I just got finished fixing my garage door. Four days ago my garage door suddenly wouldn’t come down. I was on my way out with my son, driving him to work, so I just had to leave things until I got home.
Garage door opener Motor re-attached to ceiling
Upon inspection, I realized why the automatic garage door opener was rejecting my attempts to close the door, over and over again: the bracket which holds up the door opener motor had slipped off the screw holding it to the ceiling rafter……….again.
Okay, it’s my fault entirely because this happened to me last fall and when I noticed it right away, I simply got out the ladder, climbed up and re-hooked it back onto the screw promising myself I’d reinforce it. But I didn’t do anything further – I got busy with wintertime stuff and every time I went into the garage, I was reminded to fix that! Oh boy, this time, I didn’t notice what the problem was right away and in my hurried state, I just kept pressing the garage door opener over and over again. Bad idea. The cable on each side of the garage door unravelled and popped off the drum! Ugh! I got out my old (very old) 1950’s wooden step-ladder and climbed up to rewind the steel cable back on the drum on each side. I was pretty proud of myself because it seemed SO easy……..piece of cake! Oh and I re-hooked the motor bracket back to the ceiling. I figured it was all fixed so I pressed the remote to make it work and ……oh my goodness, it sounded like the whole thing was breaking up! The cables came back off again! I thought at first that the entire track must have been bent.
I had to call my other son Darin to come over because I couldn’t lift that heavy wooden garage door. Over the next few hours, I would rewind the cables back onto the drums and try it again unsuccessfully. I gave up – temporarily – and went inside for the night. When Melvin got home from work, I had him help me slowly lower the door after I disconnected the cables from the bottom of the door. NOW it was time for some heavy duty……..internet consultation. When I’m stymied like this, I like to consult the internet (ehow.com or google search). First of all, I had to discover exactly what the parts of the garage door were called so I could then search for a solution to my problem.
Cable wound on Drum
Who knew there were drums, steel cables, and torsion springs? I had to understand the problem I was dealing with, then contemplate a solution. Ah ha! I thought I’d figured it out, so I went out to the garage and re-attached the cables to the bottom of the door. Good, I thought, that must be it!
With the automatic opener disconnected, I tried to lift the door manually and it was like a dead weight glued to the floor – no way! Hmmm, I stood there and looked at everything. “Why does that torsion spring at the head of the garage door look so tight?” I thought. Maybe I’ve got this backwards! Maybe I need to reconnect this cable with the door UP so that when it comes down, the spring loosens up!
Brilliant! But all I had to do is get the door up again…….that bloody, heavy door. Even with Nellie’s help we barely raised it off the floor and darn near broke a toe. So again, when Melvin got home, he lifted to door up while I propped it with 2×4 pieces of lumber to hold it there. I spent the next two hours winding the cable around the drum after I got it re-attached to the bottom of the garage door, which was only a foot away from the drum when raised. I found an assortment of sizes of wood and a pair of vice grips to help me slowly lower the door manually, 3″ at a time.
Propping up the Garage door
Up and down I went – with the cable attached it was easy to go up now. But every time I did, the left cable came unraveled from the drum! Grrrrr! Okay, what is the reason for this? Could it be simply because I was pushing and the automatic opener wasn’t pulling? Hmmm. What have I got to lose, I thought! So I plugged in the automatic door opener ……….. and ran out back, hiding behind the door just in case springs and cables flung off while it was being lowered. I held my breath, said a little prayer, and pressed the button. Eureka! The door went down without a hitch! I couldn’t believe it! I pressed it to go up and no problem! And down again, then back up again! I took a deep breath and felt very proud. But I knew that it wasn’t over yet. I wasn’t going to end this day until I reinforced that motor bracket (that keeps popping off) to the ceiling. So I brought the drill inside and charged up the battery. A few hours later, I went out to the garage and climbed up that rickety old wooden ladder and screwed a piece of wood into the ceiling then screwed the bracket to the wood!
In the 22 hours since I fixed it, the garage door has worked smoothly. Fingers crossed! Here’s hoping for many more years of service – I did discover that you are supposed to do annual maintenance to garage door hardware. Who knew!?!
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