Okay, so the tension that was adjusted was on the main spring in my garage door. Did you know that modern garage door openers are designed to have a precise adjustment of the main spring to balance the weight of the door so that the actual door opener has the least work possible? I knew it in theory, but having a garage service tech from 225 Garage Door Repair Thornton check over my door was darn informative too.
I have a Craftsman belt-drive smart garage door opener and I really like it, including the ability to get notifications on my phone every time the door opens or closes. I can also check to see if the door is closed from my phone and close it if for some reason it’s open. In fact, I have it configured so that at 10pm every night it tries to close the garage door regardless of state. If it’s closed, nothing happens, but if for some reason I’ve forgotten to close it, the door will quietly close without any fanfare. All good, but I had the garage door opener installed about a decade ago, and since then have just assumed all is well.
Given that I have experienced a broken garage door spring (it’s alarmingly violent and destructive because they typically have a lot of energy stored in those coils), I am leery about weird creaks and groans when the door is opening or closing. My door’s a bit more creaky than it was a decade ago when they installed the opener, but the service tech looked at it and said, “ah, yeah, a wood garage door. They’re noisier. The new ones are all metal and they’re quieter.”
I called up 225 Garage Door Repair for a maintenance and “checkup” call for my garage and they were ready to show up within the hour. My situation was definitely not an emergency, so I deferred a day, but it’s good to know the company is open every day of the week and that their techs carry most all of the parts needed for a repair, including springs, cables, and openers. My tech pulled up spot on time and immediately started lubricating every possible moving part, including all the wheels that move along the tracks on either side of the door:
Most of his time was spent on the center spring that runs across the top of the garage door, however:
His goal, as I noted in the beginning, was to adjust the tension so that the door would be as light – well balanced – as possible. He tested this by simply disconnecting the door from the cable assembly (by pulling the red ripcord in the above photo) and trying to get it to just sit, perfectly balanced, half-way open:
It took four or five iterations of testing, tightening, testing, but as you can see in the above photo, he did end up having it so well balanced and the spring so optimally adjusted that the door balanced on his hands, easily lifted up or let to slowly drop down and close.
This leads to an observation of my own: If you’re not sure how your garage door is doing with its main spring tightness, try to open the door manually. If it’s super heavy, you’ve got a problem and you’re causing more work than necessary for your opener. If it zips up like it’s negatively weighted, you’ve got a problem too; that means the closer is working harder than necessary to close your garage door.
My service tech guy said that he was surprised that the actual belt on the garage door opener was still tight after ten years, but that the central spring definitely needed adjustment, as I saw while he worked. All told, about a 30-minute service call and I am now glad to know that everything’s in very good shape and hopefully good for another decade. Ounce of prevention versus pound of cure, and all that…
Now, how’s your garage door doing?
Disclosure: 225 Garage Door Repair comp’d me the check-up service call in return for this writeup. Much appreciated.