When it’s time to Replace Your Garage Door Springs
With a standard 12×7 garage door weighing in at approximately 150 pounds, it is a very heavy object. And contrary to the assumption of many homeowners, it’s the garage door springs, not the opener motor that does the heavy lifting. Knowing when it’s time to replace your garage door springs will not only improve the safe operation of your garage door, it will save you time, money and unnecessary repairs.
Without getting too much into the Laws of Physics, here is how garage door springs work: When the door is closed, the tightly wound springs provide the torque the opener needs to lift the door off the ground. And once the door is open, the stored energy in the unwound springs to hold the door up. As the opener pushes the door to the ground, the springs are being wound for the next cycle.
If you notice that your garage door is not closing or opening evenly, it may be an indication that it’s time to replace the springs. As these tightly wounds springs reach their life expectancy, they could break under pressure resulting in property damage or injuries if anyone is in the way.
Garage door has torsion springs or extension springs:
Most standard 2-car garages use torsion springs. Depending on the size and weight of the door, there will be one or two torsion springs mounted directly above the garage door. Since they provide the lift from the center of gravity, they provide a smooth, efficient operation. The torsion springs have a lifetime expectancy of about 15,000 cycles. So, if you operate your garage door three times per day, they will need to be replaced in 12-15 years.
Many single car garage doors and smaller garage doors use extension springs. They are smaller than torsion springs and are mounted on each side of the garage door along the top of the tracks. Both extension springs need to be in good working condition to ensure that the door opens and closes evenly. Extension springs generally have a life expectancy of approximately 10,000 cycles. This means they will need to be replaced within 8 to 10 years when operated three times a day.
Signs You Need Garage Door Springs Replacement
Weak coils – Your garage door springs should be visually inspected annually. If you notice that there is too much slack, gaps or other imperfections in the coil, it is a sign that the springs are getting weak and should be replaced.
Excessive noise – Is your garage door squealing or squeaking as it opens or closes? This is often the first sign that your springs need to be replaced.
Out of balance – The continuous up and down motion of the garage door leads to wear and tear on the extension springs. If your door is jerking as it operates or is pulling one side of the door faster than the other, is often an indication that spring failure is imminent.
The door doesn’t stay open – When you pull the emergency release to manually lift the door 2 to 3 feet above the ground, it should remain in place. If it doesn’t stay open or suddenly falls to the ground, it’s time to replace your garage door springs.
Replacing garage door springs requires professional assistance. Improper removal or an incorrect size spring for your garage door can result in injuries and property damage. Contact a qualified garage door repair technician for assistance.