Garage Door Balance/tension - Windows and Doors - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-18-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
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Garage door balance/tension

I'm trying to understand expected garage door balance/tension. I have a one-car sectional wood door (~7 ft tall) with a single torsion spring above the door.

Based on scouring the Internet and talking to the troubleshooting folks at Genie, my understanding is that the door should mostly stay in place (or move slowly) once opened about half way.

Does that sound about right?

The reason I ask is that I had some folks from Garage Door Services come out to adjust the balance and they said the current balance was fine (and now I'm out ~$40... not too thrilled about that part).

The current balance is such that the door (when disonnected from the garage door opener, of course) stays open if opened all the way. If opened part way, the door closes by itself fairly quickly (enough to make a "slam" if you drop it from half-way open).

Who should I believe here? Is it not really that important as long as the door is fairly easy to open/shut manually (e.g. requiring just one arm to lift)?


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Old 02-18-2014, 02:18 PM   #2
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It should stop and stay in place any place you take you hand off of it.


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Old 02-18-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
It should stop and stay in place any place you take you hand off of it.
Not quite Joe. All doors have a balance point, usually around half way up, so for a 7' high door, 3 1/2 to 4' is normal. Below that point, door will return to the ground. Above the balance point, the door should go up and stay in the open position. Eric, your door shouldn't slam down if it has the right weight spring and if it's wound to the proper tension. What happens with wooden doors, especially in four season climates, is that they tend to gain weight with age. They get painted, absorb moisture, etc. So the original weight spring may not be quite right as the door gets older. In your case, if it were wound another 1/2 to 1 full turn, it may eliminate the slamming on the way down. But it may want to travel faster when going up. The trick is finding the grey area in between where the door is staying up without flying up, and balancing in the middle without crashing down. If hooked up to an opener, the grey area becomes a lot wider. The opener acts as a damper because it controls the travel and opens and closes at a constant rate of travel. Hope this makes sense.
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