How much tension is there on a garage door's springs in the UP position?

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I am thinking of moving the opener motor up a little and need to undo it, just wondering if there is much tension in the springs that I should be aware of?
Thanks
Dean
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should be aware of?
Thanks Dean <<<<<
The garage door opener is just a substitute for a person (& a weak one at that) to open & close the garage door.
A door should be very well balanced / adjusted so a GDO can work properly, the GDO is not very strong.
The srpings do most of the work & hold the door open, not the GDO
Pull the mechanical release cord & operate the door by hand to get an idea of how it works.
Even with the door open there is fair amount of tension on the springs (they are holding the door open).
With a properly adjust door you should be able to disconnect the GDO from the door & move the GDO motor / track at will.
IF you do not fully understand how the GDO / door ssytem works it might be safer to get some help cheers Bob
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There will still be at least enough tension to keep the door up. You may be surprised at how much that takes. See all the other posts about garage door springs, and what to expect.
But there should only be minimal tension on the door opener motor mechanism in ANY position. disconnecting the manual door release should eliminate that just to work on the drive.
AMUN
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There "should" be very little tension in the up position, but don't count on it. Check it first!!
Why mess with the springs if all you are going to do is move the motor? Just disconnect the door with the emergency pull and then, while it's disconnected, push the control and let the empty maul pull into the up position, leaving the door itself in the down position.
If this doesn't make sense to you, perhaps you should consider getting some help.
And, if the door comes down when you take the springs off and disconnect the opener, it WILL destroy the door and/or tracks. Be very certain you reliably prevent movement of the door. And keep everyone away from it while you're working: a falling door could easily kill humans and pets when it hits its stops at the bottom or twists the tracks and falls out of them.
HTH
:I am thinking of moving the opener motor up a little and need to undo : it, just wondering if there is much tension in the springs that I : should be aware of? : : Thanks : : Dean :
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What type of spring? The coil springs or the torsion springs that are wound up? The coils have just about nothing on them.
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wrote:

There is enough tension is the springs to kill or seriously injure you if you don't know what you are doing. They do have a life cycle and they do break when stressed.
The practical benefit of springs is that they allow less force to be used when lifting the door, thus, smaller horse-power motors can be used in your garage door opener. Maximum tension on the spring is when the door is in the down position.
Proper adjustment of the spring(s) (typically there are two of them) requires training and experience. Garage door service companies are located in every major city.
If you need to work on your garage door opener, there should be an isolating pull level on the door. This is typically used to allow the door to be operated when there is a power failure. The springs are still part of the door system, however.
Beachcomber
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Ok thanks all, that's great info there.
What I want to do is raise the GDO and the back end of the rails up about 18 inches, so that the door is raised higher than it is now. Then I can use a vehicle lift to a greater height. Does it matter if the upper rail sections slope down toward the front rather than being horizontal?
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: Ok thanks all, that's great info there. : : What I want to do is raise the GDO and the back end of the rails up : about 18 inches, so that the door is raised higher than it is now. Then : I can use a vehicle lift to a greater height. Does it matter if the : upper rail sections slope down toward the front rather than being : horizontal? : Not really, but ... beware. The current tracks had a 90 degree bend; you cannot change the amount of bend as you intend to do. The entire track that is horizontal must be moved upward the eighteen inches, or you'll have to find some method to get other than 90 degrees inthe tracks. Forcing the back up by eighteen inches is going to cause the tracks to twist and flex and isn't likely to be a very safe situation. Better to raise the whole vertical part of t he tracks by that much. Then it stays level, too. It sounded at first that you were only moving hte motor; it's a different situation moving the tracks like that. You make me nervous; you should see an expert in your area; check the phone book.
PopS
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I was thinking of removing both the curved sections of rail and cutting them shorted, so that the curve is less than 90 degrees. (I presume its not all one single piece.)
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dean wrote:

I presume you are speaking about a garage door with two tension springs.
If so:
I can't see why what you propose won't work if you make your cuts very carefully and leave enough metal for the tabs at the ends of the curved sections which join them onto the straight sections. Some new joining holes may have to be drilled in them, of course.
Since the opener can already handle the force needed to start lifting the door from the fully closed position, it should have plenty of moxie to pull the door up the incline you are creating.
I don't think you'll even have to change the settings of the spring tension. Just measure their stretched length when the door is closed and get tham back to that length when you are done.
Oh, and if you don't have safety cables running through those expansion springs PUT SOME IN when you do the work. Those springs can flail around pretty good when an end eye snaps off. Safety cables are very cheap insurance against someone getting beaned.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Yes, I agree with all that you said. I was only thinking that for some reason it would be unsafe to have the door on a slope, if I left it open and, I dunno, the springs broke or something, it might just roll down and hurt someone.
I'll take a look at the rails tonight, to see if they can be modified.
Thanks,
Dean
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: Yes, I agree with all that you said. I was only thinking that for some : reason it would be unsafe to have the door on a slope, if I left it : open and, I dunno, the springs broke or something, it might just roll : down and hurt someone. : : I'll take a look at the rails tonight, to see if they can be modified. : : Thanks, : : Dean : Actually I think that might be fairly unlikely but not impossible by any means. If one spring breaks, usually the remaining tension from the other spring would make the door go crooked as it tried to drop, which sort of wedges the door between the tracks. If it did drop though, you're right, it would come down with quite a bang since half the spring tension would be missing.
The poster who mentioned the safety wires had good advice too. I had a spring end snap off once and it brought down ten feet of metal shelving along with it, plus the spring put a dent half an inch deep into the wooden header over the garage door. Fortunately I was standing on the other side of the garage at the time. The spring itself broke right where it hooked into the eyebolt. Actually the spring itself wore thin from years of use. I grease the spring points now and you can safely assume I now have safety wires inside the springs. It was simple to do; just a few feet of aircraft wire the right length and fastened right. A guy at Overhead Door showed me how to set it up. The one here is a great place; very helpful to the diy'er.
AFter replacing the springs, just for grins, I attached one to the wall and a piece of pipe thru the other end and there was no way I could stretch that spring out as long as my garage door did with two of them. Wooden garage doors are VERY heavy!
BTW, I still think the whole door should be level on top, but in looking at my own setup today (9' wide x 8' high), I'll bet you -could- turn the 90 degrees into something smaller by trial and error by just grinding away metal where they fasten together, so it might not be such a huge job.
If you don't know how to calculate it, come on back with the -horizontal- length of the track from where it turns into horizontal to the farthest away point where the eighteen inch rise has to happen, and I'll figure it out for you unless you already know how to do that.
Assuming a ten foot long track, which many are, moving one end of it up 18" would result in a slope of about 8.5 degrees, not a whole lot of metal to grind off. By grinding the old holes would probably still be usable, but ... you'd want to provide some extra external bracing to hold the angles in place; an easy enough task, esp if you have rivet gun.
BUT ... I'm not sure I see how that would give you much improvement on getting more space underneath the door when it's in the up position. At the 5' point you'd only gain 4.5", 2 1/4" at the quarter point, and so on.
So perhaps that's another arguement for raising the whole track up. I think it'd be a lot easier to just add a short piece of vertical track to lift the whole thing up than it would be to mess with changing the angle and ending up with an incline.
And please, don't even consider working on this with the door up. Disconnect it and leave the door down to work on it. In case you should have to take the door off, you START with the top section first, and when you put it back, START with the bottom section first. Don't try to take it out in one piece unless it's ultralight and you're near superman.
HTH
PopS
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Pop wrote:

Agreed, but did you take into account that the free spring end only moves half as far as the door travels, so the spring has to pull twice as hard as the amount of door weight it is supporting?

Wouldn't it be 9" gain at the 5' point?
The OP said it was to gain clearance for a car lift, and most cars are taller near their centers than they are at the back, so I'd guess he'd gain at least a foot of extra lift clearance in a typical length garage.

Might be, but then he'd have to extend the opener to door linkage too. (More work)
And, in the "up" position quite a bit of the bottom end of the door wouldn't be on the horizontal portion of the track anyway, which gets us back to the problem of gravity making it drop if all the wrong things let go.
I say that because in all probability his existing opener won't have enough travel to pull that door "all the way up" onto the horizontal portion of the track. If it's a chain type he could extend the rail and add more chain (more work) IF the up/down limit switch system could accomodate 18" of extra opener travel.
If it was a screw type opener hed be screwed. :-)
I think he's on the right "track" with the tilted rails. He'd have to have the opener to door link fail at the same time as at least one of the springs to have the door come crashing down, and that's not likely to happen save for when the door is in motion.
I don't make it a practice to stand in the door opening while the door is moving, would you?

Amen to that, Pops. I got smart real quick and added safety cables to both our single width garage doors when one spring let go and punched quite a big hole through the drywall over the garage door opening. I wasn't hit, but I was in the garage when it happened and I nearly cracked my head on the ceiling jumping when that "big bang" occurred.
I didn't know what strength springs to go out and buy so I measured the downforce weight of the hollow core multipanel door with our bathroom scale. The scale only went up to 250 lbs, so I had to rig a 2:1 lever system from a short length of 2 by 4 and a brick so that the scale read half the door weight, which was 300 lbs.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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A 7' high door's horizontal track is approximately 8'4" long so a 18" rise will give it an approximate pitch of 10 degrees. You can raise the track at the rear, but you will have to change your system over to torsion springs. Extension springs would not be suitable for this application because the door will hang in the header due to gravity, incline and weight of the door. If you add tension to the springs to keep it out of the header then the springs will be too strong at the floor. If you rely on your opener to keep the door out of the header you will overwork your opener. You will have to use torsion springs. In which case the drums that you will have to use as well as the springs and the length of the cable will have to be calculated based on the pitch of the tracks, height and weight of your door.
Rich http://www.garagedoorsupply.com
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It's just my opinion, but:
:A 7' high door's horizontal track is approximately 8'4" long so a 18" rise : will give it an approximate pitch of 10 degrees. You can raise the track at : the rear, but you will have to change your system over to torsion springs. ===> I don't see the need to be switching to torsion springs for a couple of reasons: 1. Cost of the new system 2. Harder to work on without rather specialized tools 3. They cannot lift a door any further into the tracks than the location of the springs; the other type can move the door completely away from the header if you have the track room.
: Extension springs would not be suitable for this application because the : door will hang in the header due to gravity, incline and weight of the door. ===> Disagree. To keep the door out of the header you simply adjust the stop-point. It's the opener that determines where the door will stop, not the springs. : If you add tension to the springs to keep it out of the header then the : springs will be too strong at the floor. ===> It's not tension that keeps it out of the header; it's the opener motor stop point and the physical position of the rotary springs.
If you rely on your opener to keep : the door out of the header you will overwork your opener. ===> No, you will not. The door is at its lightest drag on the motor in the up position and the motor of a non-torsion system can pull the door as far back as the system tracks will allow. It's a very small load on the opener compared to when the door is fully closed and starts to open.
You will have to : use torsion springs. In which case the drums that you will have to use as : well as the springs and the length of the cable will have to be calculated : based on the pitch of the tracks, height and weight of your door. ===> I don't know what you're on about here. There is a system already in place which can easily be modified to meet the requirements. The OP is simply trying to do it safely but with a minimum of cost. : : Rich : http://www.garagedoorsupply.com
===> I'm not trying to mandate for no torsion spring systems; it's just that this is an already workable and modifiable system and the expense of a new install just isn't called for.
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If the track is going to be pitched then extension springs won't suffice for the job. Extension springs will not hold the door in the header because it won't have enough "pull" while in the open position (the springs will be relaxed) to defeat the weight of the door (the door will be trying to roll down the track) in an inclined track.
A Torsion system using the proper drums will hold the door in the open position, out of the header, on a pitched track application far better than an extension spring system would, but I don't think you truly understand the concepts at play here.
There are various configurations of drums to be used with either regular headroom, high lift, or vertical lift applications. The drums to be used here will depend upon the amount of pitch of the inclined tracks.
Evidently you have never worked on an track system other than a normal horizontal tracks.... if that.
Rather specialized tools!!! Two plain steel rods are the only additional tools used to do the job. This comment of yours exposes the fact that you're not very familiar with garage door torsion springs.
Sure the motor can hold the door open but you shouldn't depend on the motor to hold a door up that hangs in the header. The door should work smoothly and stop in a normal position under manual operation. Using the opener to force the door higher because the springs can't do it is obviously putting more of a load on the operator.
Install the proper equipment/parts for the job at hand so you don't have to "jury rig" your door.
It's not rocket science Pop, it's really quite elementary. ;-)
Rich
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LOL, you've got a real load of false ego today, don't you? You're certainly good at making judgements based on nothing and trying to make yourself look like you want to.
I don't intend to refute your illogicals and misinformation (due to your method of application, not that it's 100% wrong), so you can relax; I see no point in warring with an unarmed enemy.
Respond if you wish; I'm done with you.
: If the track is going to be pitched then extension springs won't suffice for : the job. Extension springs will not hold the door in the header because it : won't have enough "pull" while in the open position (the springs will be : relaxed) to defeat the weight of the door (the door will be trying to roll : down the track) in an inclined track. : : A Torsion system using the proper drums will hold the door in the open : position, out of the header, on a pitched track application far better than : an extension spring system would, but I don't think you truly understand the : concepts at play here. : : There are various configurations of drums to be used with either regular : headroom, high lift, or vertical lift applications. The drums to be used : here will depend upon the amount of pitch of the inclined tracks. : : Evidently you have never worked on an track system other than a normal : horizontal tracks.... if that. : : Rather specialized tools!!! Two plain steel rods are the only additional : tools used to do the job. This comment of yours exposes the fact that : you're not very familiar with garage door torsion springs. : : Sure the motor can hold the door open but you shouldn't depend on the motor : to hold a door up that hangs in the header. The door should work smoothly : and stop in a normal position under manual operation. Using the opener to : force the door higher because the springs can't do it is obviously putting : more of a load on the operator. : : Install the proper equipment/parts for the job at hand so you don't have to : "jury rig" your door. : : It's not rocket science Pop, it's really quite elementary. ;-) : : Rich : :
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LMAO...
Pop, shame on you, you're letting your ignorance show. There's no need to be angry because you aren't as knowledgeable as you would like to be. So you don't know much about garage door counterbalance systems and electric door openers, big deal....

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This is for the torsion springs found over the top of the door opening. This does not apply to the coil springs that are along the sides next to the track. Step one is to determine what type you have.
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Yeah, in the "up" position, the coil springs will likely be sagging. And there may be some tension on the torsion springs. But the door should be adjusted(here read that the springs should be adjusted" so that you can let the door down, with springs engaged, and it should stop at about the level of your hip. So that if you should have to raise it without help of the opener, your wife or whoever can do it. So, frankly, I would suggest you consider having a garage door tune-up done by a pro for about $75, and be ready for the winter.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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