Having a spring for your garage door break is very frustrating. It effects wether or not the door can open and that can effect a huge part of your life! We have a 16’ wide door on our garage that we park both of our cars in. That means that if the garage door spring breaks it could be difficult to get the door open and our cars will be trapped inside. This post will explain why a spring is important, and what function it serves, and why they ever break at all.
First things first, there are few different types of garage door springs. Torsion, extension springs, and some Wayne Dalton brand doors use a torque master spring system.
Types of Springs
TORSION SPRINGS: These are the most common type of garage door springs that are installed. They are a single spring that is mounted horizontally on a metal shaft above the door. These are installed on both residential doors and commercial doors. Even though these springs are installed on many types of garage doors, they are not all the same. These springs come in many different sizes; the size of the spring installed on your garage door is determined by the weight of your door. There are so many different spring sizes that it’s best if one of our service technicians comes out to your home and measures and weighs for the proper spring size. Sometimes you can bring in the old spring to our shop and we can measure the coils on the old spring to get you a matching new one. This should only be done if you know how to safely remove a spring already.
EXTENSION SPRINGS: These springs are most common on wood sectional doors installed around the 70’s through the 90’s. These are smaller springs that are mounted above your horizonal track and extend and contract to assist with the operation of the door.
WAYNE DALTON TORQUE MASTER: This spring system is the least common of the spring options, as they only come on Wayne Dalton doors and not even all of them. With this system, you can’t see the spring at all because it’s enclosed in a tube. If these springs break it usually means a whole new spring system.
What a Spring Does
The garage door spring is a hugely important piece of the system that makes your garage door work. If the spring is broken, it will be difficult and sometimes impossible to get your door to open at all. In short the spring carries the bulk of the weight when it comes to operating your door. Some garage doors are heavier than others, so the spring comes in really handy if you have a large wood or heavily insulated steel front and back door.
A lot of people think that the garage door opener is what carries most of the garage door weight, but really that is just the mechanism that does the action. The spring twists or extends and shoulders the bulk weight of the door, making it easy for the opener or a person to make the doors rollers travel along the track.
Why a spring might break
There are several reasons that a spring might break; regular wear and tear, the environment, lack of maintenance, and spring defects.
REGULAR WEAR AND TEAR: This is the most common reason for a spring to break. Springs are rated only for a certain number of uses. For the springs that we at Hung Right Doors use, that number of uses is 10,000 rotations. That is how many times you open and close a door. Every time the door is opened or closed that springs wears out just a little bit. Most springs will last several years however, especially if you take good care of them.
LACK OF MAINTENANCE: There are some basic things that you can do to help keep your springs in good condition. We recommend a yearly service, where one of our technicians comes to your home to make sure that all parts of your door are running smoothly, are replaced if they aren’t and are properly balanced and lubricated. Our technicians will add or take away any extra turns to make sure that your springs are still properly calibrated to your door and will make sure that the spring is wiped clean and lubricated. You can always wipe any dust or grime off the surface of your spring to make sure that debris particles don’t get themselves worked in between the spring coils. After you give your spring a wipe down make sure to spray it with a garage door lubricant. You can pick some up from our office.
ENVIORNMENT: Washington is a pretty damp state, and therefore metal components have a tenancy to rust of they aren’t properly taken care of. The springs that hung right doors installs are galvanized steel so rust isn’t really an issue for our springs, but if you have a spring that wasn’t installed by us then rust may start to happen. The primary reason behind this happening is that if the springs get dirty and the surface is scratched by dirt or dust then the moisture in the garage can seep into the springs and rust. Again, making sure that you are wiping your springs down once or twice a year with a microfiber towel, and then lubricating them will help immensely with this issue.
THE SPRING ITSELF IS DEFECTIVE, OR IT WASN’T CORRECTLY CALIBRATED: This issue is very rare, but stranger things have happened! Sometimes a spring will have issues with it that happen during manufacturing that causes it to break once it’s installed. If this is a problem it will typically reveal itself very quickly after being installed. Same if the spring wasn’t calibrated properly to the door. You’ll be able to tell if the door itself is difficult to open because it seems too heavy, or if it just opens right up super quickly because the spring was wound too tight. This issue isn’t very common either, but can arise occasionally. IF this ever seems like this problem might be what’s happening make sure to call the office right away to get it resolved so that we can make sure your spring is correctly calibrated.