A garage door weighs tans, and it would be close to impossible to move it, shut and open without the help of the door springs. The stretching and contracting of the door spring on the garage door balance out the heavyweight of the garage door to help it slide up and down easily during opening and closing. So, now I am not strong enough to lift that door to open; it’s been the springs all this time.
Garage springs, just like any other mechanical device, are prone to breakages. You’ll need to know what to do when this happens, but we’ll get to learn how to fix your broken garage door springs later on. For now, it’s essential to know how and what may break your garage door springs to make sure that they give you your money’s worth.
Why Garage Door Springs Get Broken?
Before we learn how to replace the broken spring on the garage doors, let’s find out some of the reasons why you may find the garage door spring broken. By this, you can ensure the replacements you do lasts longer.
• Wear Tear
The garage door typically opens and closes between 3000-10000 times in a year. That is, on average, eight times a day. These springs hold all the weight of the garage door. That makes it easy for us to lift the door to open and close. So we can only imagine how much wear and tear is expected. The best you can do to reduce wear and tear is to make sure not to open the garage doors unless it’s essential.
• Cheaper Options
I know you are familiar with the saying cheap is expensive? Well, this is where it applies. We are always looking for options that will help us save money, especially when it comes to parts replacements. Some people will look to save money by installing one long spring instead of the two recommended on both sides. The two springs will last longer as the weight is equally distributed, while the single one will go through a lot of tension, thus cutting its life span by nearly half.
Rust can be a real big nuisance to machinery, and it can bring about damages if not prevented. Garage door springs are also prone to developing rust that will eat away at the springs. This causes them to break or snap unexpectedly.
The sad part about rust being a reason for spring breakage is that it might cause damage to the spring way before it has given you value for your money.
To ensure that no rust forms in the springs, it’s advisable to lubricate your springs and make sure there isn’t any sauce of moisture near the springs.
Anything worth having for a long time will not last without proper maintenance. Regularly checking the state of the springs will see that we catch possible breakage or snapping of the spring before it happens. Inspecting your spring’s condition also helps find rust formations.
It is important to note that broken garage door springs are not the only problem that can affect your door. There are other factors that come into play for the optimal function of the door. It is worth reading this post to find out other garage door problems and how to fix them.
Fixing the Garage Door Spring
The only way to fix a broken garage door spring is to replace it with a new one; there is no way around it. As long as you know your way around tools and have basic knowledge of mechanical systems, you’re good to go. Replacing the garage springs won’t be a pain in the neck for you at all.
We do, however, need to be careful with the springs as they have tension. Because if not correctly handled, it may be dangerous.
Identify the type of garage door spring
The first step is to establish the type of springs in our garage door. There are two main types of springs: the torsion or extension springs.
Extension springs are thin and are placed vertically on either side of each horizontal door. Torsion springs are however thick and placed parallel to the garage door right at the top of the opening. Check your broken spring to find which spring you have.
Measure the spring
The second step is to measure the spring. To purchase a replacement, it’s important to have these measurements. Length of spring, wire size, inside diameter, and spring wind are what you need to see. Watch this video to know the entire process
Replacing an Extension Garage Door Spring
Replacing an extension spring is relatively more manageable and straightforward. Because you might not need to deal with spring tension compared to a torsion spring, which is safer.
1. Fully open the door
Secure the door open, preferably using C- clamps. Leaving the garage door open and securing it ensures that the tension on the spring is released. Once the tension is released, you can remove the spring from the track. After, you then disconnect the safety cable from one end. That is done so that you can install the new pulley and re-install the components in the order in which you detached them.
In case the spring you are replacing is on the one-piece door, the same applies in opening the door and securing it. In the case of a one-piece door, there aren’t any pulleys for you to disconnect; mainly, it involves replacing or swapping the old spring for the new one.
Replacing a Torsion Garage Door Spring
For a long time, people have been warned against replacing torsion spring in their own hands. They usually describe this task as dangerous. But as long as one understands the mechanism behind torsion springs and they pay attention to every step of the process, then replacing and fixing the spring will be surprisingly fast and easy.
Dealing with spring tension
The hard part of the process is dealing with the tension of the spring, which, if mishandled, could be dangerous. The best way to deal with this spring tension is by unwinding the spring, rewinding it, and securing the spring. It is crucial to do this while the spring is under pressure, using a winding bar.
Use the appropriate tools
It is crucial to use the right tools for this job as cutting corners could bring more complications. The unwinding and winding are made possible by a winding cone that has four holes.
The winding bar is inserted in one of the wholes, which then turns the cone. The cone will turn quarter way where you then insert another bar in the next hole, which will lever letting you turn the cone. These two bars will help you alternate, turning the cone in quarters, releasing the tension on the spring.
The HandyMan did a good job explaining this process. Watch the video below:
Keep the garage door closed
Unlike the tension springs, the torsion spring is replaced when the door is closed. Unload the springs using the bar and disconnect from the central rod bracket and pulleys while sliding them off the rod. After the pulleys are of the rod, then you can switch the springs with the new ones, re-install the elements and finally secure them on the cones using setscrew bolts.
The best way to know that the job is done the way it should be is to ensure that you follow all the steps to the letter. Keep in mind that usually, a garage door has two springs. If one breaks, the other one might as well be on its way to breaking. It is safer to replace both the springs to make you save time and funds.