Garage Door Springs: What You Should Know

garage door springs

Like most homeowners, you’ve probably never given much thought to your garage door, let alone to your garage door springs. This oversight, however, is not only unfair but dangerous. The springs lift what just may be the heaviest and largest moving object within your home. In order to accomplish this feat, they are under an immense amount of tension.

When something goes wrong with your door’s springs, it goes wrong in a BIG way, as that tension we mentioned above is effectively lost.

This is not a do-it-yourself type of project! Broken springs should NEVER be replaced by individuals who are not properly trained to perform this type of repair. Continuing to operate your door once the spring(s) have broken is also extremely dangerous as there is nothing assisting to counterbalance the door’s weight (150+ pounds).

To ensure your safety does not become compromised due to a broken garage door spring, it is imperative that you stop using the door altogether, and contact a professional garage door repair company. Many companies offer same day and 24-hour emergency repair services to ensure you’re never left waiting with the inconvenience of an improperly working door.

Two Types of Garage Door Springs

  • Torsion springs function by coiling together and then loosening when the door is raised and lowered. They typically last longer than extension springs. Torsion springs are located in a centered position above the door itself.
  • Extension springs function by extending and contracting every time you open and close your door. They are the most common type of spring available. Extension springs are located above the door’s tracks on both sides.

The Lifecycle of Garage Door Springs

The springs on your garage door have a limited lifespan which is measured in cycles. The most common lifespan for springs is 10,000 cycle. The complete operation of your door, up and down, counts as one cycle. You can determine your spring’s life expectancy by the amount of times you operate your door per day.

How Often Used Life Expectancy
Two Times Per Day 14 years
Four Times Per Day 7 years
Six Times Per Day 5 years

Please note that this table is only an estimate.

How to Test Your Spring’s Balance

Perform the following steps, in the order they appear, to test the alignment and balance of your garage door. If after performing this test you notice that your door binds, sticks, or is out of balance please contact a professional garage door repair company. An unbalanced garage door can pose significant risks to your safety and security.

Step #1: Close the garage door

Step #2: Disconnect the garage door from the opener by pulling on the manual release rope.

Step #3: With the door still disconnect, attempt to manually open and close the door by hand. The door should open and close easily.

Step #4: Open the door half-way and then release it. This tests the door’s balance. The door should remain in place as it is supported by its springs.

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