Did you hear a loud thump or possibly a sound like a gunshot coming from the garage? After speeding to the site, you see that the spring located above the door has broken in two. It can’t be all that difficult to replace, so you plan on doing it on the weekend when you have some time.
Quite the opposite! You should know, right from the start, that the entire weight of the door is transferred to your spring system, a weight that can vary between 125 and 300 lb. (57 and 136 kg), including any windows on your door. It might not be the greatest idea to tackle this task, and here’s why.
What types of doors are there for garage doors?
- It is located over the door and is contained in a tube;
- If it breaks, the spring will stay suspended from tube.
- The springs are placed over the horizontal tracks;
- If one of them breaks, if there is a safety cable installed, this cable will hold the spring in place, without falling to the ground.
In both cases, the springs act as a counterweight to the total weight of your door. The job of the springs is to reduce the dead weight of the door to between 8 to 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg). Thus, if you lift your door manually, it shouldn’t be difficult to do.
How long does a spring last?
Generally, a 10,000‑cycle spring system will last between 5 and 7 years, with a cycle equal to one opening and closing. We also carry double‑life springs that are good for 20,000 cycles. If you normally use your garage door to go and from work, plus the times used by the kids to leave and enter the house, plus on the weekends for work around the house, you will definitely reach 10,000 in 5 years!
So what’s so dangerous about changing a broken spring by myself?
You should be aware of the workings of the whole lifting system: the torsion spring is attached to the tube which is connected to the drum that winds the lifting cables which are in turn attached to brackets at the bottom of the door. To help you better understand, you’ll notice when the door is closed that the lifting cable is taut like a guitar string.
For an extension spring, it’s about the same thing, except there isn’t a tube, but everything is interconnected.
If you have a garage door for two cars (e.g.: 16 ft. or 4.9 m), the total weight is much greater as is the tension on the lifting system. If it’s a torsion system, you will have two springs. Note that it is extremely rare for both the springs to break at the same time.
There is no need to worry – my electric opener will open the door!
You’re right… partially. Door openers are designed to lift a weight up to 250 lb. (110 kg) and even more, depending on its strength (½ or ¾ HP). However, if it can lift that much, be aware that it will push that many pounds when lowering. So definitely don’t put your foot on the threshold of the door. You’ll see fast that 250 lb. (110 kg) is very heavy!
So what should I do?
If you have an electric garage door opener, close the door and unplug the door opener from the outlet. Contact us immediately so we can come and make an emergency repair. This is about your safety and that of your loved ones. But if it is an emergency and you must get out of the garage, only then use your door opener.
I really want to avoid this kind of situation, so what preventive measures can I take?
Twice a year, give your door a quick inspection, but, more importantly, a good lubrication. Lubricate all parts that are in contact with other metal parts, such as the rollers, hinges and springs. We suggest doing this before the start of winter and at the beginning of spring. It’s during winter that your door is most heavily used.
For the springs, all you have to do is apply a little oil for metal and wipe off the excess with a cloth. This will protect the springs from rust forming on their surface and eliminate the noise of the coils rubbing together. This will also prolong the life of the springs.
Can you do it for me?
Of course! We provide a 28‑point check-up program for residential doors. It includes an inspection, adjustments, and lubrication of parts. If there is a component that needs to be changed, we will contact you before undertaking any work and we will tell you the cost of the part to be replaced. At the same time we will provide you with a report on the state of the health of your door.
Whatever your needs are garage doors or openers, you can plan a service call online or contact us at 506-450-3031 to get a free quote. You can also use our Design Centre to create your dream garage door!