*BANG* (Garage Door Spring)

Joined
Sep 1, 2008
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5,337
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Southeast Texas
I use hurricane reinforced metal garage doors on all my homes. Much stronger than wood, and believe it or not, lighter too. Also, wood would rot out in no time here in the land of repetitive torrential rain events and 95% year round humidity.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
11,283
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Jupiter, Florida
It's good to keep in mind that spots of rust are generally the precipitating factor in garage door spring failure. If you coat the spring with a viable corrosion preventative, it will last considerably longer.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
273
Location
IL
Originally Posted by Cujet
It's good to keep in mind that spots of rust are generally the precipitating factor in garage door spring failure. If you coat the spring with a viable corrosion preventative, it will last considerably longer.
+1 The repairman that replaced mine told me to keep them lubricated to extend their life.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
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COS
I have had to replace ours twice in the past 7 years or so. The garage is the most used or in the house. Although my door is aluminum, without the spring to help, it is incredibly heavy (I have one wide door instead of two smaller ones). The repair guy told me they pre-wind them about 4 complete turns (14 quarter turns with the winding bars). The cost of the spring and the install was about $250.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
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13,225
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1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Originally Posted by ctechbob
I'm pretty sure the universe/2020 is playing with me like a cat plays with a mouse before it kills it. Came home from work this morning, opened the garage door, parked the car, and hit the close button as I walked into the house. No sooner did I get the door shut than a massive BANG from the garage. I walked back out thinking I was going to see the door laying on top of the car or something similar. Nope, just the spring finally decided to sprung. Quick internet research and I'm replacing the one spring (cheap builders) with two smaller springs. That way, they're unlikely to fail at exactly the same time and I'll have a little assistance with getting the door open the next time one breaks. As it was I almost thought that I wasn't going to be able to get the car back out, but with the help of the opener I was able to get the door up and back down one last time so I could park my car outside. Replacement springs are fairly cheap so I'll have yet another thing to do this weekend, along with driving up to Myrtle Beach to drag the suicide Civic back home. Ohh 2020, what a little turd you're being. grin2
People have gotten killed messing with those springs. Better know what you're doing there Bob. If not sure, then a $200 repair from a garage door shop is better news than your wife spending tens of thousands on your funeral.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
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FL, USA
I don't have a garage, but if I did I would consider replacing this preventatively. What if it fails when your next too it?
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
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My Mother's basement.
Originally Posted by ctechbob
The replacement springs actually come with the bars to tighten them. Yea, they're under a good amount of tension, but as long as you take some safety precautions, standing off the the side, making sure you always have one bar fully seated, etc its not too terrible to do.
My replacement springs didn't come bars. No biggie, cut down a piece of 1/2" bar stock. Recommend an 8 point socket for the square drive lock screw. Other than that a step ladder and some common sense. Piece of cake.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
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Outer Banks, NC
Better to hire a pro and replace both sides at the same time. The other spring has weakened over time, and replacing one spring may leave your door a little cockeyed.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
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COS
Originally Posted by gregk24
I don't have a garage, but if I did I would consider replacing this preventatively. What if it fails when your next too it?
The main rod (at least on my garage) goes through it (sitting horizontal above the door) so there is no where for it to go. However, some garages also have springs that extend from the door to the top of the tracks. If those springs do not have retention cables and they break, they can fly potentially killing anyone they hit.
 

ctechbob

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Jun 12, 2004
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Athens, GA
Originally Posted by gregk24
I don't have a garage, but if I did I would consider replacing this preventatively. What if it fails when your next too it?
Yea, torsion springs are pretty much retained by the tube running through the center. Growing up we had the 'old' style that extended. My understanding is those were fairly sporty when they failed but if they are used these days they use a retention cable to keep them from flying.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
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19,248
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Upper Midwest
FWIW I have bought springs from this place several times, they will also show you upgraded springs for a somewhat higher cost that provide a higher cycle count than the standard springs: https://ddmgaragedoors.com/index.php I've changed torsion springs probably 6-7 times, there's a big difference between a spring for a lightweight insulated door (like we have now) and a massive wood door. But with either you just have to be careful. I usually buy new end plate bearings and new lower wheels each time, the bearings can be replaced later under load but the lower wheels need to be replaced while there is no tension.
 

ctechbob

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You know (And I'm not being argumentative here) I wonder if it is true that loads of people die every year replacing springs. I myself have heard this repeated over and over, but I've never personally heard it happening, at least in our county. I'm at work, so I don't have a ton of time to google, but what I'm seeing is. Garage door injuries caused by broken springs and the door falling on people Garage door injuries by the 'old' style tension springs, these and being crushed by doors seem to be the most harmful. Garage door injuries by mis-adjusted or improperly installed openers What I'm not seeing is anything more than a mention of some broken fingers in one place or some other fairly minor injuries from torsion springs. I would be genuinely interested in seeing some news stories where someone was seriously injured by a torsion spring. I know not every injury/death is going to be reported in the news or find-able by google, but its data I would really like to see. Just out of curiosity to see if it actually IS a true story or its just something that has been repeated so often that it is quoted as gospel. I mean, it makes sense, there's a lot of potential energy in a wound up spring like that so it makes sense there is fear there. There was something else the other day that I learned was not true, but an oft repeated warning and now I can't remember what it was
 

ctechbob

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Athens, GA
Originally Posted by NormanBuntz
Better to hire a pro and replace both sides at the same time. The other spring has weakened over time, and replacing one spring may leave your door a little cockeyed.
I only had one spring from new. I'm replacing it with two smaller units.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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6,016
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Ohio
Originally Posted by dishdude
A pair of real winding bars are like $12, this job can easily be done safely.
Two pieces of rebar will do the same.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
12,232
Location
Phoenix
Originally Posted by Lubener
Originally Posted by dishdude
A pair of real winding bars are like $12, this job can easily be done safely.
Two pieces of rebar will do the same.
no-no You want to make sure the bars seat completely. Using rebar is like using concrete blocks instead of proper jack stands. I just changed the rollers on my 25 year old door, they were binding and noisy. In the process, found the lift cables frayed so replaced those as well. Thought about replacing the spring proactively but decided to just wait for it to break. Half the houses in the little subdivision have replacement doors, I'm gonna rock this one as long as I can. Hilariously enough, the brand of door is Anozira, Arizona spelled backwards LOL
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
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Houston, Texas
I was watching tv in the garage one day when one of the smaller springs let go. Yes make sure there is a cable that runs through the middle of the spring so it doesn't kill someone.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,073
Location
Texas, USA
I guess I got luckier than most....especially my neighbor, who's spring broke while the door was opening. It got wedged about 2 feet off the ground, one side of the door considerably higher than the other. Mine broke sometime in the middle of the night. I heard nothing, but was greeted to a door that wouldn't go up when I attempted to leave for work.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
2,467
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British Columbia, Canada
FWIW I have bought springs from this place several times, they will also show you upgraded springs for a somewhat higher cost that provide a higher cycle count than the standard springs: https://ddmgaragedoors.com/index.php I've changed torsion springs probably 6-7 times, there's a big difference between a spring for a lightweight insulated door (like we have now) and a massive wood door. But with either you just have to be careful. I usually buy new end plate bearings and new lower wheels each time, the bearings can be replaced later under load but the lower wheels need to be replaced while there is no tension.

You know (And I'm not being argumentative here) I wonder if it is true that loads of people die every year replacing springs. I myself have heard this repeated over and over, but I've never personally heard it happening, at least in our county. I'm at work, so I don't have a ton of time to google, but what I'm seeing is. Garage door injuries caused by broken springs and the door falling on people Garage door injuries by the 'old' style tension springs, these and being crushed by doors seem to be the most harmful. Garage door injuries by mis-adjusted or improperly installed openers What I'm not seeing is anything more than a mention of some broken fingers in one place or some other fairly minor injuries from torsion springs. I would be genuinely interested in seeing some news stories where someone was seriously injured by a torsion spring. I know not every injury/death is going to be reported in the news or find-able by google, but its data I would really like to see. Just out of curiosity to see if it actually IS a true story or its just something that has been repeated so often that it is quoted as gospel. I mean, it makes sense, there's a lot of potential energy in a wound up spring like that so it makes sense there is fear there. There was something else the other day that I learned was not true, but an oft repeated warning and now I can't remember what it was
I have personally seen 2 men with broken forearm bones from replacing the torsion springs on a garage door. Those 2 cases were in a short period too (maybe a month), in one of 3 hospitals in a city of 200,000 people. I might have been working in the emergency department at the time (which I did once a week for 6 months) or on-call, I don't remember which. So significant injuries do occur and my experience suggests they occur at a fairly high frequency.

You won't find it on the internet. You'd have to do a major research project on emergency department records, which at that time anyway weren't coded for anything like that. And good luck getting access to them
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
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When it happened to me I heard a bang sound like something had fallen over. Our garage was detached so I didn’t think of it at the moment. I was working swing shift so when I tried to open the door later on that’s when I found out what had happened.

it was well worth it to call a garage door service. One hour later they arrived and a hour after that it was fixed. I had both springs replaced.
 

Kestas

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Joined
Jun 4, 2002
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14,067
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The Motor City
I just tightened the torsion springs on my garage. I bought a 36" by 1/2" diam rod from Home Depot for $7 and cut it in half for the tool.

I'm not shy of doing dicey jobs. This is not a job you want to do when you're tired, in a hurry, or your mind is elsewhere. You want to be methodical and fully seat the tool each step. It does take a lot of force to tighten it at the end.
 
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