Dan's Garage Door Blog

Prices on the Rise

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 12:34 pm by Dan Musick

Due to the recent tariffs added to Chinese imports material prices across the board are rising. This is especially true in our industry.

Many garage door parts such as rollers are made only in China and, as a result, costs for these are directly increased.

We hope to limit the increase in our garage door parts prices to around eight percent.

The same increase of about eight percent is true for our dock leveler parts as well.

All of our garage door springs are made in the United States, but because of competition with imported steel, prices for the US-made steel torsion springs have risen twice this year. As a result on Monday, June 18, we will be increasing our prices about 15 percent to cover these two increases.

We regret this unfortunate turn of events.

We wish you all the best in these changing times.

FedEx and Walgreens Team Up

Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Dan Musick

In a recent bid to offer even more options and convenience to customers, FedEx has partnered with Walgreens to provide FedEx Ground and Express package pickup in every Walgreens nationwide. As an internet retail company, we are always quick to extend these benefits to our customers.

Starting April 27th, 2018 this shipping option will now be available for eligible orders. Restrictions include:

  • Dock leveler parts
  • Orders under $20 (before shipping/handling)
  • Select spring orders to California on Wednesday/Thursday (Drop shipped from our supplier)

When filling out the order online, enter your name in the customer box. In the company box enter “C/O Walgreens.” Then enter the address for your local Walgreens. If you are ordering by phone, just provide the address of the store. The person whose name is on the order will need to bring identification when picking up the packages.

Once the tracking indicates that the package has been delivered, head to your local Walgreens . . . 

Go to the photo/service desk . . . 

Provide photo I.D. and pick up the package.

Normal package delivery to your home is always available, but here are some advantages to picking up your packages at Walgreens:


  • Pick up the package on your own schedule, while out running errands, driving home from work, etc.
  • If you know you will be out of town when the package is delivered, you can have it waiting for you at Walgreens instead of relying on a neighbor to bring a package inside.
  • Kill two birds with one stone – pick up other items you need while in the store.


  • Packages are held securely, not left out on the porch or driveway.
  • If inclement weather is expected, you can keep the package out of the elements. This is especially helpful since many of our products like radio controls or garage door springs can be damaged by excessive moisture.

Obsolete Garage Door Seals

Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Dan Musick

Over the years a number of customers have asked us to if we carry a seal to match what they have on their door. All of the weatherstripping we carry is on our Garage Door Seals page.

Below are a number of seals that are no longer available. If the seal you need is pictured below, we suggest you search for your seal on Google Images. Just drag a picture of your seal into the search box and a number of images will show up in the results.

Below are pictures of images that we cannot find, and which appear to be no longer available.



Red Paint for Safety

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 at 3:13 pm by Dan Musick

Over the years manufacturers have sought to build more safety into their products. In addition to warning labels, garage door manufacturers often powder coat products with red paint to alert technicians of potential danger.

Probably the most dangerous component is the winding cone on a garage door torsion spring. Many people have been injured by these because they did not have the correct information to do the work. Painting the heads of the set screws has helped prevent many injuries.

All the new Cable Drums come standard with the red set screws. Loosening setscrews on a cable drum can be extremely dangerous.

Manufacturers are also powder coating their spring anchor brackets red. I once fixed a door for a man who loosened one of these brackets because the wood to which it was attached was splitting. The bracket spun around numerous times, breaking his arm in 14 places and he almost died. He was in the hospital for a month.  Here is Raynor’s new residential bracket.


Raynor’s earlier commercial and industrial brackets were galvanized and silver colored, as you see in this older bracket.

The new Raynor Spring Anchor Brackets are red, and also longer on the bottom to provide for more torque on the springs.

Spring tension is transferred from the winding cone to the shaft, to the cable drum on each side, and down to the bottom of the door where the cable is attached to the bottom fixture, as you can see on this CHI garage door.

Because of the tension on the bottom fixture, removing the fixture without first removing the tension is extremely dangerous. One of my customers removed one of these and I think the doctor sewed up his head with about fifteen stitches.

Garage door work is dangerous, and we are thankful to all who are doing their part to make it safer.


Future Employees

Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Dan Musick

This morning I heard that the unemployment rate was around four percent, which is about as low as I can ever remember it being. Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that there is a shortage of workers in the Midwest. This week one of our employees provided a solution for our shortage of qualified help: birthing children.

Meet Lilias Ohrid Worley, daughter of Maggie and Daryle. Daryle is one of our salesmen. Lily was named after Lilias Trotter, an artist and missionary to Algeria. Her middle name is from Lake Ohrid in Albania where Lily’s parents met while working with youth in Albania as part of the missions ministry at Grace Church of DuPage.

Congratulations Daryle and Maggie!

To help advance Lily’s career we will be starting her with a special toy. Mothers think babies like soft blankets and cuddly stuffed animals. But we know better. We’re getting her a nice, hard and shiny Irwin brand vise grip.

This is the only brand of grip we use in the garage door business. Not many months pass where we don’t bet our lives and well-being on these grips. And, you can fix anything with a vise grip, even a broken heart. I bet some dentists have also discovered how handy they are.

Vise grips should be the key tool in MacGyver’s tool chest. They fall into the special class of panaceas. Those who have had to improvise know what I mean. Take, for example, WD-40. No more squeaks – and I heard you can fix a bum knee by rubbing the stuff into your knee. Duct tape is another panacea. I also understand it helped get some of the astronauts back from the moon. And what about bailing wire? No skilled doorman can honestly state that at least one time bailing wire was the best solution for a  particular application. Why, I heard once that a bunch of that stuff was used to help pull an elephant out of quicksand. 🙂

Good Friday & Resurrection Sunday

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 at 10:11 am by Dan Musick

Two of the greatest events in history:

Good Friday – Jesus died to forgive the sins of all who would believe in Him!

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:6-10, NKJV)

Resurrection Sunday – Jesus rose from the dead!

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:1-7 NKJV)

Omron Photo Eye Installation

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 at 3:29 pm by Dan Musick

In 2016 we showed the critical wiring connections on our blog titled How to Install Omron E3JM Photo Eyes on Powermaster Operators.

In this blog, I’ll show how I installed the eyes on a job nearby.

I used a four strand wire. The emitter has two screws for power, and the receiver has four screws – two for power and two to reverse the operator travel. The black and white wires on terminals 1 & 2 go to the power, usually to the operator, but any other source will work. The green and red wires go from the receiver to the operator to reverse the door when an obstruction blocks the eyes.

Here are the installation directions.

Turn off the power to the operator before mounting the eyes or hooking up any of the wires.

Use angle or brackets to mount the eyes four to six inches from the floor, and point them toward each other. If the sun shines into the building mount the emitter so the sun shines on it. Sunshine on the receiver will often prevent the operator from closing the door. The eye with 2 screws is the emitter.

Secure a black and a white wire to the  #1 & #2 screws of the emitter. Run the wires up over the door and down to the receiver on the other side.

Here you will connect eight wires from two wiring harnesses. Twist the black and white wires from the emitter to the black and white wires going to the operator, and secure these wires to the same #1 & #2 screws of the receiver.

Notice on the right side of the receiver that there are three screws. The #3 above is not used.

In the wiring strand going to the operator are an additional green and red wire. Connect the red wire to #4 and green wire to #5.

Run all four wire strands to the operator terminal.

For power connect the black and white wires to terminals #11 and #12. When the power is turned on there should be 24 -28 volts on these two terminals. Connect the red and green wires to terminals #8, and #9.

Turn on the power to the operator and test the eyes.

Important: Running a jumper and shorting the #8 and #9 contacts will reverse the door when it is closing. It will also keep the door from closing. When power is going to the eyes these contacts are normally open. When there is no power, or when the eyes are blocked, the contacts from the receiver eye close and the door will not close, or the door will reverse when it is in the process of closing.


Outside Sales Help Wanted

Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Dan Musick

Our business is expanding and we’re looking for someone to help with outside sales. Some travel is required.

For the qualified individual, we are offering $6,000 per month plus commissions after a minimum sales figure has been reached. The job involves contacting commercial and industrial accounts.

The garage door industry is challenging, and a mechanical aptitude in the 99th percentile is a must. You can check yours by taking a preliminary mechanical aptitude test, copying the URL of the results, and emailing us the link through our contact page.

The qualified salesperson will be one of outstanding character and high moral values consistent with who we are.

Education, mechanical experience and knowledge of the door industry will also help.


Sales Help Wanted

Friday, March 2nd, 2018 at 6:26 pm by Dan Musick

DDM Garage Doors in West Chicago, Illinois is growing, and we need someone to help customers in the United States and around the world get parts for their garage doors and dock equipment.

Job Description

  • Help customers get the parts they need via phone, email, fax and local purchases.
  • Prepare and file written quotes including shipping over the road and international shipping.
  • Provide technical support for mechanical, electric, and hydraulic equipment, as well as for weather seals.
  • Provide solutions for parts used in special applications.
  • Resolve customer complaints regarding orders, delivery, damage, and returns.
  • Interface with operations, website production, purchasing, and warehouse.
  • Help manage customer records.
  • Help with a variety of tasks.


  • High mechanical ability. You may have a high mechanical aptitude even if you have never fixed anything. We suggest you try this mechanical aptitude test. Just click the appropriate link.
  • Curious about how things work
  • Detailed and organized
  • Honest
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • High school education
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills
  • Ability to manage emails and other communications
  • Internet proficient
  • Word and spreadsheet proficient
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
  • Hard working and motivated
  • Ability to create solutions for a wide variety of applications

More information about our company is on our blog titled “Who are We?”

If interested, please contact us.

How to Replace TorqueMaster One Springs

Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Dan Musick

This week we posted our new TorqueMaster Spring Replacement video on YouTube.

This was created to use in conjunction with our written Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster Torsion Spring Replacement instructions with pictures and animated gifs.

It took a while, but I believe the quality was worth the wait. Do-it-yourselfers can now watch the video and determine if they want to buy TorqueMaster Springs and replace them without having to pay, in some cases, outrageous fees to have an outside contractor do the work.

I wrote the script, and Chris David shot and edited the video. Way to go, Chris!

We spent a lot of time showing how to remove the plastic liner from the tube. Over the years this has been a problem with many of our customers.

At DDM Garage Doors we wish those of you who view the video all the best.


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