garage door springs

JHZR2

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New Jersey
In the proactive maintenance thread there is talk about garage door springs. I dont get it, why do we lube them? I assume it is more to prevent surface rust than to actually lube the spring. And people talk about inconvenience... I assume the door is heavier, but come on, not that terribly much so... What's the big issue if one fails (besides falling on my car). if replacing, should they be painted with rustoleum or some similar anti-rust coating first?
 
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Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
And people talk about inconvenience... I assume the door is heavier, but come on, not that terribly much so... What's the big issue if one fails (besides falling on my car).
Earlier this year my spring broke (I have a garage door opener--Genie screw type). My door is one of the economy models (no insulation), but it is about 16-18 feet wide. In looking at it I assumed that it would be a simple affair to detach the opener and simply lift it as needed until I could replace the spring. Wrong! I am no weakling and I could not lift the door more than about 4-6 inches from the floor. I was amazed at how much the spring actually helps AND how heavy the door was! PS - the garage door repair guy simply sprayed it with garage door lube (the spring was painted black from the factory).
 

JHZR2

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Interesting. I only have single-wide doors, but they arent that heavy, despite being wood.
 

Kestas

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The Motor City
A couple of things about springs in the environment. Some of them are shot peened on the surfaces. This is to impart beneficial residual compressive stresses on the surface and resist the onset of fatigue cracking from cyclic loading. Once it starts rusting, the rust pits can work through this compressive layer, and initiate a ceack in the material. Painting springs helps resist rusting. I imagine lubricating them not only prevents rust formation, but also prevents any fretting from coils rubbing against each other, which can otherwise rub through this shot peening.
 
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11,196
Location
NY Capital District
I can open our door manually if I have to, it's a newer one so it doesn't weigh that much compared to some. As long as it's coil spring type I can't imagine it breaking would be super inconvenient. If it's an older type with springs bolted to the door and to the joists... If that breaks when the door is down then someone or something is going to get hurt.
 
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Location
Fresno, CA
i remember ours breaking many moons ago when the garage door was already up and barely parked inside, then moments later...well.. lets just say, ill never forget how loud and hard that garage door fell. I always make sure me or anyone else does not leave a car halfway out for any reason.
 
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Location
San Antonio, Texas
I made sure my garage springs were lubed and check every once in a while for anything that might look abnormal. Our house is a ranch style from the late 50's. The garage door is 18ft wide and made from 2in. thick solid wood. That sucker is HEAVY, and those springs are some hardcore springs for that door. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near them if one broke.
 
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Illinois
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Interesting. I only have single-wide doors, but they arent that heavy, despite being wood.
Unless you've lifted one with a busted spring... you really don't know. I didn't think that my door was that heavy, until its spring broke.
 

JHZR2

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New Jersey
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Interesting. I only have single-wide doors, but they arent that heavy, despite being wood.
Unless you've lifted one with a busted spring... you really don't know. I didn't think that my door was that heavy, until its spring broke.
I have.
 
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Saskatchewan
Do some garage doors have only a single spring? My door is a double with a torsion spring setup. When one side of the spring broke a couple years ago, it was still very easy to lift with the help of the other spring. The opener could almost do it alone.
 
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Central Texas
1. To prevent rusting, which leads to breaking, which sounds like a .45 going off..indoors... 2. My door is 30 yrs old and all wood. Emphasis on "terribly" heavy; as in unliftable without springs (it uses two). 3. I use LPS #3. No paint.
 

Al

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Elizabethtown, Pa
Is it a tortional spring or the long ones. Hopefully there is a cable running inside the spring. Back in the day..50 years ago a spring broke and scared the living (*&** out of me. It definitely could have taken my head off. Dad then put a cable through it.
 

JHZR2

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How does the cable going through work? I don't recall. Long enough to allow full extension doesnt seem to me like it would protect much. Is there a pulley in the setup somewhere?
 

JHZR2

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I'd be most concerned with the broken spring breaking and hitting the car. Our garage is detached and iirc, the spring is stretched when the door is shut.
 

JHZR2

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Also if one spring is bad/weaker than the other, will the garage door go up in a jerky fashion when SN electric opener is used? I don't know how old our springs are but the door doesnt go up smooth, it has some side to side action.
 
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Location
chicagoland
Well I didn't have a cable thru on my broken spring... So this happened to the top of the car. (thank god it was my older car) And yes a scary sound BANG,GGGGG while it flys around the garage! I have cable thru's now on all springs.
 
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1,048
Location
Sunny Calif
I don't know much about torsion springs, but I have replaced extension springs before. By law, all extension springs must have the wire in the middle, so I don't know how some people have springs without them (unless they're very old). Or maybe the law varies by state? A dry plywood door for a 2-car garage weighs ~275 lbs, and uses four 75-lbs extension springs. If it has been raining, add another 20 lbs to it from moisture. Even if you're strong enough to open the door with a broken spring, could your wife do it? (or even want to try to do it?) And once you get it open, you need a way to prop it up so you can back the car out. You don't want to use the garage door opener to keep the door open w/ a broken spring
 
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1,048
Location
Sunny Calif
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Also if one spring is bad/weaker than the other, will the garage door go up in a jerky fashion when SN electric opener is used? I don't know how old our springs are but the door doesnt go up smooth, it has some side to side action.
It sounds like you have worn springs on one side and/or maybe they're out of adjustment. Has it been raining lately? Whenever it rains, wood doors get heavy and the garage door opener will struggle to open it This was one reason I switched to sectional steel doors
 
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