Garage Door Repair

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Common problems with garage doors and openers

Broken Torsion Spring

This is an image of a broken Torsion spring. If your door has this type of spring system there will be one, two or rarely more individual springs on the same shaft. Here the left spring is broken and the right is still intact. There are a wide variety of spring sizes. The smaller ones are used for light weight doors, the larger ones for heavier doors. The rule of thumb on cost for torsion spring replacement is the heavier the door, the larger the spring, the greater the cost will be to have them replaced because larger springs cost me more than smaller ones. On the lightweight end of the scale my TOTAL price for replacement of two springs on a 16x7 steel door is $179 if the door needs a pair of 2.207.24's or 22's. On the heavier end of the scale say for an 18x7 wood door that needs a pair of 2.262.36's the TOTAL price would be $250.

broken torsion spring

Broken Extension Springs

This is an image of a stretched extension spring. This spring isn't broken but the spaces between the coils indicate that it is worn and is not doing all the work it once did. If this spring were broken it would be hanging, obviously broken. This spring does not have a safety cable. This type of spring is generally only used on single wide doors, 8' or 9' wide. These springs are smaller and simpler than torsion springs and so cost me a bit less than torsion springs. That is reflected in the price of having them replaced. My current price for replacement of two extension springs on a 7' tall metal or wooden door is $125 TOTAL in my normal service area. Just as with torsion springs, extension springs come in a variety of sizes for different door weights. The $125 offer is for doors that weigh 80 pounds to 160 pounds which covers most of the single doors I commonly encounter.

stretched extension spring

Broken Torquemaster® Springs

This is an image of a broken Torquemaster spring, closeup of the right end of the spring system. With Torquemaster the springs are concealed inside the tube, not visible as with torsion springs. These are to be found only on Wayne Dalton™ Doors, both single and doublewide sizes (single is 8' or 9' wide and double is 16' or 18'). This example is on a 16x7 door. There are two springs inside the tube (sometimes there is only one) and they are both broken. Notice that there is no tension on the cable. There would be some tension there if only one of the two springs were broken. My normal price for replacement of this spring system with a new Torquemaster® is approximately $300. My price for replacement of this spring setup with a standard Torsion system is $225 to $300 all inclusive in my normal service area.

broken torquemaster spring

Stripped Chamberlain® gear set

This is an image of a Chamberlain gear set. This one is new and is for a chain drive opener. I use a lot of these because the teeth on the plastic gear wear over time, usually about a dozen years, and no longer drives the chain sprocket. The symptom of a worn gear set is that when you push your wall button or remote the motor comes on and makes its familiar hum sound but you see no movement of the chain or carriage assembley. Also the bushing in the mounting flange can wear out producing anything from a "slack chain" to a sprocket that is snapped off. This part is the same on openers made by Chamberlain, Liftmaster and Craftsman chain drive openers. There is a similar part for belt drives. My normal price for replacing this part is $125 all inclusive in my normal service area. Compare that to the cost of having the entire opener replaced ($300 and up).

Chamberlain gear set

Garage door won't open

The most common reason why a garage door won't open is that it has a broken spring. I have a webpage just for that subject. Please visit my broken springs page for more information and prices. If you're quite sure your springs aren't broken there are a few other possibilities.

Someone might have locked the door and forgot to unlock it.
Unlock the door.

Assuming that the door is closed and everything appears normal, it should be safe to pull the red cord thereby putting the opener's manual release in manual mode.
The manual release is a part of the opener that allows you to release the door from the opener so the door can be operated by hand. It is important for you to know how this mechanism works. Refer to your garage door opener owner's manual for specific instructions on how to operate yours.
Once in manual mode, you can attempt to raise the door by hand.

Start out assuming the door will be very easy to open. If it is, then you can open it all the way.
If all is right with the door, it will stay open by itself. Don't assume that it will. It must prove to you that it does stay open unassisted. A door that opens and closes easily by hand and stays open by itself is called a balanced door.

If the door is hard to open and/or won't stay open by itself, you have a problem with it that needs to be addressed by a professional.

If your garage door has been painted, check for sticking caused by paint on friction surfaces.

Garage door won't close

The most common reason why your garage door won't close is Photocell problems. Check your photocells for alignment.

Broken garage door cables, torsion, extension, torquemaster

Generally, the cables on a garage door stand a good chance of lasting for the life of the door. Even so I occasionally see a cable failure. When a torsion cable breaks the door usually comes at least partially off track. That means that the door is wedged diagonally between the tracks and firmly stuck there. Some of the rollers may have fallen out. When an extension cable breaks the result is exactly like a broken extension spring, only the spring is not broken.

These problems must be addressed by a professional. This is a very dangerous situation and a professional garage door repairman will have special techniques to solve this kind of problem. Trust me, keep your fingers attached to the rest of your hands and call me for a solution to a broken cable issue. That is assuming that you live in my normal service area.

Doors off track

A door off track resembles a garage door with a broken cable except that there is no break in the cable or cables. Instead a cable simply comes off of its drum and becomes tangled around the shaft or some other part of the spring system. Usually I will see this at one end of the spring system only. The opposite end is still arranged like normal with the cable still on the drum in the usual fashion. The result is that the end of the door with the disorganized cable is hanging lower than the end of the door where the cable is properly on the drum. That usually means some rollers have fallen out and the door is wedged diagonally between the tracks.

door off track
door back on track

This is another one of those door problems that should be addressed by an experienced garage door repairman. I have seen many instances where a door had come off track and someone there basically panicked and tried to put it back on, only to make the situation worse. That only makes the real repair more time consuming and expensive.

Take my advise. If your door comes off track:

Solutions for garage door off track issues are priced as service and repair issues without set prices. The reason is that the severity of these issues varies greatly depending on the situation existing at the time of service. Some door off track situations are very quick and easy repairs for me to accomplish. Others are more challenging and time consuming. The easy ones routinely take me ten to twenty minutes to solve. I have had severe ones that took an hour or more. These repairs are priced as follows:

  1. Trip charge of $45
  2. Labor at $1 per minute
  3. Parts as needed

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