post

Garage Door Springs Explained

Garage door springs are vitally important to a working garage door. If you need your garage door springs repaired at any time, you should call a professional like us at Texas Garage Repair. We can handle your garage door spring repair anytime.  However, we feel that it’s important for you to understand how garage door springs work. In this article, we will explain the mystery that is garage door springs and maybe you’ll know better when the garage door springs need repair.

What does a garage door spring do?

The garage door springs serve the same purpose of counter weights used to balance doors in centuries past and even today. If, for example, your door weighs 100 pounds, you need a garage door spring that will have a spring force of 100 pounds at least to get it to balance the door and open and close it appropriately.

What are the two types of garage door springs?

There are two types of garage door springs, torsion springs and extension springs. Torsion springs are secured to a metal shaft above the garage door.  Torsion springs balance the garage door. They apply torque to the shaft with drums at each end. A cable is attached to each drum. It is extended to and secured to the bottom fixture on the bottom of the garage door.  A torsion spring will unwind and wind as the door is opened and closed to create a balanced system.

What are the characteristics of torsion springs?

Torsion springs have three characteristics that will determine their lift and life cycle. They are wire size, inside diameter and length. The lift is determined by the torque of the spring. It tells how much the door weight the spring can lift. The cycle life will let you know about how many times the door can open and close before the garage door spring breaks.

Standard torsion springs are most commonly used in residential garage doors. In a residential garage door, you’ll have either one or two springs. Two torsion springs are safer and they are generally mounted together. If one garage door spring breaks when the door is open, the other spring will keep the garage door from falling and injuring someone or causing property damage. Standard residential torsion springs come in 1 ¾”  and 2 ¼” inside diameters.

What do extension springs do?

The garage door also has extension springs mounted on either side of the garage door wall. These springs are very powerful and can run under a high tension. They give the garage door the strength to lift up the door, which can be very heavy. They also help the garage door go back down. Most residential garage doors only have two extension springs, one on each side of the garage door. Some residential doors have more and almost all commercial doors do.

One end of the spring usually connects to an open-eye bolt. The bolt will fasten to the angle iron that holds the track or to a beam in the garage frame. There is usually a pulley attached to the end of the extension spring with the help of a pulley fork.  They have four characteristics – length, inside diameter, wire size and type of end.

What characterizes an extension spring?

Every extension spring is characterized by its weight. Most residential springs come in 10 pound increments. The range of an extension spring needs to be equal to ½ the door height. So, if you have an 8 foot door, the range needs to be at least 4 feet.

A pulley system in the extension spring design generates this ratio. When the garage door opens 1 foot off of the ground, then the cable attached to it has to rise by 1 foot. This cable will wrap around the stationary pulley and then travel to the second pulley and so on and so forth.

The important thing to remember is that each extension spring must lift ½ the door’s weight. The spring system must exert a force twice as great as the weight of what is being lifted.

We understand that the whole garage door spring concept is not an easy one to understand. Basically, if you are having trouble with your garage door springs, give us a call at 512.518.6606. We’ll determine if you need a garage door spring repair and we can do that repair for you as well.

post

Do You Need a Garage Door Opener Repair, Part II?

Last week, we discussed troubleshooting a garage door opener repair. In the article, we dealt with several problems your garage door opener could be having and talked about how to determine if they need a garage door opener repair or if you can do the job yourself.

This week, we delve into deeper problems with the garage door opener. Most of these fixes will have to come from the pros like Texas Garage Repair. Without further ado, let’s go.

Problem #1 – The Door Doesn’t Open or Close

Well, there are a few issues it could be. For example, the door may fail to completely open or close. If that happens, the culprit could be the safety sensors. Following the instructions above to see if that handles the problem. If not, then it could be the limit switch. The placement and appearance of a limit switch depends on the garage door opener. Usually, they’re found on the back of the garage door opener unit in the box attached to the door track overhead. If that’s the case, call your garage door opener repair company and have them come around to fix it because it’s a dangerous fix, requiring a step ladder and work with the garage door.

Problem #2 – The Garage Door Reverses Before or After Closing

If your garage door reverses before or after closing, you should check the close limit switch. You will want to try to adjust it accordingly. To repair, you’ll want to climb a stepladder to reach the garage door opener and look for the knobs. Retest the door . Turn the desired control clockwise slightly to adjust and then retest or hire someone like Texas Garage Repair who’s equipped to handle difficulties like this.

If the garage door opener reverses before it even hits the floor, the culprit is likely the close force adjustment. This could be related to your springs. If your springs are to blame, the best thing to do is to have a professional take a look. Garage door springs are difficult to repair and dangerous.

Problem #3 – The Garage Door Motor Won’t Stop Running

If the door closes or opens but the motor keeps running, the limit switch is probably the problem. You can try to troubleshoot it yourself by adjusting the switch or you can call a professional who will know exactly what to do.

Problem #4 – The Garage Door Opener Hums but Doesn’t Operate

At least it hums so you know there’s some power getting to the door. You’ll want to check the moving parts to make sure that the rails aren’t blocked and the armature is connected to the garage door. Make sure the unit is engaged and not in manual mode. The force adjustment could also be the culprit. Old and weak garage door springs may shift the lifting of the door to the opener motor ad drive system. The unit may not be able to handle the weight. Get in a professional to fix the garage door opener springs and the force adjustment on your garage door opener.

Problem #5 – The Garage Door Opener is Noisy or the Door Vibrates

Obviously, some openers are louder than others. However, as long as the door operates properly, you’ve got nothing really to worry about. Of course, if the door shrieks or there’s smoke coming from the exit, then you might want a professional’s opinion.

Noises can result from loose nuts and bolts or a failure in the track system.  You can try to tighten them and lubricate the track system. However a garage door opener repair technician can do these things for you quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Well, there you have it – some of the more common problems a garage door can have. We, obviously, advocate for calling in a professional most of the time. We feel that it’s better to get a professional touch on a delicate and heavy system like the garage door and garage door opener. If you try to undertake a garage door opener repair yourself, it could lead to injury and might cost you more money in the long run when you haven’t fixed the problem and only exacerbated it.

If you’re garage door opener is giving you trouble, call the experts at Texas Garage Repair. We can be reached 24/7 at 512-518-6606.

post

Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Repair

Determining whether you need a garage door opener repair can be an interesting process. It needn’t be too difficult to figure out, but there are a few things you can check out to see if a garage door opener repair is necessary. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the things you can do to determine if you need a garage door opener repair. Hopefully, it will show you what to do next time your garage door opener isn’t operating at an optimal level.

The garage door opener makes life easier for us, most of the time. However, when it doesn’t and you think you may need a garage door opener repair, there are a few things you can troubleshoot to help your technician get to the heart of the matter. Some of them are so simple that they may be able to be fixed easily by you. However, remember that a garage door and a garage door opener are complex mechanisms and relate to one of the biggest apparatuses, if not the biggest, in your home. It’s wise to call a professional if you are unsure how to proceed. The professionals at Texas Garage Repair are well versed in garage door opener repair and can get you up and running again in no time flat.

Let’s start with troubleshooting.

  1. Does the car remote work? If the car remote or wall unit will still activate the door, then chances are you have weak or dead remote batteries. You can just replace them and all should be well again. Some remotes have a blinking LED light that flashes and displays a code to diagnose operational problems. In that case, consult the owner’s manual for more information.
  2. Check the batteries in the wall unit. Of course, if it uses them. If the remote works okay but the wall unit doesn’t, you should first consider the power source. If it’s batteries, then replace them and see if that’s enough to fix the problem. If it’s plugged into your home’s wiring system, examine the wiring to see if there’s been an issue with it. If so, complete the next step.
  3. Make sure it’s not electrical. Check the house breaker or fuse box and make sure the circuit controlling the garage door opener is active. You can reset a tripped breaker – you’ll know it’s tripped because it will look half on and half off – or replace the fuse altogether. Once you fix it, wait about a minute before turning it back on again. This should reset the connection. If it doesn’t, you should call an electrician for damage to your home’s wiring.
  4. The sensors – are they blocked? If your garage door opener is relatively new, the sensors may be causing the problem. Safety sensors work in pairs. They are mounted on either side of the garage door about a foot high. Each one beams a light – one is red and one is green – across the opening. If the beam gets obstructed or when the sensors can’t catch each other’s light, the garage door opener will not engage or it will stop mid-operation. Just check for anything obstructing the sensors. You should consider clearing out obstacles, position the sensors across from each other or even clean the sensor’s surface to remove any debris. Then, try opening the garage door again. If it works, then you’ve solved the problem. If not, then call Texas Garage Repair.

What if it’s not any of these problems?

Then, we’ve got more investigating to do. Next week we’ll continue with our garage door opener repair scenarios. In the meantime, if you have a garage door opener that’s not working, try contacting Texas Garage Repair at 512.518.6606. We have technicians available 24/7 to handle your garage door opener repairs.  If you decide you need to buy a new garage door opener, we can install that too.

post

Liftmaster Garage Door Openers: 8550 Elite Series

Liftmaster are among the best garage door openers on the market. Known for their reliability and durability, they are a good choice for someone looking for a quiet and smooth garage door opener.  In this article, we’ll review the 8500 Elite Series garage door opener.

The Liftmaster 8500 Elite Series will power up when the power is down. It has MyQ connectivity. This enables you to securely monitor and control your garage door opener and even your home’s lights with a smartphone, tablet or computer. You can receive alerts as email or push notifications on your mobile device so you’ll always know the status of your door and lights. MyQ is a free download and has no annual activation fee.

The Alert2Close feature provides a visual and audible alert to let you know that an unattended door is closing. This is beneficial to make sure that no one is in the way. The TTC (Timer-to-close) feature automatically closes the door after a specified time period. It can be adjusted in the programming. Prior to and during the door closing, the door opener lights will flash and the mechanism will beep.

You can have up to 4 keyless entries with this garage door opener. There’s also a protector system in place. There are safety reversing sensors that detect an obstruction in the path of the infrared beam so the door won’t close if there’s an obstruction there. In fact, as it’s closing, the door will reverse to a full open position and the opener lights will flash 10 times so you know something’s going on. The safety reversing sensors do not affect the door opening.

You can activate your garage door opener through a wall-mounted door control, remote control, wireless keyless entry or the MyQ accessory. You can program your remotes through the door control or on the Learn button on the garage door opener.

Performance-wise, the 8550 has a P3™ Motor. It’s reliable, durable and powerful. There’s a DC motor belt drive system that’s powerful and ultra-quiet. It’s virtually maintenance free. Equipped with energy efficient operation, the garage door opener consumes 75% less power in standby mode. It has a lifetime motor and belt, 5 year parts and 1 year battery backup warranty.

Security features include the Security + 2.0 that safeguards your household with every click a new code is sent to the garage door opener so the door opens only for you. PosiLock® locks down your door by electronically monitoring it against a forced opening. The Motion detector activates the garage door opener lights once you walk in so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark.

Overall, the Liftmaster 8550 Elite Series gets high marks for security and accessibility. It has a decent warranty and is fairly quiet.  It’s reasonably priced and can be installed easily.

We suggest that you contact us, Texas Garage Repair, for a full install and to make sure the door is working with the opener. We love Liftmaster products and are happy to put one in for you. Call us today at 512.518.6606.

post

Garage Door Opener Buying Guide

Buying a garage door opener is no simple task. There are tons of garage door openers on the market today. When you shop for a garage door opener, there are several things you’ll want to consider. We go over those in this garage door opener buying guide. In the coming weeks, we’ll put different garage doors to this buying guide test to see which rate better than others. We hope you enjoy the article and look forward to your feedback on our Facebook page.

Size

Measure your garage door to ensure you buy the proper garage door opener. Garage door openers are sized according to the height of the door. For a 7 foot tall door, for example, a 7 foot garage door opener is needed. Most single-car garage doors can use a garage door opener with 1/3 horsepower. Doors that are 10 feet wide or larger need at least ½ horsepower. They may need to go as high as 3/4 horsepower. Regardless, you should always choose a door opener with a motor that has adequate power to lift the door. When in doubt, go larger.

Drive System

Garage doors have three different drive systems.  First, there’s the chain drive. It’s the most commonly used garage door opener. A chain lifts the door. It goes through the motor and out the other side to lift itself.  A belt drive is identical to a chain lift except that it uses a rubber belt instead of a chain to lift the door.  It’s the quietest and perhaps most expensive version of garage door opener. Finally, there’s the screw drive. A metal bar is threaded through the drive and pulls the door up. It’s a slow process, but less noisy than a chain belt. Now you have to consider the type of garage you have when purchasing the drive system. If you have stable cabinets and garage door shelf units, then a chain drive should be fine because it shakes the foundation of the garage. If you have less stable items in your garage, go with a belt or screw drive system.

Safety Features

A garage door opener controls the heaviest moving object in your home – did you know that garage doors can weigh as much as 600 lbs.? Safety is critical. Since 1993, federal law requires that garage door openers include sensors to prevent the door from striking anybody in its path. Automatic reverse – this stops the door and lifts off any obstruction – is another safety feature you should have.  A computer controlled system monitors the operating speed of the door and compensates for changing conditions like an obstruction or the door closing too quickly. Garage doors produced today use rolling codes for more security. This means that each time the door is opened a new, random code is generated. This prevents code theft and makes sure that your neighbor’s garage door opener won’t open your garage.

All doors have a manual release so that you can open the door when the power is out. Some higher-end model doors have a feature where the door will open just high enough to let a cat or a dog out. Many door openers have a security light that comes on when you activate the system. It stays on long enough for you to get out of the car and get into the house. Many remotes include buttons that turn on the light without activating the door.

Accessories

Wall-control buttons can be simple like a doorbell or complex like a complete control panel. They can prevent  the door from being used by locking it. This may be good to have for when you go away for an extended period. Door-control buttons are mounted inside the garage. They are near the entry of your home.

Another accessory to look at is a keyed emergency release kit. This is mounted on the door and attached to the opener emergency–release mechanism by a cable. If the power goes out and you need to get to the garage door from the outside, there’s a key that unlocks the kit and you can pull the release handle from the outside.

Entry Options

Different types of garage door openers have different types of entry options. There are remotes and keyless entry pads. A remote is battery powered and can often attach to the visor of the car. Other garage door openers have keychain remotes, which can be much safer. Sometimes burglars get into the house via the garage door opener on the visor.

If you have guests, you may want to get a garage door with different codes so that they won’t know what your code is. The guest can have a temporary key code when they visit.

You may also want a delayed closing. This allows you to enter and have a few minutes to exit the garage before the door begins to lower.

Installation

Do you want to install your garage door opener yourself? It usually takes about four hours and requires some know-how. We suggest you call a professional for garage door opener installation. We, at Texas Garage Repair, have the knowledge and the ability to install your garage door quickly and painlessly. Call us today for more information. We can be reached at 512.518.6606.