When garage door spring breaks, you will most likely notice that right away. In most cases, the garage door opener won’t be able to lift the door more than one foot from the floor. The reason for that is the excessive weight your opener has to deal with due to a broken garage door spring that doesn’t assist anymore. Hire your local garage door repair company to get them replaced safely.
Typically, on a double-sized garage door, you’ll have two springs that will balance the weight and allow your overhead door opener to effortlessly open and close the door with a push of a button. Even when one of the springs breaks, most openers won’t be able to lift the door, leaving your vehicles trapped inside your garage.
There are a few reasons for your garage door spring to break, and some of them are more obvious than others. There are two main types of garage door springs, torsion and extension springs, and since torsion springs are the most common ones, we’ll focus on them. Torsion garage door springs consist of two aluminum cones and the spring wire. The less common reason for garage spring to break is when the spring wire “slips” from one of the cones, releasing all the tension. This can be repaired by putting the cone back and winding up the spring again. However, there is a good chance it will happen again in the near future. Therefore any reputable garage door company will offer you to replace the springs if this happens.
Reason number two for your spring to break is what’s called a “metal fatigue.” In North America, garage door spring wire needs to meet the ASTM A229 standard of Oil-tempered Steel Wire, Class II. In general, for most residential garage doors, a set of springs should last around 10 000 cycles. And the closer you get to that number, the greater the chance for your springs to break.
Torsion garage door springs are located about one foot above the door frame. When facing your garage door from the inside, you will notice a metal bar or tube, that is a torsion shaft that holds one or two sets of metal coils. Those are your garage door springs. They are usually installed in the middle of the torsion shaft and connected together with a bearing plate that attaches to what’s called a “spring pad.” If one of your springs snapped, you would see that immediately, as one of them will have a noticeable gap.
There is another type of garage door spring called a “torquemaster” spring. Those are manufactured by Wayne Dalton door company, and they do have their flaws. Torquemaster springs are located inside the metal tube, making it difficult for a homeowner to realize they have a broken spring. Unfortunately, more damage can be done to the door and garage door opener before the homeowner realizes they have a broken torquemaster spring. In some cases, the opener unit will be able to lift a relatively light Wayne Dalton door for some time before substantial damage to the upper section or opener internals will cause a critical failure.
Will the garage door open if the spring is broken? The answer is NO. In 95% of cases, your garage door won’t open if one of the springs snaps. In some cases where you have a combination of relatively light garage door and a strong garage door opener, 3/4 hp or more, the door might go up, but you will hear your opener working lauder, indicating more struggle. Another scenario is where you have three or four springs, and only one of them breaks. The opener might still be able to operate the door for some time before it fails. Some homeowners keep using their door with a broken spring, thinking there’s nothing wrong with it if the door still works. However, doing so will damage your garage door opener and put you at risk of injury. The garage door becomes extremely heavy with a broken spring, and the last thing you want is to have it land on you or your vehicle.
Torsion garage door spring work on a relatively simple concept. When the garage door is closed, the technician winds up the springs to a certain number of turns and secures them to the torsion shaft with set screws. Having the right-sized springs with the right amount of tension provides enough lifting force to zero out the door’s weight, allowing you to lift the door manually with ease. One side of the spring will always be secured to a torsion shaft, while two screws and a bearing plate will hold the other cone and attach it to the spring pad.
Absolutely, a garage door spring can kill a person, and they’re often called a widowmaker. Unfortunately, homeowners worldwide die every year by trying to replace their garage door springs. Without necessary tools and training, replacing your garage door springs can be considered a suicide attempt. In addition, losing fingers or going through surgeries after a failed spring replacement procedure is very common. Therefore under any circumstances, do not try to replace your springs on your own if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing.
If you decide to go ahead and replace your garage door spring on your own, you must get a proper set of springs to balance your door. Otherwise, you might end up in a serious trouble. As we said before, the best way to deal with a broken spring would be by hiring a professional garage door company to do it for you. They will measure your existing springs and install a matching replacement set. However, if you’re in for a DIY challenge, we’ll explain how to measure your garage door spring. You will need three measurements to determine your spring’s size.
First, measure the inner diameter of the spring. The easiest way to do it is by taking the springs down to the floor and measuring the internal diameter with a measuring tape. The most common diameters for residential torsion springs are: 1 3/4″, 2″, 2 5/8, and 2 3/4″. Most garage door manufacturers deliver their doors with 2″ springs.
Once you’ve verified the spring ID or inner spring diameter, measure the length of the coils from cone to cone. Here you can be less accurate, as a few inches difference in the length of the spring will not play a significant role. Therefore if you try to purchase a spring online, and the length is +-2″, that’s not a deal-breaker.
Now the last and most important measurement is the diameter of the wire. The larger it is, the more lifting force it will provide. Therefore lighter doors will require a smaller wire size, while heavy doors will need a thicker spring wire to get them balanced.
Count exactly twenty coils on the spring and mark them properly to see precisely where the twentieth coil ends. Now measure the length of 20 coils and use our table provided below to see the wire diameter of your spring.
Congratulations, you’ve learned how to measure your garage door spring. You can now use this information to order a replacement online or get an accurate quote from your local garage door repair company to have them replaced for you.
Calgary Garage Door Fix Inc.
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