Friday, November 5, 2010

A Bump In the Day Is Much Better Than a Bump In the Night

My house has evidently decided that this is the year to let loose a bit and fall apart. Remember just a month ago when I was posting about a renegade mirror that leapt to it's death in my bathroom at some ungodly hour in the morning? Well it scared the heck out of me largely because it was at such an ungodly hour and I was sound asleep. So when it sounded as if someone just drove through my garage door one evening around six, I just calmly got up and looked out the window to see who had. What I didn't know was that my ordeal was just beginning.

After checking off the list of things that could have caused such a noise such as a car driving through the garage door, every single gutter falling off the house at the same time and a spot F5 tornado removing the garage from the face of this world, I set off checking into the finer details. It didn't take me long to figure out that one of the two springs that assist lifting the garage door had given up the ghost and came all unwound, literally. I pressed the garage door button only to see that the door would lift just a few inches before stopping again. No problem, I thought. I will just disengage it from the automatic opener tomorrow morning and would soon be on my was to a meeting in a neighboring state that I had scheduled.

The next morning came and I made sure I had the proper house key to unlock the front door should the garage door re-engage itself to the track when I lowered it again after getting my car out. My daughter asked how I was going to get the car out and I showed her that I could just pull this rope to disengage it from the track and then lift here. After the garage door got stuck only six inches from the floor, I told her after checking to make sure I had indeed disengaged it from the track that I just had to put more muscle into it. Then I proceeded to start yanking on the door for all I was worth but not making any progress. I was stuck.

I called a couple people to let them know that I might be running a bit late and then proceeded to analyze the problem. It being that the one good spring was cocking the door sideways as soon as it started going up causing it to jam in the tracks and no amount of lifting or timing could convince it to do otherwise. I then thought about cutting the cable from the good spring to the door but from the sound the other spring had made, I wasn't sure I wanted to be in the same room when it happened. I perhaps could have changed clothes, got out my tools and loosened the good spring so that I could get out but I was already late for my meeting and didn't want to make myself any later.  So I did the only thing I could, I called the local garage door repairman at home waking him up and pleaded my case.

He showed up fifteen minutes later and said he would have me out in five minutes and on my way. A half hour later he said he would need to go back to get more tools and parts. At that point I was way late for where I had to go and after stuffing some cash in his hand for wakening him up at an ungodly hour, asked him to just fix it while I was gone. A coworker came to pick me up, take me to the daycare and an hour late, I left for my appointment. Fortunately with light traffic and no cops, we made it a respectable fifteen minutes late.

The repairman good to his word, had the door fixed when I got home late that evening and had even serviced the door greasing it at all its dozens of bearings and joints. Now instead of hearing a creaking garage door rise up when I press the button, all I hear is the humming of a motor which makes me think it has stalled out for some reason and only looking at the door rising up will calm my fears. So the lesson I learned from all this is to mold an explosive charge with a remote detonator and place in each spring so if one breaks, you can blow the other one from the safety of another room and retrieve your vehicle out of the garage.


R. Sherman said...

My garage door opener went south this year, too, barely making ten years. Of course, my wife was chapped at having to manually open the garage door for a few days until it could be fixed.

How soon we forget the way things used to be.


TC said...

That's always been a fear of mine about garages: not being able to get out when you need to.

Having to leave the car outside - no big deal. Did it for years. But getting stuck inside? Yikes!

warren said...

Heck, I have to make a dozen trips to the hardware...isn't that required ;-)

sage said...

Working on garage doors can be dangerous! It took me forever to get one fixed when I lived in Utah, the next time I called the pros

"Sking" is my word verification for today--and it's snowing up here :)

Bone said...

That's the problem with a lot of "automatic" or electrical things, I guess. Reminds me of when the door panel stopped working on my car earlier this year. You can't just manually crank down the window.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Someday, when I grow up, I'm going to have a garage door opener. Of course first I'll have to get a garage, then a garage door. The world goes round and round.