There’s one garage door repair job that most people shouldn’t even attempt to do without professional help. That’s to repair or replace the spring that operates the door. Since these springs are loaded with a lot of pressure, if you don’t handle them properly, they could basically explode. People have been severely injured or killed by garage door springs, so you should consider them very dangerous and handle them with care. If you have the right skills and tools, however, it can become a DIY project in order to save yourself a bit of cash.
There are two different types of springs that are used to operate overhead garage doors. These are torsion springs and extension springs, with torsion being the least common but the safest. There will be two of them, and you’ll find them located on a shaft over the door opening. Keep in mind that if one of the springs has already exploded, you’ll need to replace both of them, because the second one will soon follow. It will save you both time and money to replace them both at the same time. If your door operates on extension springs, there will also be two of them, but they’ll be located one on each side of the door.
The appropriate tools mentioned earlier are:
1. vise grip pliers in the proper size
2. winding bars, also in the correct size
3. socket wrench
4. adjustable wrench
7. steady ladder
You’ll be able to do the safest, most secure job as long as you have these tools. Never try to make do using the wrong size of type of wrench or winding bar, because you’re only asking for trouble if you do.
Another safety rule for working on garage doors is to keep in mind that a garage door is a very heavy item. Good, heavy-duty models can weigh several hundred pounds. At the same time, the springs that operate the door are under several hundred pounds of force when they let the door fall. Torsion springs are safer to use than the common extension springs are. They do not expand or contract, so they don’t move as the door operates. Torsion springs are recommended because they operate the door more smoothly and are much safer to have in your garage.
It’s never worth a human life to tackle a dangerous job without the proper skill level. If you have any doubt about your abilities, call a garage door professional who has been trained in the safest ways to handle the job.
When you remove the spring, the door is no longer supported by the trusted device. If the door is in the up position, it can fall along the tracks unless it is properly supported. Remember that the garage door opener is designed to lift the door with the aid of the spring, and is not trustworthy to support the door by its self. If the door falls down the track without a spring, then its weight could crush a human or cause significant property damage. Doors with glass windows could send broken glass shards flying upon impact. This glass may be flying both inside and outside of the garage. The glass itself presents significant danger to persons.
Garage door spring installation is not a job for an amateur, but should be left up to a professional. Not only will he have the correct tools for the job, but he will have a better knowledge of these springs, since this is his day job. He should have been trained to install these springs so that there will not be injury to people or harm to property.
If the above has not convinced you to bring in a professional, at least call for a price quote before attempting the job yourself. You may find that since a professional can do this installation in less that one hour, the cost is little more than you would pay for the replacement springs. If you have to buy special tools, any savings may be lost on a tool that you will not use again for seven years. You may spend even more than if you had the job done professionally.
Since there are garage door spring installation dangers, make sure that any contractor making repairs has insurance and is bonded. Then in the unlikely event that an accident does occur, his insurance will cover all costs.
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