LESLIE: Michael in Pennsylvania is working on a garage project. Tell us what you’re doing.
MICHAEL: Well, I had a spring; one of those long springs that help pull the door up and the spring broke.
TOM: Yeah. OK.
MICHAEL: And how do I determine what size or what poundage spring I need to replace it with?
TOM: It’s usually determined by the height of the door. A typical 8-foot door spring is around 27 inches by 48. In other words, it’s 27 compressed and it’s 48 extended.
MICHAEL: Oh, OK.
TOM: But let me ask you a question about when the spring broke. Did it fly off somewhere or did you have a cable running through it?
MICHAEL: No, I had a safety cable through it.
TOM: Oh and that’s really important. I’m so glad you said that because, you know, if you have a garage – and for those that have garage doors – you ought to look inside your spring and make sure there’s a safety cable running all the way through it. Otherwise, you could really get hurt, because these things can really be quite powerful when they break and it’s a very good thing, Michael, that you had that cable in there. Were you around when it broke?
MICHAEL: I just closed the door and it sounded like a shotgun going off (inaudible at 0:11:38).
LESLIE: Wow, really?
MICHAEL: And luckily, yeah, the cable held.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble finding this. There’s lots of suppliers online.
LESLIE: I mean I’ve seen them in The Home Depot, in that aisle where you get like weird, threaded rods and square, metal tube pieces. They’re right there; they look really cool and I always think, “What can I make with that?” But I know it’s for the garage.
TOM: Yeah. If it’s an 8-foot-high door, it’s usually a 48-inch spring and if it’s a 7-foot-high door, I think it’s 42. I think it’s about 6 inches less. But you ought to be able to measure the one that didn’t break and then use those numbers to find a matching one for the other side.
MICHAEL: OK. And then should I replace both of them at the same time?
TOM: Not a bad idea. Because if one went, the other one might go shortly, right?
TOM: And while you’re at it, it’s not much more work to take both of them apart; just do one at a time. And be very careful and make sure you put that safety cable back.
MICHAEL: Right. OK. Well thank you.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.