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Garage Door Springs – A Safety Warning

Never, in any circumstance, should you ever attempt to adjust your garage door springs unless you are a trained professional.

Failure to respect this warning could result in permanent physical damage. Torsion springs are very high powered springs and without the proper training, you will not know how to adjust or work on them safely.  Never  release the garage door in the open position. If you have a broken spring and you don’t realize it, your garage door will crash down, resulting in injury or damage to anything underneath it. Regular maintenance checks are recommended to prevent personal injury and damage to the garage door.

Always start with the garage door closed to check your door balance. If the garage door starts to fall, never try to catch it with your hands or feet. Just let it fall. Never put your fingers in between the sections. To prevent pinching use handles or hinges to assist the door up or down. Springs counterbalance the weight of the door making the door seem as if it only weighs 10-15 pounds. If you have a broken spring, you will feel the weight of couple hundred pounds even on a lightweight door.


Keeping your door well balanced will not only make your home a safer place but will also keep your garage door operator running longer and quieter.

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How Do Garage Door Torsion Springs Work?

Torsion springs often go unnoticed until they break.


Here’s how the torsion system works:

  • The bottom section of the garage door has brackets on which the cables attach.
  • The cables run alongside the door and are attached to cable drums.
  • The cable drums are tightened onto the torsion tube which runs along the top of the door and is slid inside the springs.
  • The springs are secured on the center bracket which is attached to the header of the garage.
  • The other end of the spring is wound up, creating tension, and then secured to the torsion tube using set screws.
  • The spring distributes its power through the tube to the drum, from the drum to the cable to the bottom of the door.

Every time you lift the door the springs unwind.  Anytime you close the door the springs wind up. Springs are typically wound one full revolution per foot high of the door. The springs are calculated per the weight of the door. If the weight of the door increases by more than just a few pounds (whether it be by adding decorative or structural changes), the springs need to be replaced. If the springs are not the right size, the door will either be too light or too heavy.

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No power? No problem.

Using your front door is a thing of the past– most of us go inside through our garage door. Do you even carry a house key anymore? Most don’t.

Last Thursday night we had a power outage here in Orange County that affected over 120,000 homes and offices. (ABC Local) If you were planning on using your garage door or gate during that 3 hour window, you were either locked in or out. We look to our garage doors and gates for security but when the power goes we become trapped.

Here at Entry Systems we received many calls due to the power outage. Our advice– be prepared before it happens again.  We know the only time you think about your gate and garage door is when it’s broken, but you need to be prepared for the unexpected.

My favorite story is from a power outage that happened about a year ago. I know a woman in her 50’s who fortunately had a neighbor who was able (and willing) to climb up the second story balcony to let himself in through the sliding door! If only her door still worked.

We want you to be able to depend on your garage door or gate, even when the power goes out. That’s why we are currently including the battery backup with any LiftMaster 8360 or 8550 garage door opener that is installed. Gate operators that come with the battery back up are the CSW24V and CSL24V. We’re here to help.


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How safe is your garage door?

In general, it is thought that products were made better “back in the day.” Furniture was made out of solid wood and steel was used rather than plastic. Over the past 40 years, the garage door industry has only seen improvements with expansive options and security features to allow convenience and safety in every home. The first attempt to make garage doors safe was to require that they reverse when hitting an object on the way down or up. Many garage door openers did not comply with this rule and it was excused with a red warning label.


But–there was a turning point in the early 90’s when new safety standards were implemented. After multiple accounts of children being killed by a closing garage door the law was passed.  All garage door opener manufacturers were required to include safety sensors with every opener sold.  Some manufacturers did not comply with the changes in time and shut down as a result.  It was realized that garage doors needed to not only be reliable but safe. In recent years, manufacturers have gone above and beyond to include even more safety features to make your home as safe as possible.

Below is a statement from LiftMaster, one of the leading manufacturers who’s products we proudly carry:

We are committed to the highest standards of product safety. Over the years, the LiftMaster® brand has led the industry in introducing innovative product safety features. As a company, we have manufactured garage door openers for 50 years with a safety record that ranks as one of the best in the industry.

…In 2008, Chamberlain made the decision to stop supporting the repair of all pre-1993 LiftMaster garage door openers, this includes technical service support and the sale of replacement parts. We believe this decision will provide you with the latest in technology and more safety, security, and convenience features.
To insure the highest degree of safety and customer satisfaction, we believe it is important that pre-1993 garage door openers are replaced, as opposed to being repaired… We believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers, as safety always comes first.
If you have any questions about the safety of your garage door, please give us a call. We are happy to give recommendations and advice at no charge. Annual maintenance and safety checks are recommended and can be scheduled at any time.

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