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#4686330 - 03/06/18 01:52 PM Garage Door Spring Snapped!
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986
Data:

1. Need to replace broken garage door spring.

2. 9'X7' foam-insulated steel door weights ~ 115#

3. Previous springs are clearly painted dark blue on one end of the spring (140# rating), but seem to be a lighter blue on the other side (90# rating).

4. Need to determine how to size new spring prior to purchase

5. The door opener is an old 1/4HP unit from the 80's; however, it does not seem to struggle opening the door. The bar does bend a bit as it is nearly shut. The other side does not do this bending thing.

Long-Winded Version:

Heard a loud thunk from the garage two nights ago, which turned out to be a sheered-off hook-end of one of the two springs. Luckily, the safety cable prevented any damage to the car/window that were only a few feet away.

I've been trying to figure out how to choose replacement springs (I will replace both.) One end of the old spring is painted dark blue (140# rated), but the other seems to be painted light blue (90# rated).

I weighed the door in the mostly-closed position by dead-lifting it, stepping on a digital scale (area was level) and marking the measurement. I weighed the door + me and then just me, two times each, and came up with 112# and 117# as the weight of just the door.

My weight was exactly the same for both measurements, but the weighing of the door was not precise, because the more I lifted the door, the more weight seemed to be transferred to the slide rail (with it halfway lifted, the weight was as low as 90#); the indicated weight also varied slightly as I moved, but seemed to settle out enough to mark each measurement.

Thoughts/experience?


Edited by gathermewool (03/06/18 01:54 PM)
Edit Reason: More info

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#4686335 - 03/06/18 01:55 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
SirTanon Online   content


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 2139
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona - USA
I had something nearly identical happen with my garage door about 2 years ago. I just ended up contacting a local garage door company and had them fix it. Also let them choose the right parts. While I was at it, since our garage door opener was about 10 years old, I went and bought a higher-end new one that has built-in WiFi so I can monitor/open/close it from my phone.
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#4686342 - 03/06/18 01:59 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2962
Loc: USA
Literally everything you need to know is here:

https://www.garagedoornation.com/pages/garage-spring-replacement-guide

I used that last time and did my own repair.. Took an hour. Easy peasy.

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#4686348 - 03/06/18 02:05 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
Amirkhat Offline


Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 113
Loc: Florida
Couldn't you buy a slightly larger spring and wind it until the doors balanced against the weight and the spring, then lock it down?
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#4686354 - 03/06/18 02:08 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10922
Loc: Idaho
Call the garage door man .
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#4686355 - 03/06/18 02:09 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986
I've thought about upgrading the openers, but that's just not in the cards right now.

Reddy45,

Yea, I took lots of pictures and have watched a lot of videos on replacing the spring - super easy-looking! I'll take a look at the advice on that page, thanks.

My concern is that these springs may not be originals (though they very likely are), and that they may not have been sized correctly before. As a backup to simply replacing the springs with like-kind, I figured I'd measure the actual weight of the door. The actual weight doesn't match the dark or light blue's respective 140# and 90# ratings.

Maybe a stronger spring was used to help pull the door up, assuming pulling a closed door up is harder on the relatively weak opener than closing?:

Closing: has the momentum of shutting going for it, as well as an uncompressed spring initially, in the open position.

Opening: Extra spring tension would help "break the door loose" and lower the load on the opener.

Any thoughts?

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#4686357 - 03/06/18 02:10 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 17762
Loc: PNW
Sounds like these are linear springs and not the coiled spring type?

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#4686361 - 03/06/18 02:14 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: Reddy45]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 3176
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Literally everything you need to know is here:

https://www.garagedoornation.com/pages/garage-spring-replacement-guide

I used that last time and did my own repair.. Took an hour. Easy peasy.

^^^
Now would also be a good time to check any rollers...

Also, to be safe replace the 2 cables.

I replaced both springs, cables and a double car door by myself about 4 years ago.

Safety first (Yup, I used paint buckets as my holders; I lifted only one panel length at a time)
use c-clamps (DO NOT Forget about them when you move door, start opener) to secure door in desired position.

If i remember right, you open the door about halfway-to-full to be able to attached the cables without any torque.
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#4686362 - 03/06/18 02:14 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
Gimpy1 Offline


Registered: 08/24/17
Posts: 106
Loc: Displaced Texan in Mexico City
I consider myself a DIYer and had a considerable amount of tools and equipment. That being said when the spring on our garage door failed I decided that this was NOT a job I wanted to tackle. The springs have a considerable amount of tension and if you don't know what you are doing they can severely injure you or kill you. I called around and found a company that would come out and replace both springs the same day for $250 bucks with a 5 or 10 year warranty (can't remember). For me $250.00 bucks was great, took the guy an hour or so and he also replaced the steel cables.

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#4686364 - 03/06/18 02:15 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: CT8]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986
Originally Posted By: Amirkhat
Couldn't you buy a slightly larger spring and wind it until the doors balanced against the weight and the spring, then lock it down?


The spring rate (in units of lbs/in) should be linear, right? So, as the weight of the door rises as the door moves from being supported by the horizontal section of runner to the vertical section, the spring will also extend and tension will rise.

To do what you say would have to be an iterative process. At ~115# I do not want to be messing with an unsprung door, nor a spring that is not locked-down. Even with the safety cable, I plan to lock everything down before restoring power the opener and removing the ladder and clamps holding the door open.

Originally Posted By: CT8
Call the garage door man .


I wonder how much that would cost. Springs are like $25 and seem easy to replace. Besides, I'm sure the garage door man isn't going to use any variation of rocket surgery to figure this out. He or she will likely see the dark blue color and replace it with like kind, without a second thought. I can do that sort of higher-level thinking! happy

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#4686367 - 03/06/18 02:18 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: Gimpy1]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986
Originally Posted By: Gimpy1
I consider myself a DIYer and had a considerable amount of tools and equipment. That being said when the spring on our garage door failed I decided that this was NOT a job I wanted to tackle. The springs have a considerable amount of tension and if you don't know what you are doing they can severely injure you or kill you. I called around and found a company that would come out and replace both springs the same day for $250 bucks with a 5 or 10 year warranty (can't remember). For me $250.00 bucks was great, took the guy an hour or so and he also replaced the steel cables.


Thanks for that. I like to DIY everything that I have to wherewithal and ability to handle. If research shows that it's too complicated I'll enlist the help of someone else or pay for someone to do it for me.

I have the other door as a reference and I took a lot of pictures as I disassembled the cabling and removed the old spring. If I get stuck or something doesn't look/feel right, I can always abort and call for help. I'll be in no worse shape than I currently am in.

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#4686370 - 03/06/18 02:19 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
bruckus Online   content


Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 298
Loc: Minnesota
Might consider replacing both springs at the same time. The other one will probably go soon. There is a calculation to figure out spring size unless you just match the one that was on there. Measure coil diameter and total spring diameter. The opener probably bows like that because its set a little too far in the down position. Back that pressure off a little.

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#4686375 - 03/06/18 02:24 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
Amirkhat Offline


Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 113
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: gathermewool
Originally Posted By: Amirkhat
Couldn't you buy a slightly larger spring and wind it until the doors balanced against the weight and the spring, then lock it down?


The spring rate (in units of lbs/in) should be linear, right? So, as the weight of the door rises as the door moves from being supported by the horizontal section of runner to the vertical section, the spring will also extend and tension will rise.

To do what you say would have to be an iterative process. At ~115# I do not want to be messing with an unsprung door, nor a spring that is not locked-down. Even with the safety cable, I plan to lock everything down before restoring power the opener and removing the ladder and clamps holding the door open.

Originally Posted By: CT8
Call the garage door man .


I wonder how much that would cost. Springs are like $25 and seem easy to replace. Besides, I'm sure the garage door man isn't going to use any variation of rocket surgery to figure this out. He or she will likely see the dark blue color and replace it with like kind, without a second thought. I can do that sort of higher-level thinking! happy
Agreed, it definitely can be quite dangerous.
_________________________
2013 Ford Taurus SEL
1997 F350 Powerstroke

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#4686378 - 03/06/18 02:26 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: gathermewool]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986
Just cycled the other garage door and the motor on the opener definitely sounds like it's struggling more while opening than closing. The springs on the other side are definitely dark blue. All springs have an ID of 1-3/8".

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#4686385 - 03/06/18 02:34 PM Re: Garage Door Spring Snapped! [Re: pandus13]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5986


Originally Posted By: bruckus
Might consider replacing both springs at the same time. The other one will probably go soon. There is a calculation to figure out spring size unless you just match the one that was on there. Measure coil diameter and total spring diameter. The opener probably bows like that because its set a little too far in the down position. Back that pressure off a little.


Do you mean that I should replace the springs on the other garage door or that I should replace the second spring for the door with a broken spring? The springs come in pairs - I plan to replace both springs for the one door.

The rod bows when the door is nearly shut, but then immediately returns to straight as it shuts, then stays straight after the door is shut. Sorry, how I described it was a bit confusing.

Originally Posted By: pandus13
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Literally everything you need to know is here:

https://www.garagedoornation.com/pages/garage-spring-replacement-guide

I used that last time and did my own repair.. Took an hour. Easy peasy.

^^^
Now would also be a good time to check any rollers...

Also, to be safe replace the 2 cables.

I replaced both springs, cables and a double car door by myself about 4 years ago.

Safety first (Yup, I used paint buckets as my holders; I lifted only one panel length at a time)
use c-clamps (DO NOT Forget about them when you move door, start opener) to secure door in desired position.

If i remember right, you open the door about halfway-to-full to be able to attached the cables without any torque.


The spring packs they have at Lowes come with new safety cables. The rollers have ball-bearings and seem like they're in great shape - clean and roll easily, with no play.

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