Did you hear a loud bang? Does your garage door only open a few inches? You might be dealing with a broken spring! A broken garage door spring can be very inconvenient and frustrating. Unfortunately, at some point, your garage door spring will reach its life expectancy and will wear-out and snap.
WHAT NOT TO DO…
If you’re dealing with a broken spring, do not attempt to lift the door manually or with the assistance of your electric garage door opener. Without the aid of a functioning spring, the door will become extremely heavy and difficult to lift manually. Attempting to lift the door by hand with a broken spring could cause you personal harm. Furthermore, attempting to open the broken door with your electric garage door opener will likely cause further damage. Garage door openers are manufactured to lift doors only with the assistance of a garage door spring. If the spring is broken, you will likely burn out the motor if you continue to use your garage door opener.
GARAGE DOOR SPRING DANGERS
Replacing broken garage door springs is not a DIY project! Springs should never be adjusted or replaced by individuals who are not properly trained or possess the proper tools. Spring replacements are dangerous because when installing the new springs, there are places under extreme tension. Without the proper tools and training, using the wrong size replacement spring or springs can cause damage to the garage door and opener. More importantly, without the proper tools and training, serious personal injury can occur.
TYPES OF GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS
There are several types of garage door spring systems including the most commonly used, extension and torsion springs.
Extension springs are mounted on both sides of the garage door alongside the track. Typically there is a safety cable that runs through the center of the spring to help control the extension spring if it breaks. The extension springs attach to the track and through a series of pulleys and cables to the bottom bracket on the garage door located toward the bottom. The extension springs provide the energy needed to open the garage door while the cable and pulley system does the actual lifting. If any one of these components are damaged or not installed properly, the system will not function safely or properly.
Torsion springs are mounted horizontally on a bar just above the garage door opening. These spring(s) are mounted on a shaft which spans the entire width of the door. On either end of the shaft, there are drums. These drums are used to help wrap cables that are attached from the drum to the bottom section of the garage door. As the garage door opens, the cable wraps around the drum. As the garage door closes, the cable safely unwraps and lowers the door. Typically, when a torsion spring breaks, the cables lose tension and pop off of the drums. Again, the spring provides the energy needed to open the door, while the cables, which are attached to the drums, do the actual lifting of the door. It is important that these components are not damaged and installed properly, otherwise, the system will not function.