(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: Overhead garage door repair - frustration

  1. #1
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    339

    Default Overhead garage door repair - frustration

    Hello all,

    I have a pretty typical 4 panel sectional overhead garage door. The motor pulls from the center, the spring is a torsion type, there is one track on each side, and 5 rollers on each side.

    Maybe 3 or so months ago the rollers started eating themselves. I didn't notice any changes in the door setup, so I replaced the rollers (standard type). Now again the #1 (not the bottom, the next one up) and the #2 rollers have been destroyed. It looks like the tracks are twisting.

    The puzzling thing is this door is 25-30 years old, and I have replaced rollers over the years (I have lived in this house for 7 years).

    The springs and operator motor have been replaced. The culprits in my mind are the tracks or the hinges themselves. How would I diagnose the situation?

    Any suggestions are welcomed, I am at a loss as to what could be the problem. I feel like if I keep throwing new rollers at it, they will keep getting destroyed. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    Do you know how to test the spring adjustment to verify it is correct? Over the years, it's not uncommon to have added a few coats of paint and if you replaced the spring with the same strength, it may not be correct anymore since the door may now weigh more.

    If the motor attachment is not centered properly at both the motor mount between the two tracks or at the door, it will pull sideways and give problems as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Thanks Jim. I will check this tomorrow. I suspected something was out of whack (motor or springs) but didn't know how to inspect or diagnose it.

    What is the best way to check the spring tension?

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    A homeowner should not even consider messing with torsion springs. The lack of appropriate tools, and more important the training and knowledge needed, make these extremely dangerous to work on.

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Land of Cheese
    Posts
    3,150

    Default

    The first thing to do is pull the release on the door opener so you or someone else can manually push and pull the door open and shut while observing and feeling what it feels like. If the door is not easy to open and close by hand, start looking for the reason why, because it should be.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    If the spring(s) are proper (both in the strength and adjustment), you should be able to raise and lower it with little resistance and, when about 1/2-way, should stay where you leave it, being balanced perfectly, or at least close. As mentioned, if it is heavy, drops easily on its own, or springs up on its own, the spring is not adjusted. A torsion spring can be very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing - it can break an arm, fingers and maybe tear off parts...best left to someone that knows. The spring has a LOT of strength in it, can catastrophically break if you overtighten it and should be left to the pros. There is an exception, if it is one designed for homeowner installation, but most aren't.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    There's a time to be frugal and DIY things, but there are times when "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" can kill you. Screwing with torsion springs is one of the times you need professional help. A door company repairman knows more about how to diagnose and repair door problems than you even know exist, plus he has the knowledge and tools to quickly and safely fix it.

  8. #8
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Thanks all. I am not going to mess with the spring. I want to get a good diagnosis on it, so when I call the repairman I can point to what needs fixed so he doesn't spent more time than needed searching for the problem.

    The first thing is I need to replace a bunch of rollers, because several are shredded. Then I will do the "easy up-down test" with the door disengaged from the lift motor. If I recall, I think the spring tension is insufficient because the door wants to fall down unless you hold it. BTW the door is pretty heavy. It is an insulated door with some stiffening ribs. Plus, it has been painted a few times over the years which adds some weight.

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chassis View Post
    The puzzling thing is this door is 25-30 years old, and I have replaced rollers over the years (I have lived in this house for 7 years).
    You may want to Replace the Rollers with Steel Rollers that have Ball Bearings.

    If You can not open the door 1 foot or so or it slams shut, Then the springs need adjusted By a Pro with the proper Spring Tool.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    I wouldn't spend anytime trying to diagnose the problems. Give him the basic problems you are having, go into the house and have a cup of coffee, and let the man do his job. He'll want to check everything himself anyway.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    The original spring was probably the right one for the door...as they age, get multiple coats of paint and possibly absorb some moisture, the door may require a new, heavier duty spring. Over winding or stretching an inadequate spring is asking for disaster.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    Yes, do check them out. There are 10 of them, and of the 10, 9 of them advise leaving the repair work to trained professionals. Why is it everyone thinks if they own a Crescent wrench and screwdriver they can fix anything that moves? Many of these DIY end up in the emergency room, cause serious damage to the thing they are trying to fix, and end up spending 10 times the cost of the professional they should have called in the first place.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    Just thinking of future readers of this thread -

    To follow-up on testing the door by pulling the release handle: If there is any concern that there is a broken spring, make sure to only pull the release handle when the door is CLOSED. I made the mistake of pulling the handle with the door open, and a broken torsion spring. A very heavy wooden door came crashing down; fortunately no one in the way.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Simmons30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Good advice!
    Quote Originally Posted by lray View Post
    check out these garage door maintenance tips for future reference

  15. #15
    Benedict Willes benedictwilles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Hey!! I think you should pull the release on the door opener and at least someone can manually push and pull the door open and shut while observing and feeling what it feels like!! this would help you to find out the exact problem!!

Similar Threads

  1. Garage Door Opening Wall 2x4 or 2x6?
    By Lakee911 in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-11-2009, 01:50 PM
  2. Garage door in RO less than door width?
    By jrfiero in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-19-2009, 05:36 PM
  3. Garage door opener
    By shluffer in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-12-2009, 05:29 PM
  4. framing garage door
    By teamo in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-12-2008, 01:52 PM
  5. New Garage Door Installation
    By Mike50 in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2008, 01:29 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •