Springs are literally the lifeline to your garage door. If you have ever heard one of them snap, this truth really rings loud and clear. The sound has been likened to a car backfiring due to its loud thunderous boom. If you are home, it will almost certainly have you running to the scene of the crime. Looking up, you see your precious spring has snapped in two, making it rather difficult to get that door open to say the least. Upon first glance, it might seem like no big deal to replace it, but you might want to rethink that assumption.
The weight of your entire garage door – a weight that approaches 300 pounds in some cases – is dependent upon that spring. This includes any windows that you might have included within the door structure itself. Because of this factor alone, replacing garage door springs on your own might not be such a good idea. Let’s look at some reasons why this is the case.
Consider the Type of Garage Door
There are two different types of garage doors in use today, both of which employ the same basic principle when it comes to the spring.
- Torsion – With this type of the door, the spring is located directly over the door itself. You will notice that that spring on a torsion door is contained inside a tube for protection purposes.
- Extension – If you have an extension door, the spring will be located directly over the tracks that run horizontal. If a spring were to break, ideally there would some safety cable already installed. If so, this will keep the spring in its position, without having it fall to the ground. The spring is still broken, however, and needs to be replaced
With both door types, a spring functions as a type of counterweight that is meant support all of the weight that your garage door can give it. In essence, a properly functioning spring is necessary in order to reduce the weight of the door all the way down to no more than 10 pounds. This is why you should be able to easily open your door manually if necessary. This is, of course, dependent upon having a functioning spring in place.
The Durability of Garage Door Springs
As you can probably imagine, a garage door spring will not last forever. The best estimates are that a well designed spring will successfully open and close your door roughly 10,000 times over the course of its life. For the average homeowner, that equates to a good five to seven years of use. That’s the good news. The even better news is that our company also carries a newly designed double life spring that will last give you quite a bit of usage. However, the reality is that even the best-designed spring will eventually break, leaving you in a pickle.
Replacing A Broken Spring On Your Own Can Be Dangerous
Just imagine how powerful a spring must be to consistently lift a door that is three hundred pounds. That’s a lot of torque! If you go to replace this on your own, the snap back from a new spring can throw you for quite a loop. If you need to replace a torsion spring system, the attached tube literally needs to be joined to the mechanism that lifts the cables. This must then be attached to the apparatus that is securely placed almost under the door. A great deal can go wrong while joining together all of the pieces, causing the new spring itself to potentially snap back right at you.
An extension spring carries the same potential danger. The way it works is largely the same, with the notable exception that a tube is absent. Everything that you need to insert the spring correctly is still interconnected; making it a more dangerous process than it appears at first glance. The heavier the door, the more total weight is supported by that spring. It simply is not advisable to do this on your own.
Electric Door Openers Work…To An Extent
You might be thinking to yourself that your automatic garage door opener will do the trip for you. This is a valid assumption to the point that electric openers are rated to open doors up to about 250 pounds, depending on its strength (½ or ¾ HP). This does depend on the horsepower of the motor, but that is a general guideline. However, you will quickly see how fast a heavy door comes crashing to a close if the spring breaks. It is all about safety here.
If the spring on your garage door opener breaks, consider it an emergency repair. This is one of those parts that go unseen and unnoticed until it is not functioning. Its importance should not be discounted, which is where we come into the equation. As opposed to trying to make the replacement on your own, contact us and we will get out there as soon as possible. If you have an emergency need to use your door, then and only then should you opt to rely solely on your electric opener.
We offer a complete 28-point maintenance check and service program for garage doors in residential areas. You can schedule your own service call with us online, or you can call one of our friendly team members at 724-586-6590. We will be happy to provide you with a no obligation free quotation.