Author Topic: garage door torsion spring problem  (Read 6332 times)

Offline chopin1397

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garage door torsion spring problem
« on: May 23, 2013, 04:59 PM »
I've got an old blue max that has been working good but recently the door drops back down a foot or more when I open the door. It comes up and stops where it is supposed to when the carriage contacts the switch. It then rolls back down. I called blue max and they said it is most likely the torsion spring needs either replacing or adjusting. I found a youtube video which shows how to adjust it by increasing the tension. It requires two special steel bars to rotate the spring to tighten it. This is potentially dangerous if you're not careful because the spring is strong enough to lift the door and therefore powerful enough if it were to break to do some real damage. Anyone has experience with this and knows where to get the tools? If I were able to fix it myself the cost of the tools would eventually pay for themselves since the springs are always going to need adjusting from time to time. I would expect a technician would charge at least $100 to come out for just an adjustment.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 11:25 PM »
My suggestion is that unless you are very comfortable doing this, then don't as it can cause very serious injury if you mess up. A few months ago, I opted to hire the local professionals to repair my springs.

An easy way to test the spring tension is to disengage the garage door opener and manually open and close the garage door. If it is difficult to manipulate the door, then you know the springs need to be adjusted or replaced. Or maybe the rollers need a good lube. But if the door opens and closes smoothly, then you'll know the problem lies in the garage door opener.

Offline chopin1397

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 06:38 AM »
There are excellent youtube videos showing exactly how to go about this. ie Very carefully! There are two springs so tighten both of them the same, doing maybe a half turn each, then checking it. Wear eye protection and a bike helmet and stay as far away from the spring as practical.

I talked to a genie tech. With the garage door set to manual and closed, lift it about 4 feet. If the springs are good it will stay. Mine didn't. Let it go and it goes back to the floor. She said this is definitely a spring problem.

One problem, which direction to turn. One video was going clockwise to tighten but spring adjustment was on the opposite end as mine. Genie won't give any info about how to adjust cuz they say it's too unsafe for the untrained.

Amazon has the winding rods for $13 a pair. 2 are required as shown on the ut video. Unbeatable price as I've already checked around. Home depot and lowes sells the springs (around $40 each) but web site doesn't list the winding rods(?)

I'm definitely going to try it (very carefully) cuz it will cost a minimum $100 for some guy to spend 15 minutes on it.

Offline Bill

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 10:06 AM »
I had the middle spring support pull away from the wall because of a poor installation.  Like Scuzzy, I hired a service company.  Rather safe than sorry.
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Offline chopin1397

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 10:30 AM »
ja I'm not replacing the springs, just tightening them a couple turns, 1/2 at a time.

oops ... you said have to be sober to do this??!!

Offline chopin1397

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 07:38 AM »
The door is wide to accommodate two cars. It comes in two parts. I was able to lift them from the floor so not too heavy.

The genie tech gal also said that if the springs are loose it will strip the teeth on the carriage. I disconnected the carriage from the L shape rod but couldn't slide the carriage off either end to inspect the teeth. Something has to come off to get the carriage off.

Offline chopin1397

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 03:07 PM »
ah .... success! I fixed it. The ut videos didn't show you how to start this. But it was kind of obvious as you went along. You have to be holding the spring stationary with one of the bars when you loosen the set screws. I had the bar in place but didn't realize that even a "loose" spring still has a lot of tension. When the set screws were backed off the spring suddenly snarled and went aggressive. I was able to hold onto it however with one bar. I then used the other bar to tighten it one turn then re-set the set screws. I repeated on the other spring and opened the door. It responded like I was a drill sergeant, stopping, and staying, where it was supposed to. I know I saved at least a $100.

About the bars, I said earlier I found the best price ($13 a pair) on Amazon? Wrong. I went to home depot and while looking for the garage door stuff I inadvertently passed a bin with steel bars. One bin had 36-inch bars that were 1/2" diameter. The instructions call for an 18-inch long 1/2" diameter bar. I bought one and cut it in half and it worked perfectly. Price: $5.50 for the bar so $2.25 each. Amazon $6.50 each.

I now understand why this isn't recommended. The potential injury is most likely not from the spring but the bars. If you lose control and you're dumb enough to have your head close to the bars they can suddenly go ballistic and give you a permanent headache or possibly break your arm or worse. But my only goal was to tighten the springs one turn and, being very careful, it worked.

Offline Bill

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Re: garage door torsion spring problem
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 03:24 PM »
Good for you, but I still wouldn't do it.

B
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