Lessons learned installing a torsion spring in a typical residential garage

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For most of you on a.h.r, these lessons will be old hat; but for those of you (like I was) who have never relocated a torsion spring, these lessons may come in handy in the future.
WHAT DO MOST GARAGE DOOR COMPANIES DO: - Most charge around $150 to $200 and will do a great job. - Most promise same day and next-day service. - I could do the entire job in an hour - so I'm sure they can too. - Most will simply replace the old spring with the same size new spring. - Some will 'upgrade' the spring to a longer-life spring (others won't). - Some may charge for that longer-life upgrade; others won't. - Most will adjust and lubricate the door and GDO as a bonus to you. - Some may try to sell you useless extras, such as galvanized springs or warranties (the 800 numbers I called were the worst offenders).
MAINTENANCE: - Snap a picture today of your torsion spring setup (I wish I had this). - Lubricate the garage door rollers, hinges, GDO mechanism, and torsion bar bearings (two to three of those bearings may be installed). - Check that the door is parallel when raised and vertical when lowered. - Operate the door by hand to check spring balance at multiple positions. - Close the door and check for tilt by looking for light at the bottom.
RESEARCH: - I've watched EVERY torsion spring DIY on YouTube and none beat DDM Garage Doors - so all you need is the ddmgaragedoors.com web site. - The Richard Kinch truetex web site is the second site you'll need. - No other web sites are needed although I've read EVERY alt.home.repair thread that mentions garage doors that I can find in the groups.google.com archive and while there is 'some' really good information on a.h.r - most of the threads also contain contradictory garbage, and therefore you must take every thread with a grain of salt.
REPLACEMENT: - Replacing a torsion spring is easy and requires basic tools. - The only special tool are two 18" long 1/2" diameter winding bars. - A few open end wrenches and a large vise grip is all else you'll need. - Basically, to remove a single broken torsion spring you climb on your stepladder, unbolt the two set bolts on the winding cone and remove the two nuts on the spring end plate side. After marking the location of the cable drums on the torsion rod, you loosen the set bolts on both cable drums, and then you simply slide the broken torsion spring off the torsion rod, leaving the torsion rod at the top of the door and only removing the one cable drum on the side away from the spring anchor plate. - Basically, to replace the torsion spring, you side the spring onto the torsion rod, add a bearing if desired, line up the cable drum prior marks and tighten the cable drums snug against the bearing end plates and insert the cables holding them in place with a vice grip tensioning the tension bar and then proceed to wind the spring. When wound the prescribed 30 quarter turns (7 1/2 full turns for a 7 foot tall door), you push out the spring about a quarter inch, and then tighten the winding cone set bolts. Then you check and adjust and lubricate the hinges, rollers, bearings, and GDO mechanism. - If it's a two-spring system, the only additional initial step is to unwind the unbroken spring before touching anything. Unwinding the old spring is even easier than winding the new spring and is simply the reverse operation of 30 quarter turns (7 1/2 full turns) for a 7 foot tall door.
DANGER: - I searched the news.google.com archives for gory stories of residential homeowners being hurt or killed by winding garage door springs at home, and, I just couldn't find much. This doesn't indicate much other than it's not a big newsworthy topic I guess - but it's a datapoint. - EVERY (and I mean every) site says it's dangerous - just as chain saws and table saws and 220 volt motors and swimming pools are dangerous when accidents happen - so I'll repeat what the sites say. It is dangerous. - Winding torsion springs is dangerous because "something can go wrong", and because "something can break". - However, having said that, if you take normal precautions against both of those possibilities, you too can (easily) wind a torsion spring. - There are plenty of things NOT to do, by the way, when winding torsion springs ... but the list of things to do are well spelled out at the DDM Garage Door web site. - Personally, at no point did I "feel" dire danger, especially after having removed and reinstalled my torsion spring a half-dozen times. It became 'almost' routine (therein lies the biggest danger, I suspect, to garage door repairmen). - The amount of force needed to wind a 0.250" 36" long torsion spring with 18" steel bars is well within the strength of a normal man.
THEORY: - The torsion spring acts like a counterweight to balance the (appreciable) weight of the door. - The GDO merely pushes the door open or closed - and in and of itself does NOT open the door. - The only lateral movement, assuming the cable drums are tightened against the bearing end plates, as the door goes up and down is merely the distance between the coils of the springs. - Everything else should be locked down tightly (which was my problem). - In general, the garage door repair company skimps on the springs, by default, by giving you a 10,000 cycle spring. - You can ask for longer cycle springs, which, if you keep to the same inside diameter, are merely thicker gauge wire. - The only thing that matters is the IPPT (inch pounds per turn) that you need. Your garage door has a weight and a track & drum geometry that determines the IPPT you need. Period. - So, whatever new springs you put on must exert the same IPPT as the old springs. Period. - Most people want longer-lasting springs, so, all you need is either a wider inside diameter spring with the same IPPT or a thicker gauge spring with the same IPPT. - In general, you likely won't opt for a wider ID so your choice is merely a thicker gauge spring. - Adding a second spring does NOT in any way improve your number of cycles (only the spring geometry makes a difference in lifetime). - Adding a second spring has some benefits - but they're relatively minor. - Your limiting factor in improving lifetime will be how much room you have as thicker-gauge springs with the same ID and IPPT will be longer than the original.
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Adding a second spring significantly reduces or eliminates the severity of the force with which the garage door comes down on a person or a vehicle if the single spring breaks. Some technicians will want to replace your double spring with a single spring so they don’t have to go back to the shop to get another spring. Don’t let them.
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On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 15:18:29 -0800, recyclebinned wrote:

Agreed!
That reduced-severity action actually works both ways.
1. When the door is going down (as you noted). And, 2. When the door is coming up: When a single broken spring, especially when it breaks near the stationary cone, can cause the torsion bar to spin violently such that there can be damage the top part of the door and to the cables.
In addition, two-spring systems balance the forces on the two cable drums, which is important for systems (like mine) with weak cable drum support to start with.
Two springs also enable the advantage that MORE SPRING SIZES (i.e., thicknesses) are instantly available to the homeowner, who then has more options to choose springs of the desired life cycles.
A minor advantage of two-spring systems is that winding each one is half the work of winding a single-spring system; but that's a one-time bonus.
Of course, two spring systems typically being longer (combined) than single-spring systems have disadvantages too (e.g., they take up more room so that you may have to move the spring anchor plate, they can cost more, there are more things to break and replace, they can be heavier, etc.).
All in all, very few professional installers told me by phone that they would change out my single-spring system for a two-spring system, and, Dan Musick advised me against it (even though his web site explains all that I've said above).
Nonetheless, if you wish to convert from one spring to two, this handy calculator tells you all that you need to know! http://ddmgaragedoors.com/springs/standard-torsion-springs.php#database
For example, here is my current spring: $51.56 36,000 cycles 0.250"x36" 14.14 pounds Lift3.3# SPB-250-36-00R
If I converted that to two springs, Dan's site recommends: $34.56 77,000 cycles 0.207"x28.5" 9.09 pounds Lifta.9# SPB-207-28-50R $34.56 77,000 cycles 0.207"x28.5" 9.09 pounds Lifta.9# SPB-207-28-50L
So, the two-spring system would only cost about $15 more and would weigh only about 4 pounds more, yet it would lift the same 123 pound door and each spring would last more than twice as long as my single spring system.
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DD-
Just because you've done one garage door (or seen one done) & read a number of website sites does not make you expert enough to be writing up descriptions for other novices to follow.
Your use of the subject terminology gives you away as someone merely regurgitating / "parroting" (apologies to every parrot worldwide) poorly understood information.
Your fix (metal "plate") was an amateurish hack.
Stop fixating on "ugly", learn to do appropriate investigative demolition, drywall repair and how to take expert advice offered by the a.h.r regulars.
How's your slope doin' ? Goin' read some websites & post on slope stabilization next?
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On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 17:10:37 -0800, DD_BobK wrote:

I never said (nor implied) I was an expert so I'm sadly confused about your response.
In fact, I clearly & overtly said in the very first line that I had never done it before; and in the text I said these were lessons learned from removing and reinstalling the torsion spring a half dozen times.
So, I'm sorry if you were confused (apparently) because I also said I read every DIY and howto and watched every video that I could find on the net.
I meant you no harm - and I sincerely hope nobody else (erroneously) thought I was an expert as I never represented myself as such.
[I should note I confirmed all my work with Dan Musick whom I've spoken with only a half dozen times, yet whom I 'would' consider an expert.]
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I have no problems with your troubles and exploration of your door. Those darn things can be daunting. I have had to install them, many of them, and differing kinds. Also repair many too, that were unsprung, or busted.... Good Luck, no worries here. john
"Danny D." wrote in message
On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 17:10:37 -0800, DD_BobK wrote:

I never said (nor implied) I was an expert so I'm sadly confused about your response.
In fact, I clearly & overtly said in the very first line that I had never done it before; and in the text I said these were lessons learned from removing and reinstalling the torsion spring a half dozen times.
So, I'm sorry if you were confused (apparently) because I also said I read every DIY and howto and watched every video that I could find on the net.
I meant you no harm - and I sincerely hope nobody else (erroneously) thought I was an expert as I never represented myself as such.
[I should note I confirmed all my work with Dan Musick whom I've spoken with only a half dozen times, yet whom I 'would' consider an expert.]
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On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 18:31:02 -0800, jloomis wrote:

Thanks for understanding.
I need help when I ask, and then, when I'm done, I've been on the net long enough to know to give back to the group (hopefully in spades), by paying it forward.
It was interesting though to read constantly about how dangerous it was, yet to not find in the literature very many documented examples of how exactly these people get hurt.
To be sure, I'm positive people get hurt every day (but most are likely commercial accidents due to common mistakes the professionals make when they're not careful doing something they do 10 times a day, every day).
For example, Dan Musick himself told me that he hurt his leg simply by stepping off the ladder onto the old spring on the floor. I'm sure he put old springs on the floor hundreds of times - but if you do that day in and day out, one of those days you're gonna trip on that spring and break your leg.
In addition, I'm sure that homeowners do some really really really dumb things, e.g., Dan Musick says on his web site that one of his customers unbolted the spring anchor plate without first untensioning the torsion spring! That customer was lucky to get out of that one alive!
And not everyone survives their dumb mistakes.
For example, I read this 2004 OSHA Fatality Assessment of a NY maintenance man who got killed in maintaining a commercial torsion spring. http://health.ny.gov/environmental/investigations/face/docs/04ny135.pdf
However, if you read that report closely, you'll see MANY compound mistakes piled up one upon another - with the result being his eventual death.
I even searched the bestgore web site expecting to find garage door accidents galore - but alas - it was to no avail.
If you look at garage door accident statistics, there are 20K injuries in American garages every year - but most of them appear to be to the consumer and not to the repairman working on the garage door. http://prlog.org/11649315-garage-door-injury-numbers-still-ugly.html (Plus, the statistics are a PR stunt for a garage-door company.)
This garage door company mimics those dire statistics: http://www.coveryourgaragedoortracks.com/statistics.htm
Another door company publishes vastly different "statistics": http://nhdoors.com/2010/06/injury_statistics / Here they say 10K people are hurt every year by having their fingers pinched off in the door panels or having the whole door fall on them.
Perhaps more reliably, this scientific study of shows 85 children killed or seriously injured since 1974 when garage door openers didn't reverse on time (notice the numerical difference with the manufacturers' statistics): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8885959
And, perhaps most apropos, this study shows the percentage of DIY accidents: http://www.garagedoorchildsafety.com/injury_report.html Where DIY accidents were 1610 out of 13,325.
Personally, I suspect all (or almost all) the DIY accidents were from people doing dumb things like using screwdrivers to wind the springs, or using flimsy ladders, or unbolting the anchor bracket without detorsioning the spring, or failing to disconnect the GDO before working on the door and then someone pressed the button - or - even this - forgetting to gently move the black widow spider from the web-strewn upper door area!

YES! That's 'my' black widow spider. I found it while I was setting up a safe and clean environment to work safely in on 'my' garage door repair!
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DADD-
I'm sorry but you're too inexperienced to even identify & recognize an expert.
Watching videos, listening to "experts" & reading websites .... none of this makes you an expert or able to identify an expert
The fact that you butchered an oak tree to satisfy your desire for "a view" speaks volumes about your personality. Your BS behavior since then confirms it. The fact that you're "confused" is only more evidence.
Repeating information w/o understanding it makes you no better than a parrot.
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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 06:39:08 -0800, Smitty Two wrote:

Smitty,
I debated whether I should respond to you as your post was wholly inaccurate and needless - and I decided - for better or for worse - to only respond once, and only once, as the repair is finalized and the final pay-it-forward summary has been submitted.
So heed my words.
I don't know whom you are talking about in some other thread but as for the topic of the torsion spring repair, what you're actually objecting to, surprisingly, is someone who asks on-topic questions, and who responds to everyone politely, and who pays it forward.
In addition, you seem to be upset that the thread 'appears useful', and that it covers 'minutia' such as pictures of the torsion spring repair both before, during and after, and that the thread lasts until the repair is finished - and then has a final update.
Apparently it hurts and upsets you most that a simple homeowner garage door repair (which you've done yourself?) ended up being a bit complicated, where it actually required a relocation of the torsion spring anchor plate, addition of bearings, hinge replacement, and, most importantly, a restructuring of the bearing supports themselves.
Apparently you like simple solutions - and - since this problem wasn't a simple one - it appears to bother you immensely that it just wasn't as easy as we'd all like it to have been.
Your thought processes perplexes me.
Maybe you don't like the fact that most posters ask the question only to quickly disappear into the woodwork, with nary a picture nor any update, nor any desire to pay it forward - and I didn't do that? Is that your problem?
You clearly say I'm a troll, yet, let the actions speak for themselves. Was there anything in the thread that wasn't a real issue? Was there anything in the thread that wasn't backed up with details? Did you even notice that I backed out when things got personal when well-intentioned folks (e.g., Oren) and vitriolic ones (DD_BobK) strongly suggested ripping out the wallboard?
And, did I split up separate topics as they should be?
Let my words and actions speak for themselves: - The hinges did break and they did need to be replaced - The torsion spring did break and it did need to be replaced - The torsion spring was minus a bearing and it did need one added - The spring end plate was improperly installed & it did need fixing - The spring end plate did bend - and that was the hardest to rectify - The cause of the bending was traced to the bearing end plate moving - The cause of the end plate moving was traced to the lack of support - The lack of support was solved with the use of metal plate - This use of metal plate proved to be controversial (not my doing) - The controversy revolved around the suggestion to remove the wallboard - Every question was answered accurately & honestly & with photos - Many of the photos were annotated specifically to answer the questions - A final summary was given - and if people responded - I answered them.
But, there was more to your tirade, wasn't there?
You also seem to be upset that I strive for anonymity on the net, and, you seem to equate me with someone you've met in the past, which I find surprising since I've submitted probably ten to twenty thousand posts on the net in the past two decades - some of which were with you and in those you responded quite normally. (Offhand, I must thank Oren & Trader4, & Ed Pawlowski, & DerbyDad03, & SMS, Jim Elbrecht, and uncountable others for their thousands of helpful conversations. Together, 'we' are the USENET, or what survives of it anyway, and we, many of whom are over 60 years old, have been through it all.)
It surprises me that you pick, out of the thousands of my threads, one that is particularly complicated - to then label me a 'troll'.
In summary, you are dead wrong, and sadly paranoid. Yet, I can not fix you - so all I strive to be is a good person, and I pay it forward. As they say, I will fight to the death for your right to say what you think and feel. God Bless You - but - please - stay on topic. :)
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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 09:26:49 -0800, Oren wrote:

I agree that I had two choices, namely: a) Follow Dan's advice to shore up the end bearing flags externally, or, b) Follow your advice to restructure the garage (i.e., add cripple studs).
For better or worse, I had opted to follow Dan Musick's advice to simply shore up the bearing end plates with the steel angles he sent plus about $15 in additional steel sheeting and Simpson "L" shaped support. I'm sorry if that decision to follow DDM's approach caused controversy.
I had two perfectly viable options (but only needed to pick one): a) Shore it up externally b) Shore it up internally
Since they were mutually exclusive, I couldn't really do right by all. Most of you say I did the wrong thing (and you may very well be right). But, I told you why. I told you what. And I showed pictures of it all.
When I informed the group of that decision, I was shocked at the seemingly unwarranted and totally OT vitriol from some, so I simply let it drop as I had explained myself quite a few times already.
I did try to answer when the vitriol started flying (not from you), for exampnle, about the plywood & my apparently erroneous use of the descriptive term: "steel angle iron". But then wholly OT vitriol resulted, and at that point I had realized it wasn't about the plywood or steel sheets. It was about something else, and, it wasn't even about me. It was a problem that they seem to have had with some woman they've met in the past.
Come to think of it, I guess, that just might explain the vitriol! :)

This is very true. You'll even notice that I've marked the wall where I thought wood was, only to find that it was insubstantial.
You'll also notice that I moved the spring end plate to the left (as you and I had agreed) 18 inches only to find that what I thought was solid wood was only a thin piece of wood on a solid steel beam!
You'll then notice that I moved the spring end plate the 12 inches to the right (as we had discussed), only to find that the 'wood' there was again, insubstantial (the lag bolts went right through it).
I might not have mentioned it, but even the lower 3-inch lag bolts for the tracks barely went into substantial wood.
Only after all that did I realize what the original garage installers knew all along. There was no substantial wood anywhere above that garage door, and along its sides. Only after all that (and dozens of nail holes) did I realize that the garage is solely supported by the concrete block and then steel beams.
Of course, had I ripped out all the sheetrock, I could have come to the same conclusion (perhaps in less time). But, you must remember, the goal was to (properly) replace the broken torsion spring.
As Dan Musick said, it was a difficult repair for anyone.

I'm sorry about that. I thought I had made it clear I was following the advice of Dan Musick to shore up the bearing end plate flags.
IIRC, at the same time as your helpful suggestion, DD_BobK kept throwing in OT vitriol that had absolutely nothing to do with this repair - and - since I had already stated I had no plans to remove the sheetrock, there was nothing more to say (other than to respond politely to DD_BobK and then being shocked by more totally OT vitriol being heaped back).
I just backed off as I had no desire to argue. I apologize.

Thank you for saying that. I learned a lot too.
First, and foremost: I learned that the dangerous springs are easy to remove & install. I also learned that buying springs nowadays is trivially easy. I also learned that up-sizing & doubling springs is trivially easy, with the calculators on Dan Musick's web site. Yet, I learned the actual math is imposing (as per Richard Kinch). I learned that Dan Musick is the guy to go to for the springs and for the winding bars and ancillary parts (hinges, rollers, plates, etc.).
It was especially interesting to learn that the tracks pitch backward while the hinges graduate forward, such that the door is straight in the final position. Also it was nice to check the overhead tracks to see that they were absolutely level (to a tenth of a degree on my digital level).
It was super surprising how easily the tracks went back up (admittedly, I was just putting them back into the same holes) - but I was surprised how easy it was to level them given how much I had feared taking them apart in the first place.
It was great to learn what to lubricate and what not to lube. (My mistake was to lube the tracks, which I rectified later on.)
Even putting the cables onto the drums, for the first time, was a learning experience, as I had prior worried that it might be difficult to string them both at the same time. But Dan Musick's suggested vise grip worked wonders for tensioning the torsion rod.
It was interesting to note that I was easily able to adjust the tension by backing off on the number of quarter turns (my door needs only 29 quarter turns, whereas a typical 7' tall door needs 30).
And, it was rewarding to adjust the initial tilt of the garage door by slipping the cable drum.
It was a learning experience when I tried to lift the door without the spring and then subsequently erroneously arrived at the wrong weight (because I used a digital scale).
In summary, having never understood garage door geometry and operation, and, having feared torsion spring replacements in the past, I'm very glad I did upgrade and replace my broken torsion spring. It's unfortunate that the bearing end plate flags where unsupported - and that the spring anchor plate was unsupported - and that there was no bearing.
Had those three issues not arisen, this would have been a very simple and straightforward torsion spring repair.

Thank you.
It made me feel good that Dan Musick said that the repair will outlast me, when I mailed him the same pictures that I had provided on a.h.r.
Since I could have left the spring anchor plate without a bearing and bending as it was, it makes me feel especially good that the spring anchor plate and torsion rod are now well supported - and that the bearing end plate flags no longer allow the drums substantial movement.
I have learned; others have learned - and we leave that to posterity.
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Most of DADD's drivel snipped

Hey DADD-
How much did you pay Dan for picking his brain? He is in garage door business.
Probably nothing...typical mooch
How thick was the plate? Oh, that's right... I hurt your feelings so I don't get answer.
I await your treatise on slope stabilization after you pick the brains of some grading contractors & civil engineers...for free of course.
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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 09:26:49 -0800, Oren wrote:

I forgot to mention that I also learned that the torsion bar is NOT supposed to move sideways when the door opens and closes (allowing for the tiny bit of unavoidable slop at each side's cable-drum-to-end-bearing interface).
What Dan Musick told me by phone was the only sideways 'movement' is in the spacing between the coils. This wasn't intuitive to me because I personally twisted that spring 7 times and watched it grow almost two inches in the process (i.e., 7 quarter-inch coils).
I kept wondering where that two inches went when the spring untwisted on the way down! It turns out that two inches is hidden between the coils!
It's intuitive once you know it - but not until you do it!
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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 09:26:49 -0800, Oren wrote:

Since this is a lessons-learned thread, another not-so-obvious result is to understand the differences when a torsion spring breaks nearer to one end than to the other in a single torsion spring system.
Until I read Dan Musick's web site, I hadn't realized that the part that spins violently is the winding cone end because that's the end bolted to the torsion rod itself.
The other end just spins inside its bearing.
So, the implication is different if the spring breaks nearer to one end than to the other. If the single torsion spring breaks nearer to the winding cone, the violent spin on the torsion rod is apparently much LESS than if that same spring breaks nearer to the stationary cone.
This, of course, has implications if the door was moving upward at the same time. This particular detail, to my knowledge, has never been discussed on a.h.r, and therefore I add it as an additional lesson learned.
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On Friday, December 7, 2012 7:10:37 PM UTC-6, DD_BobK wrote:

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I am sorry but those call experts put the wrong springs in my garage! So sp eak for your self and not everybody else. Also What makes you an expert the n someone with common sense and a little "can do" attitude can't do? I am n ot an expert and yes, I replace those springs who where replace by those ca ll experts!
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DD_BobK You suck balls!
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On Tue, 19 Apr 2016 19:30:29 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is that an invitation? Admit it, I bet you like guys sucking your balls, don't you?
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On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 21:31:11 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Thanks, Danny. Only thing I disagree with is one spring vs two. Too many advantages make 2-spring well worth the extra little cost. Couldn't find ANY advantage of single spring except that little cost. Pure bean counter mentality is all I can guess.
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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 01:38:45 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:

I corrected that assessment in a subsequent detailed response to rightfully recyclebinned who also disagreed as you did.
The advantages of two torsion springs are (summarized): 1. When one spring breaks, the door goes down softer. 2. When one spring breaks, the door goes up softer too! 3. Balanced spring forces are gentler on the cable drum flags. 4. With each spring doing half the work, you have greater spring choices. 5. Winding two springs is only half the work per spring.
The disadvantages weren't listed, but some of them are: 1. Two springs generally costs (slightly) more than one spring. 2. Two springs are generally (slightly) longer overall than one spring. 3. Two springs are generally (slightly) heavier than one spring. 4. Two springs are (slightly) more effort to install than one spring. 5. Converting from one spring to two spring has to be done correctly.
Let me know if I missed any pros and cons.
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2012 07:49:37 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Probably better to say when a one spring door spring breaks, the door comes down with full weight of the door, or if already down, it takes major muscle power to get the door open. The danger and effort is cut in half with a 2 spring.

Almost every piece of fastening hardware undergoes more strain with a single spring - because of torsion shaft lateral movement. Remember your spring anchor bracket flex. I think the only force that would be equal with either setup would be the rotational force pushing against the top of the spring anchor bracket and attempting to pull the lag screws in the bottom of the bracket from the header. I have to look at mine and see if they used 2 spring anchor brackets or 1. And whether the bolts connect the stationary cones together. Walked the dogs. It's one bracket, and the bolts go through both cones. Two brackets back to back would be stronger, but maybe overkill. And you'd need left and right bracket designs since there's 2 holes for 2 lag screws on the bottom and one slot for a screw on top. BTW, I think I said - and know I was thinking - that with a 2-spring setup the springs counteract each other. That's wrong, except for in the case of shaft lateral movement. They apply or release torsion to the torsion shaft in whatever direction the shaft rotates. Has to be that way (-: Still don't understand how the springs can lengthen/shorten on a 2-spring when all 4 ends are locked down and the shaft can't move laterally. I can live with that.

I don't see 2 and 3 as "disadvantages." Springs and hardware are contained within the length of the torsion shaft and nothing else should be around that anyway. Weight doesn't matter unless you drive your garage.

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On Sat, 08 Dec 2012 05:10:09 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:

I totally agree that your two points above are 100% correct.
When 1-of-2 torsion springs break: 1. The door going down is (much) safer! 2. Lifting the door up is (much) easier!
But, there's another not-so-obvious advantage of having two springs on a double-car door when spring breaks while the door is moving up. 3. When one spring breaks, the door goes up softer too!
It's difficult to explain, so allow me simply quote Dan Musick himself: How to Convert from One Garage Door Spring to Two http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/two-spring-garage-door-spring-conversion.php
[ verbatim ] Other problems frequently ensue when a single spring is used on a double-car garage door. Many manufacturers have cut costs by using a single spring on a double-wide 16' steel garage door. If the spring breaks near the stationary cone, a large portion of the spring spins loose with the winding cone secured to the shaft. This causes a strong force to pull on the cables, often leading to one or two broken cables. If the opener up force is set too strong, it is more likely to wreck the top section if not the whole door. A second spring helps to keep the tension when the first spring breaks, resulting in fewer broken cables and less damage to the garage door itself. [ / verbatim ]
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