Is garage door really too heavy?


Old 08-07-17, 08:50 AM
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Is garage door really too heavy?

Mom's garage door is a solid wood (16'x7' I think). It has a front torsion spring set mounted to the door header. Both torsion springs were replaced sometime in the last 2 years due to one spring breaking. At the time, the tech commented that the door was really too heavy should be replaced. Last week, the center bracket for the spring mechanism ripped out of the wall and the springs unwound quite spectacularly (based on the amount of plaster dust spread over the car inside the garage). The bar came out of one of the end brackets as well. I tried to lift the door to get the car out until the tech could get there but even two adults couldn't budge it. Tech came out and made the repair by mounting the center bracket and setting the bar end back in the bracket. Again, the comment was that the door is too heavy and should be replaced. Note the the spring replacement and the bracket replacement were done by two different companies.

My thoughts on this is that the house/garage is over 50 years old so this door and spring arrangement can't be all bad. I suspect that while the door is heavy, there is more than a little bit of sales going on here. The bracket that came out of the wall had fairly short lag bolts (less than 2") holding it to the wall. Considering that the wall is finished plaster, I suspect the screws were put in by the last technician and were too short to adequately reach the wood door header. It is an all brick house so I suppose it is possible that shorter bolts were needed but I don't think so. Mom is considering replacing the door if it fails again while she owns it (1-3 years, max.). I think if this was a good repair, it should last 5-10 years (newer springs and a solid bracket) but if it does fail, I say don't replace the door.

My question is: Solid wood doors are still sold and serviced today so why would an older one be too heavy?

- Peter
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Old 08-07-17, 09:17 AM
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With wood comes weight so there would be more stress on the hardware. Usually wood garage doors get replaced because of rot. 50 yrs means it's been well maintained and probably not subjected to severe weather. While I would never opt for a wood garage door today, not sure I'd replace one that was still solid.
Old 08-07-17, 10:08 AM
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No, your door is not too heavy but the hardware and installation may be deficient. Heavier doors require heavier hardware and a stronger installation.

All that stated, I agree with Mark that IF your current door is in good condition there is no reason to replace it. If you DO choose replacement then, again, as Mark recommends, replace it with a modern steel door. I would further add to replace with a higher end insulated steel door.
Old 08-08-17, 03:40 AM
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Probably either your door gained weight or someone put the wrong springs on at one time or another... If your mom wants to keep the door you should have it weighed with no spring tension, any door company will be able to calculate what springs should be on there. you can disconnect your door from the opener and put it on a bathroom scale to see how heavy it is with spring tension on it. 20-30 lbs heavy or more then you should have springs replaced.
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