Know Your Way Around Construction Equipment

3 Issues That Are Caused By Worn Garage Door Springs

Your garage door springs are rated to last anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. However, unless you're keeping a running tally of how many times you've cycled your door, it's impossible to know exactly when your springs will become worn or require replacement. To determine whether or not your garage door springs need to be adjusted or replaced, inspect your garage door assembly for the following issues.

How Your Springs Work

To understand how worn torsion or extension springs cause these three issues, you'll first need to learn how your springs work.

Your springs are a vital part of your door's counterbalance system—the series of shafts, drums, and cables just above your garage door panels. These components work together to produce torsion (hence the name of your springs).

When your door is opened, your springs twist and create a significant amount of torsion that's transferred along your shaft to your drums and cables. This torsion is used to pull your cables upwards, which, in turn, pulls your door into the open position. When you close your door, your springs slowly unwind and reduce the amount of torsion in your drums and cables—which allows your door to close steadily.

Your Door Is Too Heavy To Lift

You're used to exerting only a minimal amount of physical effort to manually lift your garage door into the open position. However, your panels can weigh several hundred pounds depending on their material. When your springs become loose and unable to produce enough torsion to lift the majority of your door's weight, you'll need to exert significantly more effort to lift your door.

Worn springs will still bear some of your door's weight. In such a case, you may need to use two hands to lift your door into the open position. However, if you can't open your door at all, then one or both of your springs may be broken. In such a case, you'll need to have a garage door technician replace your springs before you can once again open your door.

Your Opener's Gearbox Is Stripped

If you typically use your automatic opener, then you may not notice how heavy your door feels since you aren't lifting it manually. Although you don't have to break a sweat while opening your door, your opener's motor and gearbox will struggle to handle the weight of your garage door when your springs are worn.

Your automatic opener's motor isn't designed to lift the entire weight of your door. Instead, it's designed to lift only the amount of weight that's necessary to allow your counterbalance system to cycle your door. However, if your springs aren't providing enough torsion to your counterbalance system, then your opener's motor and gearbox will have to work overtime to account for the increased load.

As a result, the teeth of your opener's gears will quickly become worn—and since you won't know that your springs aren't operating correctly, the teeth are likely to become completely stripped before you even notice your springs aren't providing a sufficient amount of torsion.

Your Door Won't Stay Open

A falling garage door can be deadly. If your garage door closes by itself even once, then it means that there's a serious issue with your counterbalance system. Typically, a garage door will only fall on its own if a spring or cable breaks while the door is in the open position—since a broken cable or spring can prevent the door from being opened in the first place.

If any of these issues are afflicting your garage door assembly, then have your springs inspected and replaced or adjusted by a professional garage door technician right away. If you don't perform maintenance right away, your existing issues can worsen and cause greater problems for you in the future.

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