One of the most common issues with a garage door is when they won’t open. Having a garage door stuck shut is a huge inconvenience. As you will usually find out about it being stuck, as soon as you’re leaving your house through the garage to go somewhere! 🙁
Garage doors are heavy and if the opener isn’t working correctly to open the door, there is typically one big reason why: A broken garage door spring.
Garage door openers don’t actually lift the weight of the door; they just preform the motion of opening and closing the door. The real workhorse is the garage door spring or springs.
There are two common types of springs; Torsion springs, and Extension springs.
These are the most common types of garage door springs, especially on doors that are 20 years or less old. There are one or two springs, which are mounted directly above the garage door on the front wall. These are long tubular springs mounted on long metal bar (called a torsion tube).
These springs are common on sectional wood doors, most commonly installed from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. These springs are often thinner than the torsion springs, are mounted on both sides above the horizontal tracks that are mounted to the ceiling by loops on either side of the spring. These springs sometimes have a safety cable in the springs, so that if the spring breaks it won’t fly off, possibly damaging something in the garage, or hurting someone. If you don’t see these and you don’t see a torsion spring, one or both extension springs are probably broken or missing.
Okay. So now you’ve determined what kind of spring your door has. How do you tell if it’s broken?
Since springs are one continuous wire that is coiled until it holds tension, the whole spring will be uncoiled if it’s a broken torsion spring or there will be a gap between the coils like the below picture.
If you have extension springs, all you have to do is look above the horizontal tracks to see if the spring is intact. These springs become uncoiled in a different way, it will look stretched out. Similar to the way a coiled phone cord looks if it’s bent. If you can’t see a spring, and you definitely don’t have a torsion spring, chances are that you have a broken extension spring that has come off the door.
If you’ve determined that you have a broken garage door spring the first thing to do is call Hung Right Doors at 360-753-2222 to get on the service schedule. Let the person who answered the phone know that you have a broken spring- we will get you on our schedule ASAP!
If you have a car trapped in the garage and we can’t do a service that same day, let us know! More times than not we are able to schedule a rescue that day where we get you out of your garage so that you aren’t trapped at home. If this is what needs to happen, we will also schedule your spring replacement service for a different day.
Sometimes, you’ll have two springs on your garage door, but only one is broken. Even if this is the case, we always recommend that you get both springs replaced. The reason for this is that more often than not, springs are replaced at the same time the lifetime of a spring is rated by number of rotations. Typically, if one spring breaks the other is not far behind. Hung Right Doors, LLC and many other garage door service companies will charge separately for parts and for labor.
We would hate to have to charge for the same labor, twice when we could just charge once.
What if you can’t find your springs? Some Wayne Dalton brand garage doors have what’s called a Torque Master Spring System. These springs are encased in a tube above the door where the torsion springs are, but you can’t see them because they are covered up. You can’t take the tube off. If your door won’t open and you have this type, we suggest you call a professional like us.