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If your springs look like the ones in this picture (with a two or three inch gap) that is why the door won't open. There are a few things that you need to know to make a good decision about who to use to do this work.
The Great Price - $150 Parts and Labor For Both Springs
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Extremely heavy or oversized doors may be slightly more, for details see bottom of page.
First, you need to understand that the springs break because the door has gone up and down a certain number of times. Their life expectancy is actually rated in cycles, typically around 10,000 cycles (that's ups and downs) for the original spring on a door. If you open the door 5 times a day, on average, the 10,000 cycle springs will last about 5 1/2 years. There is nothing that you (or your spouse) did to cause it to break. It doesn't matter if the springs are rusty, or galvanized, or coated with grease, when they reach their rated life they break. Typically if you replace one spring of a matched pair the other one will break within a couple of months. It's purely a fatigue issue. If you bend a piece of metal, then straighten it out, then bend it again, repeat as necessary, eventually it breaks. That's all there is to it. I recommend replacing both springs at the same time primarilly because the cost of replacing them separately is considerably more than if you do them at the same time, not to mention the inconvenience of having the car trapped in the garage again. I also use springs that are rated at 20,000 cycles or more (in the 5 times a day scenario previously discussed that translates to about 11 years), and at a better price than most of my competitors charge for 10,000 cycle springs.
This is an example of a single spring (two pieces, broken at the obvious gap). Notice that the spring only extends to the right of the bracket that mounts it to the wall, which is different from the picture above where there is a spring on each side of the wall mount bracket. In the Sacramento area there are a lot of doors that have one (heavily stressed) spring when they should have two, because it saved the contractor money. The price for a single spring replacement is $125, but again, I can greatly increase the life expectancy by using two springs. The other advantage to having two springs is that if one breaks you will still have one spring working to help you lift thedoor and get your car out of the garage.
You know what they say about if your not paranoid it doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you.Realize that if you have a basic distrust of service people, it is probably not just your imagination. One of the scams that you need to be aware of is that of the lifetime warranty springs. The springs provided for lifetime warranties are usually very short life springs (usually will break within a year or two). When the spring breaks, a new one is provided for free but the labor charge for changing it out matches or exceeds what most of us charge for the whole job.
One of the local companies will tell you that they have to be in your garage, see what your springs are, to be able to quote you a price. They are depending on the average person fearing confrontation and being reluctant to tell them to get lost (no matter how high their price is) once they are physically there.
Another scam is when the company quotes a reasonable price for the spring replacement, but when they get in your garage, suddenly you need the drums that the cables wind up on, and all of the rollers on the door, and maybe even the bar that the springs go on, and don't forget the bearing plates at the top of the tracks. Any of these can go bad, but not all at once. A great indicator is the price of the rollers. If they want $200 to replace 10 rollers tell them to get out of your garage and don't pay them for anything. If they tell you that there is no warranty unless you have them do all of the recommended service, they are scamming you.
If you have one of the garage doors where you cannot find the springs, just a bar over the door with the little plastic spools that the cables wind up on, like the pictures above, you have a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster. The springs are actually inside the tube and because of geometry constraints don't last very long. I replace these with a conventional spring assembly using high cycle springs. The added parts and labor increase the price of a spring job by $100 for this one time conversion, but future spring jobs will just be the normal $125/$150 discussed previously on this page. To clear up the question in your head, if you have a two car garage (16' wide) this will cost $250, or a single car door (8' or 9' wide) the cost will be $225.
Finally, you can get your car out of the garage. Your garage door probably weighs between 150 pounds and 350 pounds but, as you should have noticed, you normally only have to lift 5 or 10 of those pounds. The springs do the bulk of the work, which keeps from wearing your door opener out as fast (especially if you are the door opener).Some doors have one spring, most two car garages have two, and a select few really heavy doors have three. When a spring breaks the door instantly becomes 100 to 175 pounds heavier for you or you door opener to lift, usually resulting in your car being stuck in your garage. A couple of healthy adults should be able to lift this amount of weight, but it won't stay up by itself (you have to hold it up) and be careful closing the door also because if you just let it drop you can damage the door or hurt someone. You want to lift from as close to the center as you can so as not to tilt the door and cause a cable to come off of one of the drums that the cables roll up on. Due to the forces exerted by these springs it can be very dangerous to try to work on them without the proper knowledge and tools. This is the one job that really is better left to a professional.
I am committed to giving you the best product at a fair price.
Clarification on the price break point for heavy doors.
I have seen a few neighborhoods that have insulated doors with a carriage house / barn door look (an example to the left). Some of these doors are heavy enough to use a commercial size spring. These springs cost me more money, consequently they cost you more money. Simply put, If you have a custom garage door that is outside the normal range of weight, I will have to get a quote from my warehouse based on what the springs actually are.
Serving the greater Sacramento area Paul understands how your garage door is supposed to work and will restore it to the best possible working condition at a reasonable price. Call for a free estimate. Whether it's spring replacement or repairing your door openeror even replacing your door opener, there's only one number that you want to call.
You may call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (916) 536-9619 or fill out our online form and we will contact you the same day.
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