Technical Support

How to Identify Doors by Model Number, Serial Number, and PID Numbers

Friday, July 28th, 2017 at 6:38 pm by Andrew Koetters

If you have a garage door made by Clopay Building Products Company, Ideal Door Company, or Holmes Garage Door Company, you may be able to use the model number, PID number, or serial number to determine the door weight so you can select the proper replacement springs. Finding the label that contains these numbers may save time and energy that you would otherwise spend measuring the springs or weighing the door. However these labels can be difficult to find. Here are some helpful tips.

A garage door has three dimension: width, height and thickness. Labels with the model numbers are normally found on the thickness part at one end of each section. This is for ease of identification when doors are stacked at the factory or distribution center.

If the installer happened to leave behind the wrapping materials or the door installation guide, you may be able to find your door model there.

 

Clopay Doors

Most Clopay doors have labels placed on the inside of the door, usually at the left end of the bottom or first intermediate section. Sometimes the sticker is at the right end of the door. On this label you will find the door serial number. Usually the model number of the door is embedded in the serial number, but on newer doors it is embedded in a separate PID number, as you see in this Model 4050 below.

Clopay began using this white sticker with the orange warning label in 2003, and the company still uses it. The serial number, designated as “S/N,” usually has 12 numbers with an additional letter. The PID number has 17 letters; it includes both the model number and the door size, here “8000800,” designating a door that is eight feet wide and eight feet high.

The yellow sticker shown below was used from about 1998 to 2003. The serial numbers during those years contained 16-18 digits. The model numbers are usually located in the middle of the serial number as you see here in this model 4050.

Before 1997 Clopay used blue stickers on their doors with 15-16 digits in the serial number as you see in this model 1000.

Over the years Clopay has used a number of other stickers, such as this white label stuck to the top of an intermediate section.

  

Identifying labels will also be found on flag brackets which support the vertical and horizontal tracks.

 Ideal Doors

Ideal has used a variety of stickers over the years. As with most manufacturers, labels are stuck to one end of each section as we see here with the door partly open on this S/R 4RST door.  If you are unable to open the door, look behind the lower vertical track with a flashlight on both sides of the door to find this label. The 3-6 digit model number should be listed as a standalone number.

Ideal also uses labels mounted on the inside face of the sections, similar to what is found on Clopay doors as you can see on this model R6R4 garage door.

Many of the Ideal doors have long serial numbers just as Clopay  has. Below you can see the model number RDP38 embedded in the serial number.

Newer Ideal doors have the longer serial numbers and PID numbers as is visible on this model SRP-38 door. As with the Clopay doors the serial number, designated as “S/N,” usually has 12 numbers with an additional letter. The PID number has 17 letters; it includes both the model number and the door size, here “160007,” designating a door that is 16′ feet wide and eight feet high.

Holmes Doors

Similar to Ideal Door, Holmes labels list a standalone model number. And like Ideal or Clopay, a Holmes label may be stuck to the flag bracket or on one side of the reinforcing strut if there is one.

IMPORTANT: If you live in Florida or along the coast, you may have a wind rated door as you see above. The “W6” after the model 42 designates a wind code rating of six. Clopay, Ideal and Holmes all use similar wind code designations, but their part numbers will be different.

 

Making Sense of a Long Part Number

If you find a long part number, if there is no PID number, and if you can’t identify the model number, look in the middle of the part number and check one of our pages where we offer springs by model, manufacturer and serial number. On our Standard Torsion Springs page, for example, you will click “Model Number” and then select the manufacturer. After that, click the draw down menu and find your model number in the list.

The model numbers in the list above have between two and four digits. Look for these digits in the middle of the long part number on your garage door. On rare exceptions you will not be able to find the number on our list because some models were in production for only a short time. If you need help please contact us.

Torsion Spring Winding Systems

Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 1:52 pm by Andrew Koetters

Winding residential torsion springs is dangerous. If you are not careful, and if you do not have the proper tools, it is easy to get hurt. To make the process safer for DIYers, a number of garage door manufacturers have developed their own spring winding systems. Below are the more common ones.

Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster Winders

There are two types of winding units for the Wayne Dalton Springs: the original TorqueMaster I system, and the newer TorqueMaster Plus, also called the TorqueMaster II, system. In each system the spring or springs mount inside a metal shaft and the winding units mount at the very ends of the shaft to the vertical jamb and flag angle.

TorqueMaster I. The winding unit for the original system contains gears that are wound using a drill with a 7/16” socket or nut driver. The teeth of the drive gear secures the winding cone. The spring winds as the winding bolt turns the worm gear, which turns the drive gear. A numbered wheel on the unit indicates the number of turns on the spring.

 

TorqueMaster II. The TorqueMaster Plus winder uses a ratcheting system and a 5/8” socket to wind the springs. The gears turn the winding cone at each end and the ratcheting mechanism holds the spring tension. There is no wheel to record the turns. Installers mark the shaft or socket to count the number of turns.

 

Here are some additional helpful links: Wayne Dalton Garage Door Parts, Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster Torsion Springs, TorqueMaster Torsion Spring Replacement, How to Unwind TorqueMaster Plus Springs, and How to Wind Torquemaster One Springs.

Clopay, Ideal & Holmes EZ-Set Winders

This system requires gapped torsion springs that mount on the outside of the shaft. The winding units mount next to the cable drums on an end bracket that bolts and screws to the jamb and end plates. The winder cone slides into the winder and the opposite end secures to the shaft with set screws. After the spring cones are secured, tension is applied by turning the winding screw with a drill.

 

 

Here are some additional helpful links: Left side winders, Right side winders, EZ-Set Parts, How to Replace EZ-Set Torsion Springs, How to Convert from EZ-Set Springs to Standard Torsion Springs,

Arrow Tru-Line – ATL – S3 Winders

The ATL winder mounts near the center of the shaft and functions as both a spring anchor bracket and spring winder for standard residential torsion springs. The stationary cones secure to the spring winder and the winding cones secure to the shaft with set screws. The springs must be stretched before tightening the set screws. Once the spring is stretched and the set screws are secured, a drill is used to turn the tensioning screw and wind the spring or springs. Only standard residential torsion springs and standard lift drums are compatible with this winder.

You’ll find Instructions for Installing Arrow Tru-Line Winders on our ATL Winder page.

Spring King – Simple Set – Winders

Similar to the other winders these mount near the ends of the spring shaft and they are bolted to special end bearing plates. The winder end of the spring secures to a steel plate mounted on the winding unit shaft. The cone at the other end is secured to the shaft with set screws. The springs must be stretched before being wound. The distance of stretch is based on the spring’s wire size and the door height. Turning the winding screw rotates the winding unit plate and thus pulls the steel plate closer to the winder. Once the plate meets the winding unit, the spring starts to wind. These units work only with standard residential torsion springs and cable drums.

Overhead Door – OHD – Armortite Winders

As with the other winders OHD the left wind spring mounts to the left end of the shaft and the right wind spring mounts to the right end. Unlike most of these systems, each spring mounts inside its own aluminum tube – thus the name “ARMOR”TITE.

The tabs of the stationary cones secure into the cable drums and the tabs of the winding cones secure into a retaining plate. The outer shape of this plate matches the indentations in the aluminum tube which is secured to the winding unit.

The winding unit mounts on the end plate and to the inside of the cable drum. To wind the spring, a retention pin must be removed from the winder and the winder must be turned clockwise using a hand drill with a 5/16” Allen hex bit. Instructions for this equipment begin on page 28 of the Overhead Door Residential Installation Instruction Manual.

Dan’s Reviews

Standard torsion spring systems are the least expensive and they provide the most options. However, they are also the most dangerous. That’s why winders were developed.

When selecting a winder system to convert from extension springs or from standard torsion springs to a spring winder system, there are several factors to consider: quality, material cost, shipping cost, amount of work, adaptability to jackshaft operation, and the ability to upgrade the cycle life of the springs.

We do not recommend converting to the Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster System because of the material and shipping costs. These start at $250 to $300 for a single car door and, because of special crating and over the road shipping, prices start from $600 for a double car door. Cycle life options are also limited, and these are not readily adaptable to jackshaft operation.

Nor do we recommend converting to the Clopay EZ Set System. This is because the winders are made of plastic and we’ve seen a lot of problems with those over the years. The specially gapped springs with special spacers also cost about twice as much as the standard springs, longer life options are limited, and jackshaft openers can not be installed on them.

We don’t recommend the Overhead Door Armortite System because of the cost, and because of the difficulty of installation. These systems are jackshaft operator compatible.

We usually recommend the Arrow Tru-Line Winder. It is usually the least expensive, it usually requires the least amount of work, and it allows for installing any of the longer life torsion springs we provide. There are two disadvantages. One is that the springs have to be stretched before winding. This can be challenging when the wire size is larger than .250. In addition to this, with the ATL Winder you can wind and unwind the springs a total of three times before you risk damaging the gears. Normally this will not be a problem. These winders are jackshaft operator compatible.

The Spring King / Simple Set Winders are the only other winders we would recommend. This system allows for installing any of the longer life torsion springs we provide, and, for a single spring system the cost is actually a little less than the cost of the ATL Winder. On a two spring system, however, the cost is almost twice as much. Installing these may also be a little more work. The two advantages over the ATL Winders is that the Spring King Winding System stretches the springs for you, and there is no limit to the number of times you can wind and unwind your springs. These winders are also jackshaft operator compatible.

Garage Door Noise

Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 3:41 pm by Andrew Koetters

Ultimately, every garage door opener will make noise. It’s impossible to get something as large and as heavy as a garage door to be whisper quiet. In earlier decades it didn’t matter because many garages were detached, but in the last 20-25 years most single family homes have been built with attached garages. As a result bedrooms are often above the garage, and living rooms are beside the garage separated with just a wall. Each week we get a number of requests from customers who would like to reduce the noise coming from their garage doors.

To get rid of noise, first determine whether it is coming from the door or the opener. Disengage the opener from the door and then open and close the door manually. If you don’t hear the noise when doing this, the opener is the source of the noise. Otherwise the noise is probably coming from the door.

Here are a few suggestions for quieting your door.

 

Lubricating the Door

One easy way to eliminate noise from the door is to lubricate all the moving parts. End bearings, center bearings, springs, hinges, and rollers can all make noise. We recommend using a spray lubricant designed for garage doors, 3-IN-ONE® oil, or non-detergent motor oil such as 10W30 or 5W30. Do not use WD-40® as that acts more like a cleaner and it actually removes the existing lubrication.

Also, if you have dry torsion springs do not lubricate the last five coils on each end. If oil gets under the coils the spring can come loose causing it to unwind and the door to fall if it is open. This tutorial should help:

 

Installing Nylon Rollers

Another way to quiet the door is to replace the existing steel rollers with nylon rollers. Most doors ship from the factory with steel rollers. The main source of noise with these is steel wheels rolling on the steel tracks. This noise can be reduced some by adding a small amount of oil on the horizontal tracks, and lubricating the wheels of the rollers, but ultimately steel on steel will make some noise.

The alternative is to install nylon rollers. These can be found on our rollers page. The nylon rollers are more expensive than steel rollers, but reducing the noise may be worth the higher cost. We often get questions regarding durability of nylon verses steel rollers. Our 11-ball nylon rollers last as long as the standard 10-ball steel rollers, but beware of cheap plastic rollers. They appear to be similar to the higher quality nylon rollers, but many do not have ball bearings, and they wear down quickly. Many do have the ball bearing rollers, but they fall apart after only a few years. This tutorial should be helpful if you would like to install new nylon rollers to quiet your door:

 

Reducing Opener Noise

The final potential source of noise is the garage door opener. Whether new or old, there is always a certain amount of hum and vibration from the motor. This noise is especially loud above the garage, as the vibration travels up the mounting angle and through the ceiling to the floor above. The best solution we’ve found is to hang the opener from the angle with bungee cords. You want to use shorter, stronger bungee cords to make sure there isn’t too much stretch. Ideally you should use two bungee cords, one to hang the opener, and then one going around the bottom of the opener body in order to support it and eliminate any side to side movement.

It’s also possible for the opener to create higher pitched squeaks or grinding noises, as in this Sears opener with a worn bushing. Two of the more common noises include stripped gears in Chamberlain / Sears Craftsman / Liftmaster openers.

We also see a lot of stripped trolleys on Genie screw drive openers. Other causes include a lack of grease on the internal gears and bushings, a lack of oil on the chain if you have a chain drive opener, or lack of grease on a screw-drive opener. For any sort of squeaking or grinding noise, make sure you check the opener for proper lubrication, and be sure to use only the grease recommended by the manufacturer.

 

High Lift Kit FAQ

Friday, June 16th, 2017 at 1:27 pm by Andrew Koetters

 

1: How much does a high lift kit cost?

A custom high lift from DDM typically costs $200 – $350 when an operator is not included and $600 – $750 when an operator is included. In addition to the kit cost, expect shipping costs of $50 – $100, sometimes more if the kit is pre-assembled or includes extra hardware. Note: these price ranges are estimates, NOT guarantees.

 

2: How long does it take to receive the high lift kit?

On average, DDM receives 20-25 high lift inquiries every week. When we receive an inquiry, we look it over and judge based on our 35 years of experience whether there are any measurements or specs of concern. We will often contact customers if something looks unusual so as to confirm that we have all of the correct information. If the measurements are reasonable and the customer contacts us soon after receiving the email quote, the turn-around time can be as quick as 1-2 days. Once the kit ships from our warehouse, shipping time within the lower 48 states is usually 1-4 business days. Expect longer transit time for Hawaii/Alaska, or if shipping internationally.

 

3: How high can I mount my high lift assembly?

Our custom high lift program designs each high lift assembly with the shaft mounted four inches away from the ceiling and jamb. This is to allow sufficient space for the standard high lift cable drum which has an outer diameter of almost 6”. This will place your horizontal tracks 7.75” – 8.75” away from the ceiling. On assemblies with more than 54” of high lift, the horizontal tracks will be closer to 10” away from the ceiling because even larger drums are required. In reality, the tracks can usually extend another inch or two without any problem, but we cannot guarantee the door will operate without issue.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2016/01/11/high-lift-how-high-can-i-go/

 

4: What does it mean to have a “balanced door”?

A “balanced door” is one which stays on the floor when closed, remains at rest when in the middle of its travel, and stays up when opened fully. This will be the case if you have the correct springs that are wound the correct number of turns. If your springs are correct but you still have problems balancing the door, you can usually adjust the springs accordingly, up to ½ turn in either direction. If you still have balance issues, check the cable timing on the drum. On a high lift assembly with the correct cables installed, the cable should begin wrapping on the flat portion of the drum as the top roller of the door begins rolling on the horizontal tracks. If your cable does not perform this way, then the cable is either too short or it was improperly installed.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2015/11/03/a-balanced-garage-door/

 

5: Can I reuse the springs from my previous application?

Most customers understand that standard length cables will need to be changed out for longer cables on a high lift assembly, but it’s a common misconception that the springs can be reused. Because the vertical portion of the door travel is now extended, there is not an immediate weight offload into the horizontal tracks. Additional turns are needed on the springs to account for the extra distance and extra stationary weight (see question 6). However, simply applying more turns to your current springs will not work because then the force of the springs will be too great when the door is in the closed position, and it will not close all the way. Instead, you need to purchase springs which are specifically sized for the new setup.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2015/11/12/common-high-lift-problems/

 

6: Why do high lift systems require more turns on the springs?

When the door is in the open position on a standard lift setup almost 100% of the door weight is sitting in the horizontal tracks. This allows the springs to be almost fully unwound, with about ½ turn on the springs just to hold tension on the cables. Once a high lift kit is installed and the tracks are modified, the door will still only open to just past the opening. Instead of sitting fully horizontal, a portion of the door will be held in a vertical position. Therefore, a percentage of the door weight still needs to be held by the springs. The new larger springs, requiring additional turns, hold this extra weight. Depending on the amount of high lift installed, it could be as much as 2-4 extra full turns. This is also a reason that the previous springs cannot be reused (see question 5).

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2015/12/11/how-many-turns-do-you-wind-a-torsion-spring/

 

7: Can I reuse the drums from my previous application?

You cannot reuse your old drums. Due to the longer vertical travel in a high lift assembly, the resting weight of the door will stay constant for the first few feet of travel. But as soon as the springs start unwinding they begin to lose force. The tapered ends of the high lift drums account for this by proportionally decreasing the moment arm as the springs unwind and thus helping the door stay balanced throughout this vertical extension. The flat portion of the high lift drum is then used as the weight of the door is offloaded into the remaining horizontal track (see question 4). Standard lift cable drums are completely flat and therefore the moment arm doesn’t change.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2015/11/12/common-high-lift-problems/

 

8: Why is my track extension shorter than the inches of high lift?

A common point of confusion for high lift customers is the fact that the track they are adding to the vertical (track extension) does not seem to reach the ceiling. In reality there are two dimensions, the length of the track extension, and the inches of high lift. The “inches of high lift” (see photo above) is the distance between the top of the closed door and centerline of the horizontal track, as a flat plane. Therefore, even standard lift systems technically have a few “inches of high lift.” The vertical track extension just adds to this dimension, placing the tracks as close as possible to the ceiling. The track extension simply adds to the inches of high lift, it is not equal to it.

 

9: I purchased a high lift kit in the last few years. Why are my cables fraying?

Back in 2015 we came across an issue with the high lift cable drums having rough edges. These rough edges were left by seams in the molds used for casting these drums. While the rough edges do not compromise the drums in any way, over time the installed cables can get worn down and start fraying. We have been working with customers that purchased high lift kits during this time to get the cables replaced and to fix the drums to avoid future issues. The rough edges can be ground down with a hand file or angle grinder and the drums can still be used without issue. We now make sure to grind down the rough edges of the drums before they are shipped out with a kit. Please contact us if you still run into this fraying problem.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2015/11/16/rough-edges-on-high-lift-drums/

 

10: Is a vertical lift a good alternative to a high lift?

The appropriate answer is “Which one do you need?” While high lift doors rise a given distance vertically before entering the horizontal tracks, vertical lift doors rise vertically for their entire travel. These doors do not require horizontal tracks because they rest above the door opening and “parallel” to the jamb. A vertical lift is typically the better option when there is sufficient ceiling height within the garage. Minimum ceiling height for a vertical lift is double the door height, i.e. 14’ ceiling for a 7’ tall door, etc. If the space is available, a vertical lift is a good long term option to allow maximum space for lighting, workshop equipment, or storage.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2011/10/13/vertical-lift-a-good-alternative-to-high-lift-garage-door/

 

11. How do I keep the windows from scraping the stop molding?

Because the door will no longer pitch immediately into the track radius as it opens, the track for a door with windows may require adjustment so as to avoid scraping the glass against the PVC stop molding or header. If you have windows installed on the door, in order to avoid the need for adjustment after installation, select the option in our high lift inquiry form that you have an outside lock or handle that you want to keep. This will provide the added pitch you need.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2016/02/08/gaps-on-high-lift-doors-with-windows/

 

12: What if I have low headroom tracks currently?

If you have low headroom tracks currently but sufficient headroom for a high lift assembly, the tracks can be modified to fit the high lift assembly using the parts we provide. You will need to separate the two track pieces in order to reuse the lower horizontal track and radius. We will provide the standard horizontal track angle to connect the track to the high lift angle. You will probably need to replace the top and bottom fixtures as well.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/blog/2016/03/15/converting-from-double-low-headroom-tracks-to-high-lift/  

 

 

When are leaf bumpers and push down bumper springs necessary?

Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 11:48 am by Andrew Koetters

Leaf bumpers or push down bumper springs are recommended for use on residential standard lift applications when using a jackshaft opener, as well as certain commercial applications.

Normally, if space allows, a standard overhead rail type opener is used for standard lift systems. These openers pull/push on the door directly to raise and lower it. If more overhead space is required, or you desire a nice “clean” look, a jackshaft opener can be used. This type of opener mounts on the header, and raises/lowers the door by driving the torsion spring shaft directly. For residential systems, we recommend the Liftmaster 8500.  This opener is designed and mainly used on high lift assemblies, but with the proper steps, can be used on a standard lift system.

When using this opener with standard lift tracks, the spring bumpers are necessary to ensure safe operation. This is because jackshaft openers rely on the door weight to keep tension on the cable.  These bumpers mount to the back of the horizontal tracks and provide forward/downward force on the door when it is in the horizontal tracks.

 

If the door is in the up position with minimal weight pulling down, there is a slight risk of the opener turning the shaft, the door not moving, and the cable unwinding off the drum. There is then nothing to stop the door from crashing to the floor and causing damage or injury to anything or anyone in its way. To counter this, the bumpers provide constant force pushing the door down from the back, which should keep the cable taught.

The recommend Liftmaster 8500 opener comes standard with a cable tension monitor for safety. A common question we get from customers is whether or not the cable tension monitor on the jackshaft will be sufficient to stop the opener, and hold the door if the cables were to go slack. Generally, this should work, but we do not recommend relying on it 100%. The spring bumpers are relatively cheap insurance to guarantee that the door will work properly and safely.

If you are interested in using a jackshaft operator on your standard lift door, we suggest using these spring bumpers in order to prevent property damage or serious injury.

 

Clopay Pinchproof – The Downside to Unique Hardware

Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 1:00 pm by Andrew Koetters

Just recently, Clopay stopped manufacturing the hinges for their specially designed Pinch Proof doors. One of the most common models to use Pinch Proof hinges is the model 150S (commonly found in the western U.S.). These pinch proof doors were originally developed in the 1980’s to protect against damaging fingers and other foreign objects that could potentially get caught between the door sections. Although some manufacturers had already developed other “Pinch-Proof-type” options, the designers of the Clopay Pinch Proof system sought to create a simpler design that both professional and DIY installers and repairmen can understand. Despite the attempt to develop an option that was both safe and fairly intuitive, these hinges were constructed with cheap steel and have been known to break at a high rate. This is not necessarily the reason why Clopay manufacturers discontinued the part, but it is certainly a disadvantage of the design. Here is a sampling of the Pinchproof hardware:

 

If you have a Pinch Proof door and one of your hinges has broken, you are left with only a few options:

  1. You may be able to find a company that still has these hinges in stock. At DDM, we still have a number of #0 and #4 Pinch Proof hinges in stock, but we no longer have any #1, #2, or #3 hinges. The pins and covers for these hinges are also still available on our website. Because of the nature of the Pinch Proof system, you cannot simply apply one of the standard hinges that we offer. Instead of placing the pivot point directly at the point of separation between the panels, the pivot point of the Pinch Proof hinges are below the point of separation between panels. Refer to the patent drawings below.
  2. You may be able to have a local metal fabrication or machine shop repair the hinge. It may work for a short time, but it will only function as a temporary repair.
  3. Regardless of your initial course of action, you will ultimately be faced with the third option: to purchase a new door. We recommend choosing a door that is designed for and uses standard hardware.

 


Sources below*


While specially manufactured systems like the Clopay Pinch Proof doors may provide a number of benefits for customers, this does not make them inherently “better” than doors with standard hardware. Seeing as the parts for these specially designed systems are often not interchangeable with standard hardware, the manufacturers of such parts offer very few options for customers once the parts are discontinued. Although DDM Garage Doors sells specially manufactured parts such as the Clopay Pinchproof, Wayne Dalton, and Amarr hardware, we generally recommend using systems which have standard hardware.

 

 

*United States Patent and Trademark Office – U.S. Patent 6,006,817

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=5&docid=06006817&IDKey=EEC703709CED&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect2%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526d%3DPALL%2526S1%3D6006817.PN.%2526OS%3DPN%2F6006817%2526RS%3DPN%2F6006817

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6006817

 

Solid or Hollow Stop Molding?

Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 1:00 pm by Andrew Koetters

In the garage door industry two different types of PVC stop molding are used – solid and hollow. So which one is better?

At DDM Garage Doors we have kept both the solid and the hollow stop molding pieces as stock items for as long as we’ve been in business. Recently we decided to discontinue the hollow stop molding, and for one simple reason – our customers prefer the solid pieces. The shape, size, and material are all about the same for both, but there are some key differences that impact installation and use.

Even though both types are made of a PVC material, the hollow stop molding is more rigid and brittle than the solid. Being less flexible makes the hollow stop molding vulnerable to breaking when bent, whether during storage, or when handled before installation. Furthermore, the hollow stops are extremely susceptible to cracking during installation, especially when there is a stray hit from a hammer. This problem is even more likely to occur when installing the stop molding in cold weather because hollow PVC is more brittle.

The main advantage to the hollow stop molding has always been the fact it costs less, but is this slight savings worth it? Based on what we have seen over the years customers prefer solid molding over the hollow, which is just a small fraction of the total stop molding sales.

At DDM Garage Doors we endeavor to provide our customers with the best possible product, and we believe that the solid PVC stop molding is the superior choice.

 

Solutions for Cable Problems on Doors with Jackshaft Operators

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 11:37 am by Dan Musick

There are two types of operators, trolley and drawbar.

On trolley type operators the drawbar arm pushes and pulls the top of the door to open and close it. On jackshaft operators the operator turns the torsion shaft to open and close the door. On this type of operator the cables normally loosen momentarily until the weight of the door pulls on the cables. Sometimes, however, the cables come off the drums when closing the door from the open position.

The best solution to prevent this problem is to pitch the horizontal tracks at least an inch for every foot of track  length. This allows the weight of the door to push down into the opening, thereby keeping the cables on the drums tight as the door closes.

 horizontal-track-pitch

When pitching the tracks is neither possible nor feasible, a second solution is to install pusher springs in the backs of the tracks to push the door down from the open position. This has been a helpful solution for many of the residential Liftmaster Model 8500 Openers that turn the torsion shaft to operate the door.

push-down bumper-springs

A third option is to install a larger drive sprocket on the end of the torsion shaft. This will reduce the turning speed of the torsion shaft rotation possibly eliminating the possibility of the cables coming loose.

A fourth solution is to install cable keepers. These will pull a few inches of loose cable away from each drum.

A fifth solution from the early years in the trade was to install 12″ of screen door spring, hooking one end to the bottom cable loop. We would stretch the top eight or more inches and secure it to the cable. The spring would pull the slack in the cables to prevent them from coming off the drums.

Converting from Two to Four Torsion Springs

Saturday, May 28th, 2016 at 2:38 pm by Dan Musick

When upgrading to longer life torsion springs, it is often better to convert to four smaller springs, especially when the springs are for heavier garage doors.

On a standard two spring system both springs are normally mounted back to back to the spring anchor bracket off-centered above the door.

2-spring-torsion-system

If the springs each weigh over 20 pounds, we recommend adding a bracket just beyond the end of the winding cone to support the weight. (The formula for locating the bracket before winding the spring is spring wire x number of turns plus four inches.)

shaft-support

Since an extra support bracket is needed beyond the end of each spring, we can just as easily use those brackets as spring anchor brackets for additional springs in a four spring setup. All that’s needed are extra 3/8″ X 1″ bolts and nuts.

A inquiry came in from Jordan regarding a 19′ wide X 7′ high door with a coupler in the middle of the shaft and two spring anchor brackets similar to the one in the image below.

shaft-coupler

Because the door is so heavy, we are recommending converting to four smaller springs to increase cycle life and manage the weight of the springs.

4-spring-torsion-system

 

Overhead Door vs. Arrow Tru-Line Hinges

Monday, May 9th, 2016 at 4:14 pm by Dan Musick

Overhead Door Corporation has discontinued production of their own brand of hinges.

The Arrow-Truline hinges are an excellent replacement, but the holes don’t always line up with the existing carriage bolts on the older wooden doors.

OHD-ATL-Hinges

You can see the difference in the image below.

OHD vs ATL Hinges

I have almost always been able to reuse the bottom two bolts and the lower bolt in the top of the hinge. The problem is with the top hole. If the top hole is drilled at the top of the slot, the bolt won’t fit. In the past I’ve either knocked the bolt down to fit in the top slot or I’ve removed the top bolt and re-drilled the hole pitching the bit so I could reuse the outside hole but angle the bolt down on the inside so the bolt fits the lower slot.

On steel doors the self-drilling teks should suffice for accommodating the new holes.