Two kinds of garage door springs

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I'm a few weeks away from buying a new single-wide garage door, manually operated. Stopped into a showroom yesterday when I didn't really have enough time to talk for long with the guy. He pointed out a type of spring system I'd never seen: A coil wound around a shaft, with the whole assembly installed along the wall above the door opening. He said "Somewhat more even lift compared to the springs you're accustomed to, but probably not worth the $28 difference unless you're getting an electric opener...". Then his phone rang, and one of his installers walked in with a clipboard and a question. It was 10 minutes before closing time, and I decided to stop back earlier next time.
Any thoughts on this type of spring?
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commonly found on bigger doors, the 'torsion spring' system you saw is actually a higher quality setup than the 'extension springs' you typically see on single doors. Although, the low price difference he quoted is well worth it in my opinion. The fact that you are or are not putting an opener on it is of no value as to the type of spring system.
s

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One caveat is that you have to have a decently high ceiling to use the torsion springs. My garage door when open is only a couple inches below the ceiling, so I'm stuck with extension springs. Which reminds me; I fixed the springs and cables when I moved in but never added the safety cables - I probably ought to do that. I guess I thought I'd have had the door completely redone by now, but finances have not permitted. :(
nate
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Actually Nate, I just saw a garage with a low ceiling where the torsion springs were on a bar mounted at the back of the rails, instead of the front, pretty much even (height-wise) with the top of the rails. Really cool, but I have never seen this type of thing on display at a garage door place.
JK
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I agree.
One thing is for sure: My double-wide door is incredibly HEAVY with only one intact torsion spring. I couldn't get the door open by myself.
The last time a spring broke it was suggested that I replace the garage door as the original (spec home) door is extremely heavy and is deteriorating. (It must have a high percentage of particle board as some of it is visible and rotting away at the (often moist) bottom.
The bid says "insulated steel w/raised panels". Can I expect that door to be lighter than the one it is replacing?
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JR

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yep.
s

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Yes, and quite durable from what I've experienced. Properly installed with the correct springs, any door should be easy to lift. Ask the installers to show you what should be lubricated every year also.
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 09:51:14 -0500, Jim Redelfs

Go look at the door somewhere. They're talking I think about one layer of steel on the outside with insulation of some sort on the inside. Or is it steel on both sides, with insulation in the middle? It would make a big difference to some wrt appearance.
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Either spring system should work the same on the door opener or not. If you are installing the system yourself you may not want the torsion system. One slip while tightning the springs and you could be hit by the tightning bars and be hirt very bad. If being installed for you , then no problem.
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wrote:

i dont like torsion springs if something breaks thet are a real hazard, regular extension springs with safety cables are my preference. and if the system has a problem its a DIY project:)
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In article

I'm not sold on them, either.

I disagree. When they break, they remain coiled (loosely) around their axle. It's a rather safe breakage, actually. Quite loud and certainly disappointing, but safe.
I do, however, agree with the OP that they can be quite dangerous if DIY and tightening them. When the door is closed they are under tremendous tension. Even when the door is open, they are still under enough tension that, if using an adjustment tool improperly, one can be seriously injured or killed.

I agree.
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JR

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Not if they are adjusted properly and the proper spring has been applied. There's only about a half a turn of tension with the door open.
s
Even when the door is open, they are still under enough

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I agree, i've replaced several and adjusted dozens and have never seen the danger everyone is so anal about.
s

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If you know how, it's safe. If you don't know how, it's not safe. Simple! If you don't know the right way to use and maintain a chef's knife, you can end your piano playing career. :-)
wrote:

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ya, and if you don't know how to drive (about 75% of the GP) then thats dangerous also. the torsion springs are no more dangerous than crossing the street after you learn how to do them. And anyone wanting to mess with them would surely learn first.
s

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I know how to use a chef's knife but still can't play the piano. What am I doing wrong? (I can't sing either)
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They can shatter and fling shrapnel. Less risk if the door is raised, but if it's lowered and the spring is under maximum tension. (Maybe they put them in a solid cage these days though, I don't know.)

I think they're most often "adjusted" while already under tension, and that can be hazardous while not offering the inexperienced a very good picture of the hazard, which I think is the basis of their reputation for dangerousness. (Please don't ask how I know.) -----
- gpsman
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gpsman wrote: ...

OTOH, I've had the end of a tension spring break and go flying as well.
I still don't think there's any significant difference in risk.
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On 03/22/08 09:39 am JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The Wayne-Dalton torsion spring system (it probably has a name, but I don't recall it) in conjunction with their iDrive opener makes for a remarkably compact spring/opener combination.
We already had "generic" torsion springs and replaced the original opener by the "generic" iDrive opener. There were initial problems, and they sent a new controller board under warranty. Since then, I understand, the unit has been redesigned.
Perce
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There will be no electric-powered opener involved with the upcoming door replacement.
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