Did a spring on your garage door break? Are you thinking of fixing it yourself?
Without proper knowledge, replacing a garage door’s spring system is not a DIY job. The full weight of a garage door is transferred to its spring system. This allows us to easily raise and lower a door, even though it can weigh up to 300 pounds. The entire spring system is under extreme tension, which can be dangerous.
Repairing and adjusting a spring system should never be done by someone who isn’t qualified. To do this job safely, you need to have the right training, the skills and the tools.
Today, let’s learn about the dangers of a DIY garage door spring replacement.
Do all garage doors have similar spring systems?
Although there are many styles of garage doors, there are only two types of springs.
A Torsion spring system is mounted at the top of a garage door. The single spring is secured in a tube, which is a safeguard in case of a break.
An Extension spring system has a pair of springs, which are installed over the two horizontal tracks. Extension systems come equipped with safety cables, which are placed inside the springs during installation. One advantage of having a two-spring system is that it’s uncommon for both to break in unison.
Thanks to its spring system, your garage door should feel like it weighs less than 10 pounds when you lift it manually.
How long do springs last?
When it comes to the spring system, its lifespan is given in operation cycles. This unit of measure provides the expected longevity of the mechanical spring component of the garage door. Each time your door is opened then closed, you have completed one operation cycle.
Typical systems are estimated to last for 10,000 cycles. That can last you over 12 years if you use your garage door twice per day. However if one spring breaks it is always advisable to replace both springs, because it is only a matter of time until the other breaks. You can also get high-grade doors with double-life springs, which are estimated to last for 20,000 operation cycles.
Why is it so dangerous to DIY my spring replacement?
Torsion and extension spring systems are under excessive tension, since they bear the full weight of a garage door. Large doors (which can measure up to 16 feet in width) and solid wood doors are much heavier than single-car garage doors. That means their spring systems are under even more tension.
A garage door with a broken spring can fall rapidly and cause injury or death. However, the most common danger comes when your springs break and you decide to undertake the repair/replace them yourself. Torsion springs can be very dangerous, and you not only need the exact tools for the job, but also need to have a good knowledge of the mechanics involved. Some of the parts involved in such a process can be life threatening, and must be handled with care and precision, which is why it is always recommended that you call in a professional, rather than trying to handle a replacement or repair by yourself. Failure to do so may leave you with injuries and/or damage to your property.
We have had customers attempt spring replacements themselves without the proper safety precautions in place and end up severely injuring themselves, including one gentleman who permanently severed four of his fingers.
Unless you are a trained technician, you may not have the experience necessary to perform these garage door repairs safely. To attempt a repair, you would need to know how the springs, drums, lifting cables and brackets all work together. With such an intricate system, we believe only professionals should work on springs.
If a spring breaks, can I still use my door opener?
Unless you are stranded in your garage, it is not recommend using your door opener when you have a broken spring. Although the motors are quite powerful with their ½ or ¾ horsepower, it’s dangerous to use them when a garage door isn’t weighted properly. Remember that a garage door can weigh up to 300 pounds. That means an opener can also push down that much weight, which can crush anything in its way.
My spring broke. What should I do?
If your door is broken, it’s safest to keep it in the closed position. If your garage door was open when the spring broke, you should close it if it’s safe to do so. Use your electric opener to shut your garage door, then unplug the opener.
Once the area is secured, please contact us for emergency repair service. Our qualified technicians will inspect your garage door and replace your broken spring. We will have your garage door working again in no time!
Can I prevent my garage door from breaking?
The best thing you can do is have your garage door inspected and maintained on an annual basis. Be on the lookout for any broken, damaged or rusty components. If your door is in good condition, apply some lubrication to your door. Carefully rub oil or lubricant onto the springs, the hinges and the rollers. Oil protects springs from rust and extends their lifespan. It also reduces the unpleasant noise that’s created when coils rub. Preventive maintenance can catch potential issues before they become serious. We recommend having your garage door serviced each fall to prepare it for harsh winter weather.
Do you offer garage door maintenance?
Absolutely! At Tri▼County, we believe that annual maintenance is important to keep you door working properly but is a valuable tool to catch problems before they happen. Our qualified technicians will inspect, adjust and lubricate your garage door to keep keep it working smoothly. If any parts need to be replaced, our technicians will consult with you before starting any additional work, so there will never be any surprises.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation estimate for all your garage door and door opener needs. Call us at (724) 424-2700.