money on the springs. They buy them by the truck load for
cheap. Having the job done by someone else even if it cost you $50 more
would take a long time to save $1000's.
It really is not that difficult a job but a slight botch may result in
Hell, I'm not saying don't DIY. But what is your time worth?
My time is worth a lot if the job is unpleasant. My time is worth more
or less nothing if I like what I am doing (such as fixing my
Knowing myself, I would pay a lot more if I had to, to avoid injury
which would be too probable in this instance.
Unfortunately, even some unpleasant jobs are better done by myself,
due to large amount of time needed to select and hire and wait for
Doha! I should have thought of that. Just go out and buy10 lbs of A229 oil
tempered wire and bring it home. Then I just cinch a pipe down in my vise
and wind my own torsion springs around it and install them on my garage
door. Think of the savings.
Maybe I should just get rebar because it is a lot easier to bend and would
be less trouble. ......Wait a minute, what about a bungee cord, yea that's
It may be news to you, but products fabricated "simply" (cut, bent,
twisted, etc) from standard steel shapes and alloys tend to cost a small
proportion over the steel itself, in a good market. If Home Depot sold
torsion springs like they sold rebar (they won't), they would sell for
about the same $/lb.
So the DIY problem reduces to finding ready retail sources that approach
this market efficiency. Otherwise you pay $55 to a snickering dealer who
bought it for $5.
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