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Frequently Asked Door Questions

We love to help people with their garage doors and garage door openers.

Whether you're our customer or not, we want to help make your doors and openers work great and function safely.

I have a broken spring on my garage door. Do I need to replace both springs?

   First, for a complete understanding, the vast majority of modern garage doors use either extension springs or torsion springs. Here's how to identify what your door uses and if you should replace both:

   Extension springs - These springs are mounted beside the horizontal tracks that hang overhead. They will stretch down the sides of the track as the door closes and retract as the door opens. These springs pull independently of one another. So, we recommend changing both springs if one breaks. This is because the new spring will be much stronger than the old one and will cause the door to pull crooked and prevent proper adjustment and function.

   Torsion springs - These springs are mounted on a bar/shaft over the top of the door opening. They twist and wind/unwind as the door moves. These springs apply a force to the bar/shaft which then turns to lift the door. Hence, it is perfectly fine to replace only one spring. However, be aware that the lifespan of the springs is fairly consistent. If the other spring is not replaced, it could last you for several more years or several more months before it breaks. There's typically no way to tell visually. We like to let all of our customers know this, though, and let them make a fully informed decision.

My door slammed down to the floor as it was closing. What's that about?

The majority of the time this is caused by a broken spring. The door's springs actually provide the force needed to lift your door. When a spring breaks the door becomes too heavy for the opener to safely open and close the door and can cause the door to slam shut. When this happens be sure to have the door repaired as soon as possible and, if at all possible, refrain from using the door opener. Using an opener to open a door with a broken spring can actually damage the opener due to the excessive weight of the door. 

How should I lubricate my garage door & opener?

   You should lubricate your door about once every two or three months with a light weight lubricant (preferably silicone or white lithium based). Do not use motor oil. Over time motor oil will collect dust and debris and create a "gunk" on your door that can actually hinder smooth motion (and it creates a mess).

   Spray a small amount of lubricant on each roller, on each hinge's pivot points, and on the inside surface of the track where the rollers travel.

   If you have a door that uses extension springs (stretch down the track as the door closes), lubricate the spring pulleys.

   If you have a door that uses torsion springs (sit on a bar overhead), spray lubricant onto the surface of the springs so that they can twist/wind more freely.

   If you have a garage door opener, be sure the rail is lubricated to help the "traveler" operate smoothly back and forth as the door opens and closes.

My garage door opener hums but nothing moves. What's going on?

   If nothing moves, this usually means that the internal drive gear of the motor has worn out. These gears can be replaced and the opener should work for many more years, but we leave that decision completely up to the customer. The average reliable lifespan of an opener is usually somewhere around 14 years depending upon the size/weight of the door and how often it is used each day. Based upon this knowledge, some customers decide to go ahead and get an entirely new opener (new McDaniel Door warranty, new factory warranties, updated technology, etc.) rather than repairing the old one.

   It's also a good idea to have your door checked out thoroughly by a door professional when this problem has occurred. There could be another issue, such as a broken spring, that actually caused excessive force and wear on the drive gear. 

My garage door opener chain/belt is moving but the door isn't. What's going on?

   It could be that someone/something has pulled the disconnect rope (hangs down from the "arm" that connects the door to the opener) and the door hasn't locked back into the opener's traveler (the part that moves back and forth along the rail to lift/close the door). Door openers all have a way to disconnect the door so that it can be lifted manually if needed. This may be all that has happened. It varies from brand to brand, but you may need to pull the disconnect rope forwards or backwards in order to reset the locking mechanism so it will reconnect to the traveler as it passes by.

   If you are certain the traveler is connected, then you will need to have your door checked out by a door technician to see what else may be happening. It could be an internal issue with the opener itself or a number of other issues.


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