Author Topic: Repaired garage door springs  (Read 3037 times)

gliderpilot567

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Repaired garage door springs
« on: December 20, 2016, 10:03:37 PM »
One day one of the balancing springs on my garage door broke. The opener could still lift it, but it struggled and was unsafe, and sometimes the motor would let go and the door would come crashing down. I (stupidly) tried to compensate by winding the opposite spring tighter. Of course, that caused said spring to fail after two or three openings and now the door wouldn't open at all, except manually using the Armstrong method and some leverage (no small feat when it weighs 172lbs).

DW wanted to call a contractor to fix it, because garage doors are big and scary and dangerous! I negotiated with her to wait a week before we resorted to that, to try to fix it myself. Meanwhile the car got to park in the driveway for a few days. I watched some YouTube... ordered new springs online.... just a few beers and a couple hours, and the garage door is fixed. Net cost $180, including shipping. And I learned a new skill. It was really not that hard! And I have the crappy Torquemaster springs which are embedded inside a tube, so it was a PITA to dig out one of the broken ones.

I wonder what it would have cost to hire a "pro" to do it? YouTube is amazing.... can learn how to do pretty much anything. I think a big part of being mustachian is realizing that you are not any dumber or less capable than the "pros" who know how to do/fix everything... you're every bit as capable of learning the skill and doing it yourself.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 06:32:04 AM »
You are a brave man my friend. I am scared about Garage springs. Specially the ones which go across the door, not so much as the ones which are parallel to the car.

Goldy

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 07:13:55 AM »
Great job!  I too am an avid YouTube fixer and find a lot of pride in being able to fix something that would otherwise cost me a lot to get repaired by a pro.  Recently I was able to replace a broken serpentine belt for 17 bucks in about 7 mins which probably saved me 150 bucks. 

Rezdent

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 07:48:01 AM »
You are a brave man my friend. I am scared about Garage springs. Specially the ones which go across the door, not so much as the ones which are parallel to the car.

+1
You are a smart man to fear those springs.  Garage doors are one thing I will not tackle myself, ever.  Well, other than photo eye adjustments and other small things.  I will hire out larger repairs even when springs are not involved.

snappytom

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 12:54:23 PM »
I did the same repair job a month ago .... one spring broke so I replaced both.
Had never done this before but am reasonable handy and mechanically inclined.  Watched a few videos and decided it was easy, just need to be aware of what you are doing when dealing with a spring that is under tension.  Have used spring compressor on vehicles when doing suspension work so i have some basis of experience (and respect) for the power of a loaded spring.

Getting the parts is the most difficult part.  The big box stores don't carry them (Menards had a very limited selection) but there was a place 5 miles away that does a web mail order business and sells to individuals.  Called them up and had the part in 20 minutes, total cost was $82 with free winding bars.
 
Yesterday a coworker mentioned one of his springs was broken.  I tried to convince him that it was an easy fix but he called a local repair outfit.  Today he says it cost him $500 and the guy installed new cables too (about $20 in parts).  He was a bit pissed because the job only took the guy about 30 minutes.
I understand that this job is outside the comfort zone of many people but $500 is outrageous.


Syonyk

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 08:12:22 PM »
I understand that this job is outside the comfort zone of many people but $500 is outrageous.

$500 is cheap compared to an ER visit from spring injuries and a few weeks off work...

It depends heavily on the person.  Some people understand high energy systems and can work with them.  Some don't, and shouldn't.

I do my own electrical work with my off-grid office, which has about 2500W worth of solar panels, and a battery bank that, shorted, should do better than 200A.  And I have a solid respect for that type of stuff.  I also work with lithium battery packs that should put out similar amperages if shorted.

Grogounet

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 11:04:09 PM »
Ho I cannot agree more with some of the comments...
Split my big toe into two pieces with a spring... Trying to fix my broken window motor

Ok, ok, I was wearing tong and the motor went straight back into my toe!
Pictures re availabe if you need to see the results!

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 02:40:33 PM »
Garage door springs (when under load) scare the dickens out of me. But, I know a guy who stood up a first date because he was working on the garage door springs and . . . well it got away from him and tore him arm up pretty good.

But it all worked out, he ended up he ended up with his date, he got a decent scar, and a good story to go with both.


MWOverlander

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 05:37:15 AM »
Ideal on cost.  This happened to me this fall during my wifes maternity leave.  The only difference is when our door came crashing down (it was in open stage when the spring snapped) the door buckled , ripped half its hardware out and damaged the door rails.  So we ended up needed to replace the entire unit.  I think we ended up paying $900 for new door, rails, motor, spring, 3 remote door openers. 

I was prepared to just order a new spring and handle it myself until I noticed my buckled door.

Spork

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 07:07:32 AM »
Garage door springs do hold a lot of potential energy.  But, as the OP noted, if you are careful, it's possible to wind/unwind them safely.  Rule #1 is don't stand to the side so if it slips and your winder bars fly out they won't hit you.... sort of like don't stand behind a board running through a table saw.

They *can* be dangerous... but they just don't have to be as dangerous as people make them out to be -- much like working with electricity or gas or a car on a jack or ...

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 08:41:57 AM »
They *can* be dangerous... but they just don't have to be as dangerous as people make them out to be -- much like working with electricity or gas or a car on a jack or ...

I agree Spork, but like all irrational fears, I do not like working on garage door springs or gas lines. Anything else I can handle.

I guess if you are trained, maybe work with someone who walks you thru the process, then that irrational fear goes away.

Spork

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2016, 10:26:26 AM »
They *can* be dangerous... but they just don't have to be as dangerous as people make them out to be -- much like working with electricity or gas or a car on a jack or ...

I agree Spork, but like all irrational fears, I do not like working on garage door springs or gas lines. Anything else I can handle.

I guess if you are trained, maybe work with someone who walks you thru the process, then that irrational fear goes away.

Through a comedy of stupid errors, I ended up unwinding/rewinding mine about 4-5 times in a row -- having never done it before.  I was just slow, cautious and respectful of the risk.  By the time I'd done it 4-5 times, I felt much more confident.

Phenix

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 10:03:39 PM »
It must depend on where you live because I had both of my springs replaced by a professional for $140. $45 per spring and $50 in labor. In my situation, I would've been crazy to try to do it myself.

Spork

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 08:37:08 AM »
It must depend on where you live because I had both of my springs replaced by a professional for $140. $45 per spring and $50 in labor. In my situation, I would've been crazy to try to do it myself.

Maybe location.  But even more, there are lots of scammy garage door companies out there.  They know your car is stranded inside and your ability to go to work relies on getting it out.  Very often in large cities, there will be 5-6 garage door company phone listings that all route to the same damn company.  In the small town I live in there is a "good" company named something like "Cityname Overhead Garage Door Company" and a scammy company named "Overhead Garage Door of Cityname".  (I might even have that backwards... it's really hard to keep them straight.)

Dicey

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Re: Repaired garage door springs
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 11:30:17 PM »
We own several SFH rentals in a sunny resort area about 7 hours from our primary home. We went down over New Year's to bring holiday goodies to our tenants, check on the houses and shop for another property in the same development. We buy them, fix 'em up and keep them. DH and I do most of the work ourselves. One of the houses has a guest house that we don't rent out, so it's our home away from home. After a pretty good trip (we didn't find a house to buy yet, but did see a couple to watch), we headed for home. Two hours into the journey, the tenant in the guest house house (i.e. the one we'd spent the most time at and had just freakin' left) called to say that the the garage door wouldn't open. She called a neighbor and he said he thought the springs had broken. Aw, snap! DH could have fixed it pretty reasonably, but turning around was not an option, so we called a garage door company that our realtor recommended. They came out the next day and replaced all the springs on the double door for a total cost of $265.00. We figure parts might have been about $150, so not a terrible deal, I guess, just weird timing. Funny, I never thought it would be material for a forum thread.