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Old 05-02-2007, 09:40 PM   #1
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


I will be installing new garage doors in a new house: an 8x7, and a 16x7 door. The installer plans to use a torsion spring even with the smaller door. Aside from smoothness w/ opening/closing, are there any other benefits?
Aside from cost, any disadvantages? safety concerns?

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Old 05-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


That is their purpose, to make controling the opening and closing of the door easy by counterbalancing the weight. IMO, the torsion springs are much safer in the event of breakage, than the long springs that stretch down the tracks.

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Old 05-02-2007, 10:20 PM   #3
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when I bought my place, i got 2 sectional doors in pieces, enough to make 1 good one. 8'x7' door is a back breaker to lift without the springs. i put the springs on and wound them up, now i can lift the door with 2 fingers. if you have a choice, specify galvanized springs, they don't rust and last 10x longer.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:06 PM   #4
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


I have seen a lot of extension spings fail, but are far easier for DIY'ers to install. And of course, they can last years with no problem. Torsion springs are not a novice task, and can present serious risk of injury during winding or in the event of ( I have seen this happen) improper installation on the wrong end of the tube or shaft. I don't do door installs as a full time business, but we install our own, and over the years, I have done a lot of them.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


I am having a garage door installer install them. He tells me that torsion springs are safer than extension springs, bec in the event of failure w/ the torsion spring, the spring is confined to the metal rod around which it is wound. True?
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:27 PM   #6
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


If a torsion spring fails, it will typically be a break in the spring, and yes, they pose no danger unless you happen to be under the door when it breaks. I have seen older garage door operators with enough power to lift a door when one of the springs has failed.....

The danger with torsion springs comes into play if improperly installed, and I will not detail the installation since someone would read this and try it. I have also seen guys who have tried to increase the torsion (wind the spring tighter) to help make the door easier to raise. Toirsion springs can loose their "tension" over time, and again, this is not a DIY task, as there is a technique and method to working with these springs.

Since someone tripping along may read this thread later, and think about going to a box store to buy a replacement door, remember, garage doors are for the skilled, and getting an older torsion spring door down safely can be a feat in itself.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:07 PM   #7
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


Quote:
Originally Posted by joasis View Post
I have seen a lot of extension spings fail, but are far easier for DIY'ers to install. And of course, they can last years with no problem. Torsion springs are not a novice task, and can present serious risk of injury during winding or in the event of ( I have seen this happen) improper installation on the wrong end of the tube or shaft. I don't do door installs as a full time business, but we install our own, and over the years, I have done a lot of them.
Very valid and important point. I assummed (you know what they say about that) That the doors were being professionally installed. Torsion springs are not a safe DIY project.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:32 PM   #8
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


winding a garage door torsion spring, a bear trap might be easier and safer to set. they get the big $$ if they show up.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:38 AM   #9
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This thread continues, and I know some readers will wonder what can make torsion springs so dangerous?

Ok, to further explain: Torsion springs are made up to carry X amount of load, or say the weight of a door....it must be wound X number of turns to apply an axial force to "lift" the weight of the door, and as the spring unwinds, the door is lifted in the horizontal position, with it's weight on the overhead tracks...as the door goes down, the weight transfer to vertical is controlled by the torsion springs winding up again.

Now....if a spring is installed backwards...it can still be wound, but it can also have the "cone(s)" literally unscrewed from the spring, which can cause an injury....it will tend to compress and place a side load on the shaft......not to mention how much force is involved with the springs.....we have different sets of winding bars to to this with, that fit the spring sockets....not pry bars and screw drivers.....


So please, avoid contact and save yourself a crashed garage door and a trip to the ER.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:07 AM   #10
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


Torsion springs can be dangerous...but that's relative along with being able to assess one's abilities.

Case in point. I helped my neighbor install his new torsion door, loaded the springs, worked like a champ until....after a day or so, he ran his car into his new door. Wife bought new section, he thought he'd replace it. With the door down, he thought it would be safe to remove the cable hardware. The last bolt wasn't fully removed, the spring ripped the mounting hardware off the door, and it put a gash through the 5/8" drywall in the ceiling. He called me AFTER this event, and he sounded like his best friend died, it scared the $hit outta him. We got it unhooked and reloaded with out incident.

My point is: if one doesn't fully understand the mechanics involved with the task you should either learn, study and figure it out, or call a pro. This applies to any home maintenance task, arm yourself with knowledge and proceed safely.

WRG to the torsion vs extension springs...I way prefer the torsion over extension...and have now started using Wayne Dalton's as the spring is enclosed internally, and much easier and safer to install. A previous home had extension springs...and man those things are noisy when they break when the door is down, and the safety cable isn't installed....but that's another story...

Stay safe...
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #11
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I am intrigued w/ the Wayne-Dalton system - have never seen it; any drawbacks besides cost? You say it should be safer bec it's enclosed?
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:25 PM   #12
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Garage Doors, Torsion Springs


None that I'm aware of. I installed 3 the first one was about 2 hours, the last was 25 minutes. They come nearly fully assembled (i.e. all hinge hardware is attached out of the box) I bought the insulated one seems like it was the model 9600.

It is safer since you never have a partially wound spring with exposure, totally enclosed. The spring is loaded via sprocket assembly on the end. I chucked a 1/2" drill with the right socket, and wound the spring in just a few minutes.

All in all a well built door, and it's balanced very well...it'll stay anywhere in the travel line from 2 inches off the floor to 90% open.

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