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Old 03-19-2013, 10:45 PM   #16
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Ever install your own garage door?


I'm adding to this old thread because I just learned about a system called aSIMPLE-SET TORSION SPRING SYSTEM that looks easier and safer than the extension springs. Any opinions? Do these make the job safer for DIY?

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:57 AM   #17
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Back in the 70s one of the springs broke on my parents garage door. I bought a set of replacement springs and set about installing them. The only info I was able to get for the operation was that I would most likely get killed trying to do it. I was so put off by the specter of a violent death while winding the springs that I ended up not doing it that way. Some friends helped me raise the door by hand to the point where the cable pin at the bottom panel was at its closest to the cable drum and secure it there with a 2X4. I then tightly wound up the cable around the drum nice and neat then put one or two turns on the drum and slipped the cable over its post. Repeat for the other side and it worked fine that way. Still in service when they sold the house 20 years later.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:55 AM   #18
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Used to service 12Hx10W doors with torsion springs. We'd lift the doors with come alongs and c-clamp the tracks to keep the doors up until the springs were wound. Once saw a guy get his jaw broken in two places when a spud bar slipped while winding a spring. Not a pretty sight.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:40 PM   #19
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Ever install your own garage door?


I work in healthcare and know of a guy who lost an eye in the past year when one of the extension springs got loose and struck him. I had a similar near miss the last time I tried to repair my garage door. That is why I am interested in the Simple Set system. That door has been in disrepair for several years now, I have just been using the other door.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:54 AM   #20
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Ever install your own garage door?


I avoid garage door installations----however, I did do two of those recently for a neighbor---

Simple and safe----the spring is wound using a drill with a socket to twist the spring---

No flying wrenches, because none are used--------
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:48 PM   #21
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Ever install your own garage door?


I have probably installed more doors than I could ever remember. From the little 8x7's to 24' wide commercial monsters with 4 or more torsion springs.

You could not give me an extension spring door. Torsion springs are so much simpler, safer, more reliable and easier to keep working smoothly. Torsion springs are contained on the shaft and not free to fly about in the case of a spring or cable breakage. The lift cables spool smoothly onto the drums rarely ever contacting anything but the drums. Unlike extension springs where the cables continuously run over multiple pulleys and rub against everything including themselves, the springs, tracks and door.

Torsion springs are somewhat more dangerous to install as they require some basic understanding, common sense and proper tools to do the job safely. Anyone who thinks extension springs are safer to deal with are fooling themselves, they are an accident waiting to happen, even with spring safety cables an extension spring or cable break is a very violent thing.

There is no reason to ever lift a heavy door manually if it has torsion springs. The springs and cables are installed and the springs wound. The very first time the door goes up, the springs do all the work and lift it easily.

I have installed a few of the EZ set type torsion doors. While they are not my preferred choice of door, they are a very good option for a DIY install. I would easily choose one of these over any brand of door with extension springs. I have installed both Ideal and Clopay doors and they have proven to be very reliable. Winding the torsion springs with a cordless drill makes them very easy and safe for diy. You still need some mechanical ability, understanding and the ability to follow the instructions. There are many parts and they must be installed correctly, securely and in the right places for the door to work.

I put one of these up in an hour or so but if you have never done it figure it will probably take all day.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #22
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I'm with "iamrfixit", I've done the big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, and all in between. I also do not like the tension spring doors. I have seen one case where the cable broke and the spring hit a nice BMW in the garage breaking both side windows. The key to installing a torsion spring door is "common sense" and remembering that you are working with force built into the spring as it is wound tight. No special tools are needed although some may call the two (2) pieces of 7/16"x 12" round steel rod "special tools". These can be found at most big box stores or local welding shops and may have to be cut to length. I do not recommend garage doors from big box stores to my customers. The specialty door companies (ex-Overhead Door) do charge a bit more than a big box store but the doors are worth the pricing in the long run. I have yet to have one of these type door companies deny me any information I would need to install one of their doors. Think and plan the job before actually touching any parts helps a lot with this also.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:42 AM   #23
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customers ask me to install garage doors all the time because I do it as part of my business in commercial buildings. I recommend that they call a local door company because in most cases the price difference between buying a door from a big box store and having me install it versus having a door company out and install one of their own is negligible.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #24
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Ever install your own garage door?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim F View Post
I work in healthcare and know of a guy who lost an eye in the past year when one of the extension springs got loose and struck him. I had a similar near miss the last time I tried to repair my garage door. That is why I am interested in the Simple Set system. That door has been in disrepair for several years now, I have just been using the other door.
I have neighbors who had their garage door spring snap and they hired a company to fix/ replace them. I always figured I'd do the work myself if this happens to my garage. But OMG some of the comments in this thread are scary.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #25
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When one of the torsion springs broke on our garage door, I called the original installer to have it fixed. I watched as the installer carefully unloaded the good spring. He then weighed the garage door. He found it weighed 525 lbs and, after being somewhat shocked, went back to his truck and took out a set of heavy duty springs that were rated for that weight.

After installing the new springs, he carefully began tensioning them, one side then the other, then repeat. I could see how dangerous it was becoming as he increased the tension. One wrong move and someone could be really hurt. The rods have to be fully seated or they could slip, with your hand on it and your face right there.

After the the springs reached a certain tension (I felt this was all feel from experience) he began fine tuning the tension until the door was perfectly balanced.

I worked in construction for 34 years. I built my house. I did the electric, plumbing, insulation, drywall, painting, trim carpentry and a lot of other things. But I knew better than to do the garage door. I didn't have the right tools or the knowledge, both of which I feel are essential.

My two cents...
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #26
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Ever install your own garage door?


I have installed many of the 9 x 7 doors and the only thing that has given me a problem was when there was not enough ceiling clearance. Come to think of it that was a 10 ft. high door. Torsion springs require extreme care, don't get your head in the way. That said I would not recommend that the average person do their own unless you are mechanically inclined and willing to work slowly and carefully. In my case installers would have to travel 100 mile which makes calling them a little expensive,
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:55 PM   #27
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I also installed doors for a living a lifetime ago, and have done a few since. I agree with the earlier posters that I would take a torsion spring over an extension spring anyday. However, I do understand why some people would rather not install a torsion spring system.
If you are going to have (or already have) an extension spring system, I would highly recommend running safety cables. This is simply a cable (wire rope) running through the extension springs center, and fixed at each end of the track. The cable does not move. As the door opens and closes, and the spring extends and retracts, the spring follows along that cable, with the cable inside of the spring. When that extension spring breaks, the cable will keep the pieces contained, rather than letting them fly around the garage, destroying walls and cars, and possibly hurting someone. I've seen many examples of the damage these springs can cause, and trust me, you don't want it to happen in your own garage.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #28
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Ever install your own garage door?


Just to emphasize - everything I read about replacing and adjusting torsion springs stresses the importance of safety. I have had to adjust my torsion springs on my garage door at the cottage.

There is an excellent how to video here (that also stresses safety). It is extremely clear and certainly step by step by step.



I am now looking at replacing 2 single car Stanley steel doors (25 yr old and no longer in business) with extension springs (not torsion) at my home. I haven't replaced a garage door before, but have installed a few openers for my kids as they moved into new houses.

Just wondering if anyone has had "experiences" with any particular brand or style. My wife is convinced we need to modernize with new garage doors that have some windows.

Any thoughts or advice most welcome.

Last edited by orange; 04-16-2013 at 10:40 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #29
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Ever install your own garage door?


I don't get the worry about torsion springs. you don't put your face in front of a table saw when cutting, your don't put your face right next to a nail gun when using it, why would you put your face next to a torsion spring when winding?

I replaced some at my house a few years ago, and like anything, a little research and using proper safety gear and following proper safety procedures goes a long way. Scary stories can prevent you from doing anything if you hear enough of them. next time you hear one, ask yourself what could have been done differently to make that act safer?

I was much more confident after finding this web site in my quest for the mysterious truth about killer torsion springs:

http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm

its a little humorous as well.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:46 AM   #30
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Some of the accident stories I've heard about with torsion springs comes from using the wrong size winding rod or finding something around the house to use in place of a dedicated and properly sized winding rod. It slips out of the hole and

But, if you don't know how to recognize springs on their last leg, one or both could break on you when you're tensioning it and it's pretty hard to be a safe distance when you're tensioning the spring.


And then there's knowing how much tension to load into the spring and sizing the spring properly. But, if you have the right tools and properly sized springs for the door and know roughly how many turns to initially load the spring, and you're careful to fully seat the winding rods, sure, a DIYer could do it.

Here's an interesting article about just that: http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm

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