Known as the Door Operator Guru, Roy Bardowell is one of the most respected and knowledgeable men in the garage door and operator industry. His special passion for residential garage door, commercial door and gate operators leaves an impression on everyone he meets. Roy's training sessions at IDA Expos are always the one of the most widely attended sessions. He has been recognized by IDEA with the "Commitment to Excellence Award" and is an IDEA Certified Door Dealer Consultant. Roy was Operations Manager at Guardian until 2012. We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.


One or Two Springs?

by Roy Bardowell, CDDC

Homeowners have no idea what’s best for their garage door, but garage door installers are perfectly aware that the use of 2 springs on a double door have inherent advantages that can make the automatic door system last longer and be safer. Most homeowners believe the motor operator lifts their garage door, but really it is the springs that do 75% of the lifting. The motor operator only replaces the need for a person to be involved and can deliver remote operation of their garage door.

I first noticed the use of one counterbalancing spring in 2008. After the 2007 housing crises, home builders put extreme pressure on garage door installers and other contractors to cut costs. One way to cut cost on two car garage doors is by using only one spring instead of the normal two springs. In this case safety took a back seat behind profit.

On single one-car garage doors, only one spring is necessary to balance the door. Even on two-car garage doors, one spring can be engineered to lift the door, however it shouldn’t be done for these reasons. When there are two springs both share the load and neither spring is over-worked. Spring wire doesn’t last forever and eventually the wire will reach its end and you will have a fracture in the spring. With one spring taking all the load, you can expect it will fracture sooner than later. Murphy’s law ensures this will happen at the most inopportune moment.

When this happens, the spring becomes totally useless and will provide no lift in opening the door. With two springs in the counterbalancing system, if one fractures you still have the 50% strength left in the second that can help lift the door.

A strong person can usually provide the lift along with the one spring to open the garage door. Furthermore, a motor operator with a ¾ HP motor may provide the extra power to open the garage door with only one good spring. Although ¾ HP sounds like a lot of power, it is insufficient to lift the two-car door alone. Even if it could there are components in the operator drive which would soon tire and fail prematurely, costing you more to repair than a spring replacement you will also run the risk of damaging the top section of your door when the ¾ HP operator tries to open a door which is no longer counterbalanced. You see, the best way to avoid damage and expensive repairs down the road on your two–car garage door is with a proper two spring counter-balanced system.

So, what can be done if you have only one spring on your two-car garage door? First you can call garage door companies and ask the cost to convert your one-spring system to a two-spring system. Shop around for quotes. Spring service charges are wide, meaning prices can go from cheap to expensive. The service company may need to pay you a visit to weigh and measure your door, so the correct springs can be determined. This is not the time to DIY.

Torsion springs when fully charged contain extremely high tension which can injure a person nearby if the energy is discharged expectantly. Most likely the one existing spring will be useless and will be discarded. You will get two new springs with their own life cycle typically with a 10,000-cycle life. You may choose to pay a little more and upgrade to a longer life spring such as 25,000-cycle springs. The average garage door opens and closes 1500 times per year. You can do the math and you can see for yourself that two new high cycle springs can give you peace of mind for many years.

With two 25,000-cycle springs, you could be good for 16 years. Even so, you can never expect this length of life if you have only one spring on your 2-car door. To see 16 years of trouble-free operation you need to start with a two-spring system.

Check your double door today and look over the door at the torsion spring assembly. There should be a center bracket with a spring on each side of the center bracket. By recognizing the error, you can call a service company to correct the system and give yourself peace-of-mind, so your door won’t trap you inside your garage one late Friday evening.


Roy Bardowell, CDDC, served as Operations Manager at Guardian Access & Door Hardware until 2012. He has been in the door and operator industry since 1973 and is known as one of the industry’s most experienced operator technicians and trainers. Roy received the IDEA Commitment to Excellence award in 2008 and IDA’s Jerry R. Reynolds Volunteer Service Award in 2017. Contact him at roythedoorman@gmail.com

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37 Comments
  1. Steve's picture
    Jan 30, 2018

    I recently posted complaining about the motor. I found a number for Guardian technical services online and as a last effort I called them. Technical services was great and helped me fix the problem fairly easily with directions over the phone. I’m impressed with corporate but still disappointed in the local installer as since the day they installed the opener they come across as more interested in generating charges than doing what’s right for the customer.

    Thanks to Technical Services!

  1. Shirley Rankin's picture
    Feb 05, 2018

    I'm in New Zealand. If I can't source this for my Guardian 21230DL, I'll have to discard an entire garage door opener which works perfectly well just because it can't receive the signal from the remote.

    I looked for an internet sale on your website but couldn't find it.

    Considering that it will cost $800 to replace the whole door opener unnecessarily, I would really appreciate your help.

    Regards
    Shirley

  1. Brian's picture
    Feb 11, 2018

    Guardian products can be found in New Zealand at Windsor Doors

    Windsor Doors Auckland

    347 Great South Rd.

    Takanini 2112, Auckland

    P: 09 298 8655

    F: 09 298 0626

     

    Windsor Doors Christchurch

    Doric Way, Waterloo Business Park

    Christchurch

    P: 03 343 3276

    F: 03 343 3761

    sales@windsorsouth.co.nz

     

    Windsor Doors Wellington

    (Incorporating Castle Doors Ltd)

    95 Nelson Street,

    Petone, Wellington

    P: 0800 020 785

    F: 04 589 3986

    wellington@windsordoors.co.nz

    Windsor Doors Hamilton Unit 8

    170 Maui Street

    Te Rapa, Hamilton

    P: 07 850 6140

    F: 09 298 0626

  1. Marty Marias's picture
    Mar 01, 2018

    Roy, I have six two button remotes, the black rubber inserts fall out and I have to use a small object to activate the opener. Would it be possible to send me five or six replacements. I would happily pay for them.
    Marty Marias
    310 328-6278
    201 Ruth Ave.
    Venice CA 90291
    martymarias@yahoo.com

  1. Jamie's picture
    Mar 24, 2018

    Hello,

    My garage door motor is beeping every 15 minutes. Is this due to my remote battery being low or the motor being low? I'm having trouble locating a batter on the actual motor.

  1. Brian's picture
    Mar 25, 2018

    Hi Jamie,

    A good answer can't be provided without more information.  Please call 1-424-272-6998 and a tech will be able to assess the issue and provide a solution. 

  1. smith's picture
    May 01, 2018

    I read the comment on how a clicker is not universal and will not work on guardian garage doors. Specifically could you please suggest one that will work? Your tech phone number is useless! I've left two messages and not received a return call yet and its been three days. No one ever answers either.

  1. Brian's picture
    May 06, 2018

    Any Guardian remote control listed on the remote controls page on this website will work with any Guardian operator.

    If there are issues reaching technical service please feel free to contact a regional office (also listed on the website).

  1. Sherri's picture
    May 13, 2018

    My garage door will not work with the wall panel unit. The remote control units work and the keypad outside works. Any suggestions?

  1. Brian's picture
    May 14, 2018

    Hi Sherri,

    Is the LED back light on the panel glowing?  Check the wiring first.  The plug on the end of the wire leading from the control banel should be securely plugged into the "wall box" recepticle on the motor head.  Check for any wire shorts due to staples holding the wire to the wall.  Check the wire terminal connections on the back of the panel.. If more help is needed please call 1-424-272-6998.

  1. Robert Johnson's picture
    Jun 29, 2018

    The drive belt on my 3/4 HP Guardian executive series 600SL has broken. How do I get it fixed? I called your 800-989-8769 phone number and the phone company said the number is disconnected so no one answered

  1. Brian's picture
    Jul 04, 2018

    Robert,

    Please call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for help.  

  1. Jada's picture
    Aug 12, 2018

    Lost power and opened the garage manually, power came back on the door opened almost completely and stopped. Beeping 20 times checked no lights on. Metered the wires for power, 21.08 tried aligning can't get any LEDs on?

  1. Brian's picture
    Aug 13, 2018

    Dear Jada,

    20 beeps signified a photo-eye misalignment or faliure.  Please call Guardian Tech Service at 1-424-272-6998 to resolve.  Thanks

  1. Clinton's picture
    Jan 05, 2019

    No lights on the photo eyes. I think the logic board is out. Can you help me?

  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 07, 2019

    Hi Clinton,

    If the operator still opens the door and a constant pressure on the push button (PE override) closes the door, then the circuit board is probably not the problem.

    1. Check at the operator head to see if wires are in the 4 photo-eye terminals.  Sometimes installers will twist wires togther and use only 2 of the terminals.  This reduces power to the photo-eyes.  It may work initially, but over time as the wire develops more resisitivity, power declines.

    2. Check the alignment of the eyes.

    3. If LEDs fail to appear, after careful alignement, then replace the phot-eyes.

    4. Call 424-272-6998 for further help.

  1. Clinton 's picture
    Jan 15, 2019

    I have no lights on my photo eyes. I have two garage door openers and tried the logic board in the other opener and the lights would come on. This tells me the logic board is good. Wondering if it might be the transformer.

  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 23, 2019

    Clinton,

    If you plug the photo-eyes that do not light-up when plugged into operator A into operator B and they light-up, the eyes are good.  Replace the logic boaed in operator A.

    Call 424-272-6998 for additonal assistance.

  1. Jim Loges's picture
    Apr 02, 2019

    Hi Roy,

    Thank you for the blog. We have a Guardian Pro Series 628 which was installed about two years ago. We have constant problems with the sensors and believe this is cause by glare from the sun since we experience the problems mostly during the day. Are there specific safety sensor sun shields (that's a mouthful) that work with these units? Also, the green light on that side blinks slowly all the time but the door still goes up/down. Is that normal? I thought both lights should be solid.

    Thanks!

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 03, 2019

    Hi Jim,

    There are no stock sun shields for photo-eyes.  Fabricate a shiled from cardboard or an empty paper tube and tape to the red (receiver) photo-eye.  Another trick would be to reverse the position of the eyes, placing the receiver eye on the shaded side (if there is one eye in bright sun and the other in the shade). 

    You are right, both red and green LEDs should be steady.  The flashing green could be due to misalignment or a poor connection at the operator head.  First, check the PE alignment.  If necessary, remove the wing nut holding the sensor for full range of motion.  Next, check the terminal block on the back of the motor head.  The first 4 terminals (L to R) are for photo-eye wires.  Each terminal should have one wire inserted.  At times, installers twist together pairs of wires.  Not using all terminals cuts the ammoun of current avaialble to the sensor and could cause the LEDs to flash.  If these two steps do not work, call 424-272-6998.

     

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 30, 2019

    Hi Marty,

    We'll send you some.

  1. Susan's picture
    Jun 19, 2019

    We had a long power outage and when power was restored opener would not open. I pulled the red cord to open manually and now the opener doesn't work at all. It doesn't even seem to be connected. Do I just need to reprogram the opener? Thanks!

  1. Brian's picture
    Jun 24, 2019

    Hi Susan,

    Please call 424-272-6998 for trouble shooting assistance.

  1. THOMAS FLANNERY's picture
    Mar 13, 2020

    I bought a Guardian Garage Door opener and from day 1 it has been temperamental when using the remote to open and close. If i am too close or push the button to long or too short a time. I had the installer return and ask questions, it appears Guardian knows their problem is the RF signal being sent at too rapid a rate or something of the like.
    DOES GUARDIAN HAVE A SOLUTION TO CORRECT YOUR ISSUE? At present i would never recommend this product or ever buy another, my second door will not be replaced with a Guardian.

  1. Brian's picture
    Mar 14, 2020

    Thomas,

    Please call tech service at 424-727-6998.  A technician will help you resolve the issue you are having with your radio controls.

  1. Deep Chakraborty's picture
    Apr 25, 2020

    Garage door is stuck and not opening....beeps 10 times

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 27, 2020

    Hi Deep,

    Please call 1-424-272-6998 and a tech will be able to assess the issue and provide a solution. 

  1. Mike's picture
    May 03, 2020

    Checked the sensors they are solid green and red. When I depress the button it beeps 5x I tried holding down the button no movement. Try resetting the limits it let me reset the up but would not the down beeps 12x any suggestion it is a ,1yr old guardian 6200sl

  1. Brian's picture
    May 03, 2020

    Hi Mike,

    The down relay on the circuit board may be stuck.  Please call 424-272-6998 for troubleshooting assistance.

  1. Rick Ulrich's picture
    May 17, 2020

    Motor is making noise only when opening door. No noise on closing. Is this a motor lube issue or a replace motor issue? Any input appreciated.

    THX,

    Rick

  1. GuardianWebAdmin's picture
    May 19, 2020

    Hi Rick,

    Please call 424-272-6998.  The noise could be better described to a tech or he can be allowed to listen to it in order to better assess the issue.  Thanks

  1. Thomas's picture
    Jun 18, 2020

    My green side is frequently blinking, so the door can't open/close. Lens are clean, no obstructions and we've tried adjusting the green side left/right, up/down with no luck. Sensor wiring appears secure. What am I missing??

  1. Brian's picture
    Jun 21, 2020

    Hi Thomas,

    First check to see whether the eyes have been properly wired into the operator head.  There are 4 terminals for photo-eyes.  All 4 must be used in order to provide full power to the eyes.  Lack of power can cause the blinking condition.

    A short in the photo-eye wires can also cause the green LED to blink.  Over time, expansion and contraction due to weather, can cause a staple to break the wire insulation. 

    See this link for more advice: https://www.adhguardianusa.com/technical-references-troubleshooting-photo-eyes

    Call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for more advice.

  1. Paul DiModica's picture
    Oct 13, 2020

    I have the Guardian 615 opener and would like to add the MYQ Smart garage Door opener. Do you know if it is compatible?

  1. Brian's picture
    Oct 13, 2020

    Hi Paul,

    myQ is not compatible with Guardian garage door openers.  The Guardian model V2 Smart Control Kit would be your best option to use to have this feature.

  1. RON's picture
    Nov 21, 2020

    Will my hand held remote, Genie Intellicode, work with the Guardian opener? I see a lot of listed Genie remotes but not Intellicode.

  1. Brian's picture
    Dec 03, 2020

    A Genie Intellicode remote control will not work with a Guardian opener.

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