Torsion Springs play a vital role in ensuring your garage door runs properly. All the weight of the door is contained in the torsion springs and when springs break, it prevents your door from running properly. If you suspect that you have a broken spring, DO NOT RUN THE DOOR as this can cause further damage to your door and cost you more than just a spring replacement. It transfers the weight to the opener instead of the spring and can cause your opener to break and need a replacement. Here’s what you should know about garage door torsion springs, what they do and how they affect the life cycle of your garage door.
How do Torsion Springs work?
Just like any spring, garage door springs store mechanical energy, which makes them tighten. Torsion springs store energy by using a rotating or twisting motion. The advantage of garage door torsion springs over conventional springs is that they can store a lot more energy because they are made from a denser material.
What do Torsion Springs do?
Torsion springs are normally mounted horizontally above the opening of your garage door. When you pull the door down, cables attached to the bottom corners actually force the springs to wind up, in turn energizing the system. When you open the door, the springs then unwind and their energy transfers to the door, allowing it to lift up and making it easier to open.
Lifecycle & Tension Ratings of Springs.
As the door opens and closes over time, the steel in the springs can start to weaken as the door gradually becomes too heavy for them, rendering them less effective. The springs will eventually break, leaving the door closed. Torsion springs can also be affected by rust and cold weather. The good news is, the average garage door torsion springs will last somewhere between 5-7 years, and should last around 10,000 cycles. So, if you open and close your garage door 3-5 times a day for 365 days a year, you should get plenty of life out of your torsion springs.
Dangers and Risks.
A garage door with a broken torsion spring can fall rapidly and cause injury or death. However, the most common danger comes when your torsion springs break and you decide to undertake the repair/replacement yourself. Torsion springs can be VERY DANGEROUS, and you not only need the exact tools for the job, but also need to have a good knowledge of the mechanics involved. Some of the parts involved in such a process can be life threatening, and must be handled with care and precision, which is why it is always recommended that you call a professional, rather than trying to handle a replacement or repair by yourself.