Door Counter-balance and Cable/Bottom Bracket Inspection
Fall is here in Minnesota and we know
what's coming next....Winter!
Here is the first in a series of garage
door inspections that you can easily do to prepare your garage door and opener
for the long winter ahead.
to Perform a Garage Door Spring Test
DO NOT RELEASE the garage door opener
safety release with the door in the open position. If a spring is broken or
severely out of adjustment, the door could fall causing death or severe injury.
If you are the least bit unsure, or do not understand this procedure, please,
contact a professional garage door service to inspect your door.
First, with the garage door in the
completely CLOSED position, release the garage door opener safety release.
Next, raise the garage door manually,
so that the bottom of the door is in the middle of the opening. Be sure the
path from the door bottom to the floor is clear, (children, pets, feet, hands,
objects, etc.). The door should raise with little effort and stay positioned in
the mid- open position. If the door goes
down with any amount of force, falling, or heavy, your spring system is out of
adjustment and needs to be addressed.
All garage door spring systems have a
life cycle, typically 5,000- 10,000 cycles, and begin to wear as soon as they
are put in to use. Because 95% of garage doors have openers on them, we do not
notice when the spring goes out of adjustment, causing undue wear and damage to
My older brother called me late one
evening to say that he was at his son's house because they could not get the
garage door to close properly. The opener was making a grinding
noise & the door kept going back up. He wanted to know if I could help him
trouble shoot the problem over the phone from 100 miles away. I said sure, I'll
With the advent of smart phone
technology and a few questions, I was able to determine that the door was 10
years old, and that the spring was so severely out of adjustment, that the top
two feet of door close travel was completed only by the opener and not the
torsion spring! Garage door openers were never designed to open or close doors
with out the spring counterbalance assistance.
Well, eventually, the door
"dumped" the cables, and they had become tangled and bound on the
cable drums the door couldn't move. I might add that this was a monster of a
door - 16’x8’ with windows, and a pair of 2" x .283 x 41" torsion
springs. The door weighed about 400 pounds!
We determined that this door was
going nowhere and that the services of a professional door technician was
needed, the door stayed open that night since daylight was needed to properly
access the situation and wait for the technician.
I explained to my brother that what we
needed to do was to get the cables untangled on the cable drums, and to do that
in the dark with no experience and less than ideal circumstances was almost a
guaranteed hand/finger amputation.
He called Pete Hawkins, the owner of
Hawkins Overhead Door of Wabasha, Minnesota, www.hawkinsoverheaddoor.com, who
came right over the next morning and replaced the cables and properly adjusted
the garage door torsion springs.
Thank you for your prompt and
professional service Pete!