Although it is advised to call in the specialists when dealing with a broken garage door, you can’t help but give it a tug. Even when you figure you can save on the cost to fix a garage door; totally understandable. Besides, how else are you going to explain the condition of the garage door to the garage door repair specialists when you call after a series of futile trial and error sessions?
Let’s look at the simple problems that you may be able to resolve on the spot. Things that won’t delay you from taking off to work, or have you resort to leaving the car in the bare open late at night.
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Dealing with a Broken Garage Door Spring
Perhaps the most frequently called in issues to do with damaged garage doors is the broken spring scenario. The average person would panic if they’re pressing the open button or turning the manual opener and nothing is happening. At the very least, the most noted symptom of a broken spring would be that the door is heavier, thanks to there not being any saved energy to lift the door(the spring’s purpose).
It should be one of your tricks to at least then open the garage door and go on with your day while the repairs team is on its way. Here’s a walkthrough of how you do just that.
1. Pinpoint The Broken Spring(s)
After making certain that this is a broken spring issue, you can act on the next steps knowing that there is no recoil force to lift the garage door, hence the seemingly permanent closed state. Depending on the type of your garage door (the material used to form the garage door), you may need the urgent help of a second person in order to get the door open.
2. Get The Required Props Ready
Knowing beforehand that even when you get it open, the door will need some supports to stay open, get some props ready. Such scaffolding could be in the form of straight poles, step ladders, or even some weights to counter the forward closing action due to the weight of the garage door itself. With these at hand, you can proceed to pry the door open from the base. Any solid, flat bar that fits under the small space at the base of the garage door should be sufficient.
3. Keeping the Door Open
Once you open the door slowly, making sure the side edges raise in a synchronized manner, not scrapping any of the sidings in the process, you can go ahead and place the supports beneath the open edges of the garage door to avoid it relapsing to the default position. With the door resting on the stilts, you can slide the car out carefully so that none of the supports are moved.
As you can imagine, going through the steps above, regardless of how few or fast you pace through them, carries some risk. If you’re going to install some weights on the upper end of the open door, to keep it ajar, it would, without doubt, reduce the risk factor. However, the amount of time that takes would suffice a garage door repairs company to come to the rescue.
Replacing A Broken Garage Door Spring
Say you thoroughly analyze the situation, and decide to get the garage door spring from Amazon for a fit-in later when you’re free. This is how you go about the replacement project.
1. Determine The Type Of Spring
The main objection of having springs installed over and along garage doors is to store some energy (kinetic) to later ease the strain endured when moving the door up and or down. There are two types of such springs on the anatomy of the garage door. You may find either of them and sometimes both are clearly visible. One goes along the horizontal rail, packing in torsion energy when the door closes (The torsion spring), the other, often hinged along with the vertical drop of the garage door is an extension spring.
2 a. Releasing Torsion And Replacing Extension Springs
The easier of the two types of springs to replace is the extension spring. Often it has a system of pulleys attached to its ends through safety cables. The cables are nothing but just a harness to pass the strain from pulling and pushing the garage door into the spring. Most garage doors have these installed on both sides of the door, internally. It is important to have the same length of springs if you’re replacing either one or both of them.
2 b. Releasing Torsion And Replacing Extension Springs
Extension springs gain energy as you close the door, only to release it when the door moves the other way, up. This means you have to keep the door open for the duration of the replacement process. Don’t even come up with crafty ideas to mend a broken spring, you sure can afford a new one, a safer one.
Careful to keep the door ajar using brackets (stoppers) in the horizontal rails, release the spring from the harnesses and hinges it may have to keep it in line with the pulley system. Then carefully tie in the new springs in the same position that the damages one was, remove the brakes on the rails, and test the door.
2 c. Attain A Balance On The Springs
This is where the spring length and recoil power comes into play, having one spring longer than the other can cause the door to open at disproportionate rates from one to the other. The same would result if you were using one spring significantly stronger than the other. To counter any of these imbalances, it is best to change both springs with an identical set.
3 a. Replacing A Torsion Spring on A Garage Door
The more complex of the garage door spring types to replace. Before we share the intricacies of the process, it should be noted that torsion springs are a lot trickier to deal with. This will not be a simple unplug and plug-in operation, often it is best to have an expert garage door repairs company do this to avoid injury from uncontrolled release of energy from the springs. If you decide to go through with it, take the steps that follow.
3 b. Releasing Torsion Pressure
To release all the pent up energy in the pulley, cable, spring and bar system, make sure the door is left in the most upright position – open. Make sure to use the right equipment throughout the process. If you don’t have torsion bars, the more reason to call in a specialist. Spoons, spanners, and crowbars are the stuff that injuries are made of when releasing torsion from the springs. Careful to turn the spring through to it’s most relaxed state, untie any cables that harness it to the pulleys and unscrew the bar off from the system.
3 c. Replacing The Spring
With torsion springs, the option to have only one of them replaced is not recommended. Even though garage door springs can last for a decade before they start asking for a replacement, keeping identically aged springs is the best way for a consistent, predictable open and close rate. Doing the reverse of 3 a; secure the spring, and torsion to a point where you can have the safety cables tied in, then testing the door, gets the job done.
Should you start to hear some new sounds, maybe as signs of the stain as the door opens, after replacing either of the two spring types, call a specialist urgently. The guys that take YouTube videos replacing the various components that make up a garage door have the habit of making it look way easier than it actually is. What with the scores of years they have been practising for, how else would the demonstration appear?
Fixing A Garage Door That Auto-Opens
Another annoying defect that can start happening, from nowhere, is that the garage door can close, only for you to see it open when you come home from work. No need to panic, even though you probably should take stock of the tools and other things you store in the garage. It is a common problem that you can attempt solving by recognizing exactly how the automatic garage opener works.
You have to run a process of elimination to wipe such a problem away. Usually, it is a symptom of there being a short in the wiring. Either at the wall installed button to open the garage door, which you diagnose by disconnecting the wires that lead to that button. Test the door through a cycle of open and close rounds. If the door keeps opening even when it shuts completely for a moment, then the issue is at the transmitter.
If a short occurs at the transmitter level, way up to where a signal tells the door that it has reached a stopping point, the signal is sent persistently. This causes the door to open as a protective measure. Disabling the transmitter, by stopping power supply from the motor, or removing the batteries altogether, depending on how the door is installed, will diagnose the transmitter’s effect to the problem. When you find neither of the short possible areas is responsible, you must go ahead and call the professionals.
Other Garage Door Problems
A lot of other problems that can transpire when using garage doors include defective door openers. These often require an authorized (by the maker of the opener) service company to either repair or replace. Because the mechanism often starts from a particular point on the door, getting it wrong leaves an irregular weight lifting task for the more open. The basic components of a door more open are;
- The power source; usually, a battery and a motor to move the garage door and even take advantage of the kinetic energy that can be stored and used at a later time. This unit comes with cables to move power between the transmitter and the carriage units.
- Optionally you can find a radio transmitter to remotely start the garage door opening or closing process from the comfort of your car.
Problems such as a stuck door that just won’t give even if you manually pull or turn all electronic components off are best left to the expertise of garage door repairs companies. Cases like these stop you from going to work as early as you’d want, and the companies that do a good job often get the urgency and respond before you lose too much time trying to fix the issue by yourself.
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