Garage Spring

Dear J-

I’m preparing to gird my loins to once again do battle with the garage door.  Now that the opener has been replaced, it’s the main hardware’s turn to act up; yesterday we heard an enormous thump, but didn’t think anything of it until this morning, when we tried to get in to the garage.  One of the two springs that open the door had snapped (there appears to be a built-in safety mechanism to keep spring bits well-contained, thankfully).  I’ll say one thing in favor of having the old-fashioned one-piece swing-up door:  it makes the maintenance fairly straightforward.  You hear the horror stories about how much tension there is in garage door springs, and how ridiculously dangerous it is to work on them (better to tie raw meat around your waist and wade into a dogfight, so they say), but that’s dealing mainly with the sectional garage doors.  Those doors come with two sorts of springs:  torsional (these are the more difficult ones to install) and extension (the “stretchy” kind — a little easier, but you still have to deal with the cables and pulleys to guide the door along the track).

In contrast, the one-piece door is a dead-simple four-bar mechanism, a couple of shackles at either end of the spring attaching it to the hingework, and a series of holes to adjust preload tension — I’m reminded, a bit, of some repairs I’d done on different portable cassette players when I was in college.  One, a Panasonic, was built without hidden catches (everything was held together with screws, nice big traces and solder pads on the broken board that I was able to jumper successfully); the other, a Sony, was prettier to look at but a nightmare to get open and then, once inside, impossible to fix.  I’m not saying that the sectional door can’t be done by a dedicated do-it-yourselfer, but I wonder if the inconvenience of having to stop a few feet short of the one-piece door to give it a bit of distance to swing hasn’t been traded off for impossible-to-service-yourself looks.

Otherwise, I’m already sick of this Sunday-to-Friday schedule.  One more week, that’s it.  I’m beginning to understand the nature of the work:  it’s not difficult, and I don’t mind it, but it’s busywork — we’re cleaning up things that should (could) have converted over more cleanly than this.  Ultimately my frustration stems from having to fix these things and (essentially) robbing that time away from me and my family — not just the extra day of work, but the accompanying crabbiness; less time to do everything in favor of the company.



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2 Responses to “Garage Spring”

  1. Christine Says:

    My husband spent an entire saturday trying to repair the garage door. 8 hours total and got absolutely no where. I called a a residential garage door company, it took them little more than an hour to repair the door. Money well spent for us.

  2. dearJ Says:

    It really depends on the type of garage door you have. The old-fashioned one-piece doors seem so obsolete, but they’re well within even the most fumble-fingered person’s realm of fixability. Interesting way to advertise, by the way.

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