Were you surprised by a loud bang from your garage? Was it similar to a firecracker or gunshot? After racing to see what made such a racket, you notice that the spring above your garage door is in two pieces. You assume it’s probably not too hard to repair, so you put it on your to-do list for the weekend.
But in reality, it’s dangerous to repair a broken garage door spring. It’s important to note, right from the beginning, that a garage door’s entire weight is passed onto its spring system. The weight can fluctuate between 125 and 300 lbs. (or 57 and 136 kg), which includes the weight of any windows. Here’s why it may not be a good idea to tackle this job yourself.
What are the different types of garage door springs?
- This spring is located above the garage door and is inside a tube.
- If this spring breaks, it will stay within the tube.
- These springs are above the horizontal tracks.
- If one breaks, and the proper safety cable is installed, the cable will keep the extension spring in place so it won’t fall to the floor.
In both circumstances, the springs counter the mass of the garage door. The role of each spring is to lower the weight of the door to about 8 to 10 lbs. (or 3.5 to 4.5 kg). As a result, when in manual mode, your door isn’t too heavy to lift.
How long can a spring last?
Normally, a 10,000-cycle spring system lasts anywhere from 5 to 7 years; one opening and closing is considered a cycle. We also stock double-life springs, which are built to last 20,000 garage door cycles. If you use your garage door daily to get to and from work, your kids use it to enter your home, and you use it when working around the house on weekends, you will certainly reach the 10,000 limit in five years!
Why is it so dangerous to change a broken spring by myself?
You need to be aware of the operation of the entire lifting system before you attempt any repairs. For example, the torsion spring, inside a tube, is attached to a drum that coils the lifting cables, which are then connected to brackets found at the bottom of a garage door. To help you visualize this, when the door is shut, its lifting cables will be stretched just like the strings of a guitar.
An extension spring is similar, apart from the tube – there isn’t one. The rest of the above parts are interlocked in a similar fashion.
If you own a double garage door (for instance, up to 16 feet, or 4.9 meters wide), your door is much heavier, and the tension on the lifting system is much greater. If your door has a torsion system, it will have 2 springs. Please know that it is quite rare for both springs to break simultaneously.
No need to worry! My door opener will lift my door!
You are right… in some measure. Garage door openers are built to lift up to 250 lbs. (110 kg) or more, to be determined by how powerful a motor is has (½ or ¾ HP). Nevertheless, if an opener can raise that much weight, realize that it will lower that same weight, which is quite dangerous. So never risk using your garage door if a spring is broken – you’ll quickly understand just how heavy 250 lbs. really is, if you get your foot caught under the door!
What should I do?
If possible, close your garage door with your opener and unplug the unit. Contact us right away, and our technicians will come for an emergency repair. Repairing a broken garage door spring is a safety issue for you and your family. Until it is repaired, only use your door opener in case of emergency.
I want to avoid this dangerous situation. What preventive measures can I take?
Inspect your garage door two times per year, and then lubricate it. All components that are in direct contact with metal like rollers, hinges and springs need regular lubrication. We recommend doing this maintenance each fall and spring, since your door will see the most use in wintertime.
When lubricating springs, just rub a little oil for metal then wipe off any excess with a cloth. This protects springs from surface rust and eliminates unpleasant noise when coils rub together. It also prolongs the life of door springs.
Can you maintain my garage door for me?
Of course we can! We offer a 28-point check-up program for all residential garage doors. This check-up consists of an inspection, any needed adjustments, and lubrication of metal components. If we discover a part that must be replaced, we will notify you before starting any additional work. We will also provide you with an estimate for the cost of the repairs. Finally, we will create a report on the condition of your garage door.
For your garage door or opener needs, complete our online service call form or call us at (616) 453-0164 to get a free estimate. You may also use our Design Center to design the garage door of your dreams!