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Posts Tagged broken garage door springs

Rain, Rain, Go Away

We’ve had a good deal of rain lately here in Southern California.  Compared to the rest of the country it’s not very much, but we have been in a drought so when it rains for 2 days day we consider that to be a “good deal” of rain.  Personally, I like the change in the weather.  I was able to go home after work, light a fire, and enjoy a cozy evening with hot chocolate and Christmas tree lights.  I know the rain can cause many problems for people, though too.  One of those problems has to do with your garage door.

If your garage door is a roll-up, sectional door you have a type of springs called torsion springs.  These springs twist as your garage door closes, storing up energy, and then releasing energy and untwisting to open the door.  Without these springs your door is extremely heavy and almost impossible to lift.  Torsion springs don’t like the rain so when it rains they often break leaving your garage door stuck closed and your car trapped inside.  That’s when you frantically call Entry Systems to schedule a time for a technician to come out to fix it.

Most people don’t think twice about their garage door until it breaks. But the fact of the matter is that torsion springs only last about 10,000 cycles, or 5-8 years.  There are a few things you can do to help increase the life of your torsion springs, preventing extreme inconvenience and unexpected expenses.  We recommend having your garage door system serviced annually.  There are many parts that can wear out which can cause damage and unnecessary strain to your door and motor.  It is also important to keep your rollers, track, and springs well lubricated.  This will help your door open and close smoothly and quietly, and will prolong the life of your garage door and it’s operating system. Garage door maintenance can be dangerous so it may be best if you leave it up to the professionals.  We are happy to help and make sure you are able to get in and out of your garage and to work on time!

The torsion springs in your garage cause the door to open and close and can cause stress when broken.

The torsion springs in your garage cause the door to open and close and can cause stress when broken.

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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.

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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.

torsion_spring_door

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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