When a garage door starts to act up chances are it’s because of the garage door springs. The springs in a garage door play a big part in opening and closing the door. These springs work by counteracting the force of gravity on the door. In other words, this means a garage door spring is supposed to make the door light enough for you to lift it on your own, or to make it easy for the garage door opener to do it. There are two kinds of garage door springs: torsion springs, and extension springs.
Garage Door Torsion Springs
Torsion springs are located directly above the door. They may be mounted to the rear of the door in older homes where there may be less room in the garage. When torsion springs are installed correctly the door will be balanced. This means that the door will use the same pressure to open and close and will be easy to lift. Balanced springs will also stop on each section when the rollers are positioned on each side of the radius.
Garage Door Extension Springs
Extension springs will also be located above the garage door track in most cases. They may also be located on the sides vertically. These springs use the pulling force to pull the garage door upward against gravity.
Are Garage Door Springs Necessary?
The average life expectancy of torsion springs is 7-9 years, assuming 10,000 cycles at 4 cycles a day. But most homes use the garage door like a front door which means that there are more cycles, and springs may only last 4-6 years. While it is rare, torsion springs can break within a year. This should not happen if the springs have been installed correctly, but it can, so make sure you purchase springs from a reputable company that will install them correctly and provide a warranty. It may surprise you to learn that springs should be re-balanced within the first two years of being installed. If springs are installed in cold weather, they will need to be re-balanced sooner.
How to Tell if Your Garage Door Springs are Bad
There are two tests you can do to determine if your springs are failing. One, the door should stay up when released from the opener in the up position, with a little movement normal. If either one of the bottom rollers move past the line between vertical and horizontal track and remains below the line it indicates that the torsion springs are failing and need to be re-tensioned. Two, if you pull the door to the mid-level position it should not move up or down. This indicates that the door is being supported completely by the strength of the springs. The average life expectancy of extension springs is 7-9 years. The same goes with extension springs as torsion springs in that they can fail but never break. Extension springs are failing if you notice gaps between the coils.
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Do not attempt DIY repair with garage door springs. These springs lift doors that can weigh 400 pounds and are under a lot of tension, making it a dangerous situation. It’s not worth the risk of injury. Give AAA Action Garage Doors a call today. We can handle all your garage door needs!