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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.

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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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