The most important component of your garage door and door opener is the spring system. When the spring system malfunctions, your door won’t open. More importantly, the spring system is not a DIY project because the tension the springs must maintain in order to work make them extremely dangerous.
Understanding the spring system on your garage door can be a big benefit relative to maintaining your garage door and door opener and keeping your family safe. Homeowners can start by learning the age of their garage door and door opener and by visually examining the components.
Old springs and new springs
Older garage doors have extension springs, which are mounted on both sides of the door above the upper tracks. A cable and pulley system connects the bottom of the door, the spring, the track and the track support, so that the spring stretches when the door closes and relaxes when the door opens.
New garage doors and openers have torsion springs, which mount above the garage door opening and are connected by cables that run down to the bottom of the door. The spring and tube assembly uses drums at either end of the bar, which wind and unwind the cable to raise and lower the door.
The newer torsion spring system has some advantages over the old system, the biggest being safety. Both styles are under tremendous tension in order to do their job, but the design of the torsion system keeps the spring and components attached to the assembly even if it breaks. Torsion springs, while a little more costly than extension springs, also last longer.
Whichever system operates your garage door, checking it regularly for loose connections and unusual noises is recommended.
If your door uses an old extension spring system, a key item you should check for is a safety cable. Old springs were designed with a single cable and pulleys, but most extension spring systems today have been retrofitted with an additional cable, which runs through the center of the spring from the track to the track support bracket. This prevents the spring from flying loose if it breaks. If your extension spring system does not have this safety feature, contact a professional to install one.
You may want to consider upgrading to a torsion spring system. One of the biggest wear factors on a spring system occurs when balance is off, and the torsion spring system is easier to balance than extension spring systems. Small garage doors usually can operate with one torsion spring, with larger and heavier garage doors simply needing additional springs.
Call in the pros
Whether you need a repair or check up for your existing door opening system or you want to upgrade to a newer system, never attempt to work on garage door springs on your own. Spring systems may appear easy to install, but the tension needed on the springs and the brackets that connect them to their assemblies make them extremely dangerous. A spring that breaks or comes loose suddenly during a repair or installation can cause serious damage, injury and even death.
If you have questions about the springs operating your garage door or you are considering converting to a torsion spring system, contact Above & Beyond today.