Garage door springs are one of the most important moving parts of the entire garage door system, if not the most important. Despite this, many homeowners and residents don’t know how they work. Learning about your garage door springs will help you to better spot when one needs to be repaired or replaced, and could end up saving you a significant amount of money if you know what you’re looking for.
Modern springs for overhead models can be found on the shaft, on top of the garage door, and they use what is called torsion springs. These springs consist of two cones – one that winds at one end, and one that stays stationary at the other end. The winding cone adjusts the springs and the stationary cone keeps the spring in place with the center bracket. The coil of the spring connects between the winding and stationary cone, and the winding cone tightens to create the torque necessary to lift the garage door. The shaft of your garage door is a hollow tube made from metal, usually steel, that extends lengthwise on the door. The shaft is held up by the spring anchor bracket and the bearing plate at the end. The shaft adjusts the level of torque generated by the springs in order to lift the cable drums. These cables wrap around the drums and go down to the lowest section of the door and attach at the bottom.
When your garage door springs are properly in place and operating correctly, operating the garage door up and down shouldn’t be an issue. When the garage door is closed, the cables are responsible for holding the weight of the door, the springs stay wound, and the torque level doesn’t change. As the garage door is opened, the cables wrap around lift cable drums, which unwind the springs. The horizontal tracks of the garage door hold the weight of the door, meaning that minimal amounts of torque are required to keep the door in its up position.
Imbalance occurs when the wrong springs are installed on the wrong sized door. For instance, smaller springs installed on heavier doors will be too heavy for the springs too handle and too large of springs on smaller doors will result in it pulling up. Either case is bad for any garage door, and will inevitably cause an unnecessary break down of various components and mechanisms. The wrong sized springs have a tendency to make the garage door to fall off its tracks, causing some serious damage that could have been easily avoided.
One Spring or Two?
While one garage door spring is sufficient for holding up the weight of a garage door and balance it, but the issue with that is there is no counterforce on the other side. This will cause the single spring to pull a shaft to the side when you open or close it. Installing only one single spring will work in the short term, but eventually, that one spring will damage most, if not all of the door’s components. The cables, brackets, hinges and bearings will all wear out prematurely. Not only is installing on single spring a bad investment that you will need to replace too soon; it is also a big safety concern because the anchor brackets of the spring will loosen with time. With the constant sideways pull of the shaft, this will cause in unnecessary pressure that can result in the door collapsing.
When to Replace Garage Door Springs
The good news is that most garage doors today contain two springs, sometimes more if it’s a commercial door. Each spring cycles through together as the door open and close, so when one spring breaks and needs repair, the others aren’t too far behind. When you make the call to replace one garage door spring, you might as well go ahead and replace the others as well. This will save time and money that would be spent on replacing the others that are bound to wear out soon anyway.
Reliable Repair Services in Your Area
As you can see, there are many different intricate and confusing components of just the garage door springs alone, and this isn’t even including the rollers, the tracks and brackets, infrared sensors, and so on. The expert garage door techs here at Garage Door in My Area have years of experience providing in-home services at reasonable, comprehensive prices. All of our garage door pros are licensed, issued and put the safety of our customers at a premium. Don’t let a small issue turn into a gigantic safety hazard when it comes to garage door springs or other system malfunctions. Give us a call today.