dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
10634
share rss forum feed


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Attic Ladder Spring Problem

Recently, my attic ladder (located in my garage) has been giving me trouble. Basically it's a ladder which folds inward in the middle so you basically unfold it and it comes down completely. Lately though, one of the large metal springs near the top keeps slipping over the bracket of which it sits atop of causing the ladder not to close. I literally have to go to the top of the attic and pull with all my might to lift the spring back over the bracket to get the ladder to close. Is there an easy fix for this. Why would it start slipping when I open the ladder all of a sudden?


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
said by SteelersFan:

Recently, my attic ladder (located in my garage) has been giving me trouble. Basically it's a ladder which folds inward in the middle so you basically unfold it and it comes down completely. Lately though, one of the large metal springs near the top keeps slipping over the bracket of which it sits atop of causing the ladder not to close. I literally have to go to the top of the attic and pull with all my might to lift the spring back over the bracket to get the ladder to close. Is there an easy fix for this. Why would it start slipping when I open the ladder all of a sudden?

Check and make sure all the screws and nuts are tight.

I found some of mine backing off and out.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5
Also make sure that offending bracket doesnt look bent. Leaning on them will bend em...

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to SteelersFan
Having been up and down attic ladders thousands of times in my career, here are a few things to inspect.

As mityfowl See Profile pointed out, ensure all screws and nuts are tight.

Look at all the rivets and ensure they're not loose.

Pay attention to the spring carrier. As mentioned, it may be bent.

The spring arm may be bent and not parallel to its hinge mount.


Photo how spring hook is mounted to spring arm


Last, make sure the springs are oriented correctly. The hooks on the ends of the springs should be installed with the hook side of the spring on the inside of the spring arm (closest to the frame) rather than on the outside (closest to the opening).

Edit - Added photo


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to SteelersFan
This is an ideal thread for pictures. Do you have a way to take and post pictures of the problem here?


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
reply to SandShark
It's odd, but for my spring, it's actually over the bracket whereas yours is next to it. When mine falls next to it, like in your drawing, it won't close.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
Here is a picture of the attic ladder in my garage for you to compare. This ladder is more or less new and works perfect.




If yours is setup similar, perhaps take a flashlight up there and have someone close and open the ladder a few times while you watch and see what the spring is doing.


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
That's how mine looks when it works. The spring though is creeping over the bracket so that it falls and doesn't retain the tension. Obviously my bracket is further down than yours in the picture which allows the spring to creep over it. I'll check the screws though. Perhaps it moved down a little over time.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
Check to make sure all the bars are straight and not bent out of alignment. Also check the other end of the spring to make sure that anchor is not off spot. The spring should not be able to come over far enough to get over that bracket/guard that holds it in place. Obviously if it is only one side doing it, compare with the good side to see what's different.


SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3
reply to SteelersFan
Well, here's mine showing what I mentioned about the orientation of the spring hook, which is opposite of Lurch77 See Profile's spring. So, who knows?




tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5
I`d show a pic of my attic steps, but theyre actual steps. Love old houses.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
I love houses that have an actual walk-up attic, they're few and far between these days.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to SandShark
Mine were factory installed as shown. If they were as yours are, there is not enough clearance and they would hit the wood frame.


SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3
Now that I look a little more closely, your spring arm has a factory bend it. Mine doesn't. That's probably why the difference in how the spring is hooked onto the spring arm.


Stair man

@marwincompany.com
Looks like an attic stair manufactured by Memphis Folding Stairs. Look them up at www.memphisfoldingstairs.com. They may be able to send you replacement arms and springs.


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to SteelersFan
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Here are the photos of my ladder spring that's broken.


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

2 edits
reply to SteelersFan
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
And here is the good one. Basically, when i pull the ladder down, at about the half-way point the spring jumps the rail on the left side. The right side comes a little close to the end of the rail, but never jumps it.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to SteelersFan
said by SteelersFan:

Here are the photos of my ladder spring that's broken.

The spring does not appear to be broken. It appears to me that the tab which is supposed to hold the spring is not bent out far enough. Can you compare the two sides and see. I think that is why it is jumping off.


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Should I hammer it back? It would take me having to bend it to bring the tab forward anymore.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Can you take similar pics of that tab from the same angle for the two sides? How much difference is there between the two? I think I would be more inclined to try to bend it with plyers (vicegrips) instead of hammering on it if I were trying to make the bend more pronounced.


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

The spring does not appear to be broken. It appears to me that the tab which is supposed to hold the spring is not bent out far enough.

It's clear that the two sides of the ladder are different. You need to bend the top tab down so the spring can rest on it.


shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·EarthLink
·Comcast
·Atlantic Nexus
said by jjoshua:

said by robbin:

The spring does not appear to be broken. It appears to me that the tab which is supposed to hold the spring is not bent out far enough.

It's clear that the two sides of the ladder are different. You need to bend the top tab down so the spring can rest on it.

Yes, also the arm the spring connects to may be bent out and pulling the spring away from the tab.
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder

sneakaround

join:2001-06-19
Staten Island, NY
reply to SteelersFan
I would try to install a "helper" U shaped bracket right behind the existing tab.


SteelersFan

join:2001-02-12
Rockwall, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
So I bought a u-shaped conduit bracket and used about 1 inch screws to try to keep it in place. I think the head of the top screw must have needed to be bigger because it worked for three times and then the fourth time the bracket popped off the top screw. I'll probably need to work with it some more and figure out what type of screws to use. I'm screwing into a piece of wood and the top portion of the screw is about 1/2 inch recessed from the bottom one where the spring sits.

On a side note, I did finally figure out that by merely bending the arm ever so slight when opening the door the second half of the way, I can maintain it on the tab just fine. So long as I remember to do this, my biceps won't get so much of a workout trying to get that spring back over the tab if it just so happens to creep over.

Thanks for all of the advice.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to SteelersFan
Glad to hear it almost licked. A little more mending and you've got it.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to SteelersFan
I believe that your attic stair was manufactured by the same company that manufactured the attic stair at my previous residence. The design had one annoying flaw. The spring was hooked through the operating arm so that the end of the spring hook faced the stairway and constantly caught on my clothing when I ascended the stairway into the attic. As installed by the factory the spring hooked on the operating arm, passed between the operating arm and the stairway frame, over the retaining bracket and then to the anchor bracket. Download the parts list from this URL, it shows the orientation of the spring hook:

»www.memphisfoldingstairs.com/pdf/parts.pdf

If the previous owner became frustrated with the same problem I had, they might have reoriented the spring so the hook faced the stairway frame. That would cause spring tension to pull the spring over the retaining bracket causing the problem that you are experiencing. In my stairway the hook faced the stairway. If you look at the second photograph down you will notice that the hook on the spring that connects to the operating arm faces the frame of the stairway. I believe that if you unhook the spring, rotate the hook 180 degrees and then reattach it to the operating arm you problem will be solved. I had to change the position of my springs to increase the tension. I had a friend close the stairway while I remained in the attic. I used a bungee cord to hold the stairway closed while I moved the hook to a hole closer to the pivot reducing the tension.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to SteelersFan
That spring is installed backwards, the hook should clip into the bracket from the back side, and the guide tab appears to be bent in.


iknow

@optonline.net
reply to SteelersFan
said by SteelersFan:

Recently, my attic ladder (located in my garage) has been giving me trouble. Basically it's a ladder which folds inward in the middle so you basically unfold it and it comes down completely. Lately though, one of the large metal springs near the top keeps slipping over the bracket of which it sits atop of causing the ladder not to close. I literally have to go to the top of the attic and pull with all my might to lift the spring back over the bracket to get the ladder to close. Is there an easy fix for this. Why would it start slipping when I open the ladder all of a sudden?

be very careful with that, i had one of those in my hallway, one day i pulled it down, and the spring popped off, and went flying 20 FT away in a wall, and it went halfway through it!. i prevented any possibility of that happening again by inserting a 1/8" steel cable through the spring, and tying it at both ends through the holes, i'm surprised they don't come that way, i'd imagine if the spring popped you in the head it would kill you.