December 15, 2015

Metal Fatigue + Mental Fatigue

It's been a rough couple of days. I had to cover for someone at work, so I've put in 40 hours in the last three days, and that included covering overnight. I was bone tired when I pulled into the driveway and pressed the button on my garage door opener. The door failed to move.

It's been quite a while since I replaced the battery in my remote, so I pulled right up to the door and pressed the button again. Nothing. I put the car in neutral and set the parking brake and walked up to the door. We've got an external electronic codepad to open the door. Did I mention it was raining?

Anyway, when I typed in the code, I noticed that the door was shifting noticeably and I heard an ominous humming noise over the sound of the rain.

There is a man door for the garage, but it opens inward, and stacked up against it were several bags of fertilizer that my father-in-law had gifted me. (He thinks that the quality of man's soul is reflected in the quality of a man's lawn. Me, I think dandelions are beautiful, and that if God didn't want me to have beautiful flowers on my lawn, he wouldn't make it so that said beautiful flowers appear without any effort on my part.) After some grunting and shoving, I got the door open enough to squeeze inside and take a closer look at the door.

One of the torsion springs had broken. I disconnected the garage door opener and tried to lift the door. No dice, it's an old-school wooden door and weighs far more than I can lift.

The problem is that while my car is now sitting in the driveway, the door failed with my wife's car inside the garage. It's now trapped there. And she's got a bunch of meetings tomorrow in several locations. Tomorrow morning we will see if we can borrow her parents' car for the day. If that falls through we'll just rent one. It turns out that car rentals are not too expensive in the middle of the week in the offseason- we can rent a small car with no notice for less than $50/day.

While home repairs of a torsion spring garage door are quite doable, they are also quite dangerous. The spring that didn't break has a lot of potential energy stored up right now, and I'm just a sack of meat. There are several garage door places nearby, and I suspect I can get one to come over tomorrow on short notice, because it's also the offseason for home construction. I hope the repair bill isn't enormous. I have no idea what to even expect, cost-wise. We've got plenty of savings, so I'm sure we can cover it, but that doesn't mean I'll be thrilled if the bill hits four figures. And I'm very much suspicious that it will.

EDIT 12/16: Repairs cost $230. That was pretty darn reasonable.

Posted by: Boviate at 12:46 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I saw how it's done. It all basically comes to having two steel rods that you insert into holes in the spring collar and use that to wind it. But like a High-Lift jack, if you lose control of the system, these rods can easily come flying out like arrows.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tuesday, December 15 2015 08:09 PM (XOPVE)

2 I looked at some YouTube videos and saw the rods thing. It's not rocket science, but you do have to keep a close grip on the two rods. I decided it was worth some money to minimize unnecessary danger. Even if the warnings were overblown, "You can't take it with you when you go."

Posted by: Boviate at Wednesday, December 16 2015 11:35 PM (XRvFv)

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