Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roseholme Update

Grrr! The garage door opener -- not the remote, the gadget itself -- here at Roseholme stopped workin' a few weeks ago; close inspection revealed the $25.00 plastic worm and spur gears that drive the sprocket that runs the chain that moves the traveller that hooks to the pinned linkage that lifts the door to the house that Jack built (wait! One step too far), those gears had shredded one another. Parts are cheap and that's a homeowner-level repair...or a $150.00 service call.

We were making do 'til the weather warmed up, unhitched the linkage between door and drive chain and ran it manually; it has a lock and everything, so no problem, right? Noble pioneer spirit, right?

Right. Right up until last night; Tam made an emergency corned beef sammich-fixins run, all of fifteen minutes; door worked perfectly on her departure. When she returned home, not so much: it took both of us to get the door open. Once the Zed III Light Urban Scout Vehicle was docked, I found what you're already suspecting: a broken spring.

The honkin' big springs that assist overhead doors, not so much a homeowner-level project. Also, prolly not so cheap. Time for me to call Overhead Door. And $pend.


UPDATE: Just got off the 'phone with the overhead door people and I have a rough e$$$timate. While I do not have a Tip Jar, Tam -- who drives one of the two convertibles presently trapped in our garage -- does. Just sayin'.

UPDATE II: Our door, she is feex! The torsion springs this thing takes are massive; the door-tech helpfully shared a story to Tam about the guy that trained him taking a tensioning-bar hit to the face while showing him the ropes: 16 stitches, two lost teeth. Our guy took two days off to rethink his career choices, but I guess the fame and glory drove him back. Huge and heartfelt Thank You to all the helpful tippers. This repair is way less wallet-painful than it could have been -- you guys are the best!

And yes, I probably could have fixed it. (I was ready to do the gears, that's simple enough). If I had time. If I was willing to fight the torsion springs. Kinda lacked the time and muscle.


Anonymous said...

I had come home one day, closed the garage door (via the button) and just as I closed the door to the garage, it sounded like someone had let off a flash bang.

I went back out to see what the hell happened and couldn't find anything. Looked for a long time, too, but couldn't find anything that had a'sploded or any bullet holes that would explain the noise.

Later, I went to leave and the opener simply wouldn't work. Turned out the spring had popped. Crazy loud, those springs.

And I too have worn out the $7 plastic worm screw and had to pay $150 for some guy to fix it.

I'm in the wrong business.

Rustmeister said...

Check into it a bit. Right before I spent big on the one in my house, I found out it (Genie Excelerator) was guaranteed for life. I called the company, and they sent me the parts for free.

The Duck said...

They may not be to bad, & they are not overly expensive, check home -depot, I was looking at some for swinging targets,

jon spencer said...

A new opener should be around $150 +- a little.
And are not that hard to install.
Just about everything goes where the old openers stuff was.
Did one the other day, took under 2 hours, coffee and cookie time included.
Also part of the 2 hours is the time added for not reading the directions and having to redo hooking up the drive chain.
Very minimum tools needed.

Anonymous said...

I'm predicting the sudden discovery of tracked folding doors on starships. Pod bay doors, Hal.

Mr. Fixit said...

You might check into the do it yourself version at the home depot type stores. Comes with a new spring, door, track, opener and all. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours , shouldn't need more than a power drill/screwdriver, hammer and a couple extra hands. The new spring is wound with yoru power drill and a socket.

If you can work on a starship, you can put up a garage door.

CGHill said...

There are two flavors of spring on your standard garage doors: extension springs, which come in pairs along the sides, and torsion springs, which wind up on a rod above the door.

I lost an extension spring on a Friday afternoon; cost of the Saturday repair was $140. (They'd have come out Friday evening, but it would have been $165.) Of this sum, $55 represented the actual hardware cost.

Anonymous said...

Garage doors are commodities, like 22LR cartridges. Get a good low quote before proceeding. And remember, while you can do it yourself, sometimes it is worth $50 to be the one whose only responsibility is to bring out the iced tea (or hot chocolate - is it still arctic there?) when the burly workermen are done.

Anonymous said...

If these are coil type extension springs that run along the side of the door, as opposed to the torsion type springs on top of the door, they are very simple to replace, and it is a good idea to replace BOTH. 1: Get door up. 2: remove vehicles from garage. 3: Use C clamps on track to hold door up, and have a 2x4 maybe temporarily screwed to or jammed under door.
4: Unbolt old springs. Bolt on new springs. Make sure you put the safety cables back in.

If it's a torsion spring, god help you. me,I went ahead and bought the kind that you bolt up and then use a drill to tension the springs. Either way, best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Two words: Torson Springs. I don't have the upper-body strength to tension them safely. Failure tends to bleed. Ever have a hand pinned against a door header by a spring-tensioned piece of rebar? me neither and I don't want to start now.

The opener gears are not difficult at all -- but once I am payin' for the service call, all it costs additionally is parts + markup (yep, 100%). Will I pay an extra $25 to not have to do it myself? Oh, yeah! Two hours of my time is worth way more than that.

Anonymous said...

Hear you, and don't blame you one bit.

Crucis said...

Springs are easy to replace---once you raise the door to relieve the tension. I've replaced two over the last 10 years my wife and I have lived in this house. Perhaps Shootin' Buddy could provide some extra muscle if needed...

There are different sizes so be sure to get the right one.

jon spencer said...

You said the magic words, "torsion spring" those to me mean let a garage door installer do the job.
Darn near easier to start from a hole where the door and equipment used to be.

Tam said...

"...and torsion springs, which wind up on a rod above the door."


They scare me just looking at them.

I shut the garage door behind me when I went to the store last night, and it sounded like a grenade went off inside...

danno said...

Check with your local HomeDespot/Lowes... They have springs that are wound with a power drill (As MrFixit alluded) and are very easy to install. The winder unit is a worm gear arrangement. The spring comes with a line painted down the side. Just wind until 12 turns are shown.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I hate garage doors.

And I really enjoy reading both of your blogs.

So I hit Tam's tip jar by way of saying "thanks". Hope it helps.

CGHill said...

You can promise me cash savings up to and including the amount of the average AIG bonus, but I am not messing with torsion springs. Not even.

Anonymous said...

Home Depot has replacement springs. The last time I bought them they were $8.00 each, but it's been a while. They also make good replacements for the weighted buckets to keep dipoles taut.

Small parts co, Google em' has darn near any part you might want and APco, Appliance Parts Co, probably does as well. Or if you can read the model number a trip around Google will probably turn up new or NOS replacements. Or the factory web page where you can pay three prices for the parts but not that $100 bux an hour tab.

Hard to replace? Not so much, but do wear safety glasses. A bungee on the free end will keep stuff from flying if you think about what you are doing.

As a last resort you can spend a bill and a half, three boxes of ammo for my .41 Smiths, for a new opener. And if you are just replacing the motor and not the whole door it's an easy job. Get the worm drive, though. They last longer.


Anonymous said...

My business has torsion spring roll ups. But it did not occur to me that anyone would use a torsion spring on a residential door. The tensioner has a hole every 90 degrees, so a safety bar goes in one hole, while I pull on the bar in the other hole. Here's a link to a do it yourself site -

That also mentions a gear replacement kit. Or you can do what I do and cheat. There are always a few neighborhood hot rodders who will be glad to install and tension a spring for you.

As my dad always said, "If all else fails, cheat."



Anonymous said...

And this is why I hate the damn torsion springs on Garage doors. The old style tension springs, you can buy in Home depot, and change in about 10 minutes.. I recently had the garage door replaced here, and they replaced the latter with the former.. Gah!

Anonymous said...

The extension springs are being phased out in favor of torsion springs for safety reasons. The extension springs can become a deadly projectile when the spring or the anchor hardware break. They let loose with enough energy to punch through walls.