Hot Topics: Help! My Garage Door Has a Mind of Its Own!

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When you've bought a new home with a spacious garage, it can be a huge letdown to see that the door has issues. It is particularly troublesome if the door opening and closing without being guided into doing so. If your standard door seems to have a mind of its own, take a look at what these DIYers suspect the real issue could be. Once you know the cause, you can get it fixed and get on with your life.

Original Post: Garage Door Problem

JTM256 Member

I am having issues with the garage door on a house I purchased. The door does not have an automatic garage door opener. When I unlock the door, it wants to open quickly on its own. If left alone, it will open to the halfway point and then stop. If I open it the rest of the way, it will come back down to the halfway point and stop as soon as I let go of the door.

The door has a duel torsion spring setup (unknown age). They do not appear rusted and do not look damaged.

The door itself is an aluminum door with insulation (one car garage door - also unknown age).

Has anyone else had this issue or any insight that might help me get the door functioning again properly?

Highlights from the Thread

Norm201 Member

No! It should stay at nearly any position and not travel on it's own. And the fact that it wants to open quickly on it's own indicates very strong tension on those springs.

As you stated earlier, you have a torsion type spring. But you also say a dual spring but for a single car. Unusual but not unheard of. Please send pictures from far away and close up.

I suggest you get a professional garage door person to look at this and make proper adjustments.

IMHO I think you have an unsafe situation with a door that wants to open quickly on its own or will not stay up in the full open position.

CarbideTipped Forum Topic Moderator

A properly set up door will more or less stay at the mid position...but it will also stay open and stay closed, so something is wrong.

Since the way you judge spring tension is to open halfway and look for door to stay put or move only slowly one way or the other, and the door stays in the middle, the static tension seems OK.

So, I would think that either the springs are the wrong size, so their force vs rotation is wrong, or there is a problem with the tapered cones where the lift cables attach. Either wrong size, or backwards, something like that. When the door is all the way down, the cables should be no more than one full wrap around the wide diameter of the cones. They are tapered to lower the lifting force as the door nears full open since most of the weight is on the horizontal tracks at that point.

This is one of those cases when it might be best to call a door guy. They will know in a minute what's not right.

XSleeper Member

I have a couple 16" long pieces of 3/8" all thread ready rod for adjusting torsion springs. You stick them in the holes next to the square headset screws and hang onto them as you loosen the set screws. If your door is springing up too much, you could release the tension by maybe one turn, and see if that helps. You use 2 rods so that you can do it 1/4 turn at a time. But tension springs are dangerous, and as mentioned, if you do not feel safe or qualified to do the maintenance yourself, you can call in a pro. But this is a DIY site, so if you have questions about it, just ask.

I'm guessing that whoever had the door last either didn't have the strength to lift the door, or wanted it adjusted that way. Maybe it was an old man with a bad back. Lol

toxictom Member

Don't let them [garage door professionals] upsell you a new set of springs if the existing springs could be adjusted to open and close the door properly.

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