Your garage door is made up of several moving parts, one of the most important are the torsion springs. The garage door torsion springs are coils made from heavy-duty materials that wind and unwinds as you open and close your garage door. The torsion springs are vital because they help carry most of the weight that makes up the door. Otherwise, it would be quite difficult to open or close the garage door if the springs are not working properly.
However, just like any other moving part, the coils will wear out depending on how many cycles or uses they undergo. Most torsion springs will last from 5,000 to 30,000 uses or cycles before they need to be replaced. The exact life cycle may vary depending on the material the springs are made from, whether there is one or two present, the weight and design of the garage door itself.
There are two types of garage door torsion springs, zinc-galvanized and oil-tempered. Both will require periodic adjustment so that they continue to function property. If not adjusted, they will tend to break due to the increase in wear. When the torsion springs need to be replaced, you should call the best garage door repair company in your community to do the job.
How Torsion Springs can Break
Because of the overall weight that the springs must carry with each use, they will eventually wear out over time. However, they may break also because of a combination of the weight and other factors. Understanding why they can break will guide you to ensure that they can be properly maintained and look for signs that the springs may be wearing out.
Old, Worn Our Springs: 5,000 to 30,000 life cycles will translate to 7 to 40 years of average use. It helps to know the type of springs that are being used and when they were installed so you can replace them before they wear out. If you are not sure, but you know it has been several years, it may be best to hire a reputable garage door repair company to inspect the springs and replace them with high-quality models that may last for the rest of the time you are in the home.
Bracket & Bearing Plates: The center bracket and end bearing plates where the springs are attached may become stiff and less responsive over time. If the bearing become sticky, it makes it more difficult for the torsion springs and shaft to turn property and the result is a shorter life cycle for your springs. You will need to act at the first sign of stickiness so that you can extend the life of the torsion springs.
Rollers: The garage door rollers are the wheels along the track that help your garage door move up and down. If they become sticky or not as responsive, that can force the torsion springs to do more work which means that they wear out faster. You will need to address the rollers and perhaps replace them to save your springs.
A regular inspection by a reputable garage door repair company may spot early signs of wear. This means that using such a service will help you replace the springs before they get worn out.
Identifying Failing Torsion Springs
There are definite signs of torsion springs that need to be replaced. Be sure to look for the early signs and call a professional garage door replacement company to do the work.
Loud Bang: Because the tension spring is under such pressure, when they break the sound they emit will be like a shotgun blast or something breaking into your home. If you hear such a noise from the garage, you’ll want to check the garage door springs if you do not find another obvious source.
Slow Moving Garage Door: If you can only open your garage door a few inches or at a very slow pace, that is a sign the torsion springs may be broken or wearing out quickly. If you use a garage door opener, you’ll want to close the garage door and pull the emergency release and test the door manually to see if it is the springs or the motor.
Broken Cables: This is an easy to spot sign that your torsion spring is broken or wearing our quickly if you see broken cables. This is particularly true if there is only one spring present. A broken or faulty spring will cause the cables to move out of place or become broken themselves. If the cables are otherwise intact, they will not need replacement, but the torsion spring will need to be replaced.
Bear in mind that a spring on the verge of breaking can be quite dangerous if you are standing close by when it does finally give way. The tension that the spring is holding can be tremendous which means that when the energy is released it can fling the spring itself or broken shards of the metal across the garage. Anyone in the path may become injured, so great care is needed to ensure that you do not become injured if the spring is ready to go.
Gaining Access to Your Vehicle
If you need access to your vehicle while the spring is broken, here are a few tips if there is only one spring to your garage door.
- Disconnect the door from the motor operating the opener
- Get a couple of people to help
- Use vice grips or C-clamp on the tracks to hold the door open
If your garage uses a pair of springs and one is still working, it should be enough to operate the garage door until the garage door repair company arrives. Otherwise, the same rules apply if both torsion springs are broken compared to the single-spring models of garage doors.