Garage door cable spool unravels

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  #1  
Old 11-30-05, 01:17 PM
the_fiddler
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Garage door cable spool unravels

HI,

first time posting in the garage section. There are a ton of garage door questions so I hope this one isn't the last straw

Recently the left hand spool on the roll up bar for my garage door unraveled. The right one is still spooled up and works properly, but now the door closes a bit lopsided and it is not quite square when it is totally closed. I tried rewinding the wire around the spool, got it all wound and the bolts snug to hold the spool onto the axle, but a couple of opens and closes and the wire springs loose again and unspools.

I have watched the spool as it opens and closes but I can't really seem to see why it just loses tension and then the wire springs loose.

The spool itself is not spinning on the axle, it stays put, just the wire pops loose.

Thanks for any help,

F
 
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  #2  
Old 11-30-05, 03:30 PM
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Ok if I understand you right you have a "Torsion" type spring system and the left side cable won't stay on the drum? In order to reset the cables you need to level the door with it in the closed position release tension from the spring(s) and then reset the cables. It can't be done like you have tried, You'll never get the drum set back to it's original position and the cable will continue to fall off. Usually there is a reason for this problem, Did the door get shut down on something? If not I would suspect the set screws were not tight enough, or the set screws on the other drum have let it slip a little. (The set screws should be turned 6 to 8 (1/4) turns after contact is made with the tube) One other possible but very unlikely problem is the torsion tube has broken in two, inside the spring and the two drums are acting independently of each other. I would recomend calling a door Co. torsion spring systems are very dangerous if you don't know what your doing.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 05:03 PM
the_fiddler
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Thanks for the tips, I looked again at the whole mechanism and found that the set screws on the right hand side of the torsion spring (opposite the loose drum and cable) are completely loose, one has fallen out all together. I will close and level the door, undo all the set screws, re-spool the cable drums, tighten all the set screws again and then see what happens.


Thanks,

F
 
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Old 11-30-05, 06:20 PM
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Exclamation

DO NOT LOOSEN BOTH SET OF SCREWS!!

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Call a qualified door company. Working on torsion springs is not a DIY project.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by LI Tom
DO NOT LOOSEN BOTH SET OF SCREWS!!

----------------------------------------


Call a qualified door company. Working on torsion springs is not a DIY project.

Hey LI Tom, How do I get words to show up in BOLD in a post, It doesn’t work for me? All I see is the words with a [B] before and after it, And how do you add images to your post? Also a link looks like plane text, I have to copy and paste it to my address bar. I've checked under the user control panel
 
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Old 12-01-05, 06:18 PM
the_fiddler
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ok, I understand that the torsion springs are dangerous, I work with many systems under pressure of various sorts, cable/rigging, hydraulic, phneumatic so I am comfortable in releasing and applying the tension in these springs safely. After all, I had to unload the door to fix it in the first place.

My problem is that now I can't figure out how to balance the springs.

I have closed and leveled the door.

Spooled the cable until both sides are wrapped around their drums and slightly taught.

Then beginning with one spring I have tightened "x" turns, done the same to the other spring, and tried the door. I have tried 4 full turns all the way up to 10 full turns on each side, none have been successful. (At 10 turns the tension is quite high and raises the door against the motor so this is obviously too tight.)

The result in all cases is one of two things.

a) The door opens just fine but half way up the cables unspool, as if there is not enough tension in the spring to keep them taught on their drum all the way up.

b) the door opens just fine, but when trying to close it, the tension of the springs becomes too great about half way down and the motor can no longer push the door down.

There has to be either a magic number of turns on the springs, or some other setup step that I am missing.

Please, if anybody has knowledge of how to do this properly, or how to figure out the correct tension then chime in, accepting that I am being extremely careful with the torsion springs and have no intention of visiting my dentist or the emergency room any time soon because of carelessness with this system.

Thanks,

F
 
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Old 12-01-05, 08:49 PM
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the_fiddler, normally a 7' high door will require 7.5 full turns or 30 1/4 turns, add 1 full turn for each additional foot in door height. I think the cables are jumping because 4 turns arent enough to keep the drums turning to take up the cable, therefore causing clabe slack. Try 7.5 turns on each spring.



Doorman2722, I dont know , I see the same as you. But I do it for those that can see the bold type.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 09:35 PM
the_fiddler
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Thanks for all the replys, and cautions.

I tracked down the manufacturer of this door and discovered that for this size and make, I should only have 1 spring, not two. The previous double spring was probably bought in error and then installed anyway, using only one spring instead of both.

7 1/2 turns on one spring works to open and close the door, keeping barely enough tension on the cables to keep them on their spools.

I told the supplier this and they said it is not proper but not really a danger either, but it's likely that spring will just not last as long as if it were working as a pair. So I have them calling me back Monday with a quote for a new single spring and shaft to replace mine. I don't want to bother with having to demount springs and so on, I just want to take the whole shaft out and replace it. So sometimes less is better, why put in two springs when one will do?

Cheers,

F
 
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Old 12-04-05, 07:31 PM
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If with one spring wound the door works fine then leave it.
Why spend the money to change it out?
Some manufactures make the springs the same wire size and length on both sides. As long as this is the case in your situation, you have a back-up if and when the one spring breaks. Just leave the set screws loose, on the one spring, so that the tube rotates freely.
 
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Old 12-05-05, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by the_fiddler

I tracked down the manufacturer of this door and discovered that for this size and make, I should only have 1 spring, not two.

7 1/2 turns on one spring works to open and close the door, keeping barely enough tension on the cables to keep them on their spools.

they said it is not proper but not really a danger either, but it's likely that spring will just not last as long as if it were working as a pair.

F

I install doors every week with single springs, two is not needed even on some double doors, If more tension is needed then try 7 3/4 or 8 turns. I would save your money as LI Tom has said and use the other spring as a spare. Also you might want to streatch the spring before setting the set screws, this will prevent it from binding up and the door will close easier. And lube the spring
 
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Old 12-05-05, 06:14 AM
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Fiddler:

I have kept my nose out of your problem but have been watching and reading this on going adventure. Listen to the manufacture. Buy the new rod and spring set up. That is the safe way.
You have some issues with your door that have not been addressed, and as a result of these problems, you door is not working right and your spools are unraveling. Put in the new rod, spring and tighten to the manufactures recommadations. Have a good day.
 
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Old 12-05-05, 04:34 PM
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the_fiddler,save your money.
 
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Old 12-05-05, 08:05 PM
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the_fiddler,

IMHO, It appears that you do not have the experience to work on this door. The advice was given to seek a qualified company to resolve this for you. Granted everyone wants to save money but this isn't a a DIY'er job if you have never done it before and this appears to be the case.

I see that we have Doorman2722 who does this for a profession suggest
"would recomend calling a door Co. torsion spring systems are very dangerous if you don't know what your doing" but at the same time gives you further instruction on what to do? Doesn't make sense unless he wants to pay the hospital bill!

IMHO, LI Tom doesn't really care about your safety as much as saving you money on a service call or part needed.

I highly recommend a professional to do this. These suggestions could endanger your health and who will be responsible for that?

Just do the right thing, please.

This thread is closed for obvious reasons.
 
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