A SHORT GUIDE ON THE MANY PARTS TO A GARAGE DOOR 

A Torsion spring is part of your spring line and provides upward lift to balance the weight of a garage door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Not All Torsion springs are the same. There are a large variety of residential garage doors that can weigh just under 100 lbs. to over 600 lbs. A Torsion spring is designed to add torque to the shaft on the spring line where drums on each side have cables attached to them. Those cables are tied down to the bottom section fixtures as lifting anchor points.  Each cable is able to lift half the weight of the garage door where they attach to the bottom fixtures.  

   Torsion springs are measured by wire size, length, cone size,  ID (inside diameter) , and come as a single or double spring setup. The direction of the wire as it is wound can be a LHW or RHW.          Torsion springs have a cycle rating. If they are rated at 10,000 cycles, they will be your cheaper quality. With average every day use, these tend to last about 3 years or more. There are better quality torsion springs that and should last up to 10 yrs or more with a much higher cycle rating. 

    You should never try to  replace  your own  torsion spring without proper training  and tools. Many home owners end up in the hospital every year attempting to repair their garage door. 

   Cables attach from the spring line to the bottom fixtures and always have tension.

cables and bottom fixtures

   Cables can stretch and fray over time and eventually break. It it highly recommended to replace stretched or frayed cables always in pairs by a professional. 

   Bottom fixtures hold rollers and provide a lifting point for the cables. There is usually tension on these fixtures equal to half the weight of the entire garage door.     They should never be removed without taking tension off the spring line. Training and proper tools should always be used before removing bottom fixtures.

   Hinges connect your door sections together while the outer hinges contain rollers and hold the door in the track .

 

 

 

 

   Rollers and hinges should be lubed once a year with a silicone based spray lubricant. Over time hinge bolts tend to work themselves loose. A garage door tune up includes lube and the tightening of hinges.

   Rollers come in steel, plastic, and nylon. Steel although durable, tends to be on the noisy side. Replacing them with nylon rollers is recommended on reducing garage door noise level.  The plastic rollers are on the cheaper side of quality and dont have bearings. Of the 3 types, nylon is best for residential garage doors as they are durable, quiet, and have bearings.

   Top fixtures have a roller to hold the top section in place of the track and are usually adjustable to close the gap between top section and header area.

hinge rollers top fixture

   Vertical track is attached to the framed opening and holds the garage door in place while closed. They usually have adjustable brackets for adjusting the track with the opening of the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Towards the top, a bracket connects your horizontal and vertical track together just below the radius while above supports the head plates on your spring line. Your Horizontal track which hold your door up when it is in open position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   These tracks don't usually wear out, although they do get bent or twisted when other components work themselves loose over time.    Horizontal track supports the head plates that contain the spring line. Caution must be taken while working on this area of the door as there is much tension on the spring line, especially in closed position. Loosening one or two bolts can cause serious injury.

   The 3 main types of garage doors are made from materials of steel skin, aluminum, and wood there are many different sizes and can be determined by measuring the opening. A 7-foot and 8-foot tall opening are a residential standard for height while also determine the length of an opener rail. 

 

 

 

 

 

   Garage doors can weight a little under 100 lbs. and over 600 lbs. depending on size and materials. Wood doors tend to be on the heavier 600 lbs side. Garage doors also come in as insulated and non-insulated.

   They can also have a glass section or have all glass sections. Glass will bring the total weight to be much heavier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   All glass sections should have at least 1 strut to make the section rigid as the weight of the door changes from vertical track to horizontal track.  Sometimes glass sections have 2 struts per section. 

inside garage door diagram

   Windows are an excellent way to bring in natural light. They can come as clear or opaque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   On a new door they often add at least $200 to the overall cost per section although to go with glass or no glass is usually optional. The added weight also requires a stronger springs. Struts should always be included with a glass section to give it the extra rigid strength to keep the middle of the section from bowing downward. Struts also help help keep the section together when an opener arm is attached to that section.

   Your garage door opener is much like the motor in your vehicle in the sense that it just pushes the carriage forward or pulls backward. An opener is considered a separate unit from the rest of the garage door as your garage door can still open and close without it if you pull the disconnect.

   An opener has 3 types of rails that attach from the opener's head, to a section of your upper garage wall called a header. The rail usually attaches above although sometimes below the spring line above your garage door.

   The different types are the corkscrew which tend to be noisy. Chain drive although durable become noisy as the chain wears and stretches. And the belt drive which are just as durable and much more quiet. 

 

 

 

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   The first two things to go out on an opener are the plastic gears inside and the circuit board.   A broken spring will stress an opener sometimes to the point of stripping the plastic gears inside as the opener is not designed to pick up the weight of the door. This tends to happen anyway as the opener wears over time and all residential openers have plastic gears inside. You will see plastic shavings if you open it from the side as it will be obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There are replacement parts available however, it is not recommended as other components are likely worn out. Also the time and effort to replace these plastic parts can be very tedious and frustrating.

   If your opener has photo eyes and the led's lights are on, they are most likely working properly. Holding down your wired push button mounted on the wall will bypass these if they are not working. If your opener still wont open or close properly with up and down force increased to max, it is most likely the circuit board. 

inside garage door opener gears shredded