Why Garage Door Springs Break

garage door spring repairMost of us take garage doors for granted; we don’t even think twice when we hear the metallic creaking of a garage door opening and closing to let our cars pass through. With this mentality in mind, we are often confused when our garage doors malfunction or break all together.

While DIY projects are fun to complete, homeowners are cautioned against attempting to fix malfunctioning garage doors on their own. That being said, garage doors are an important factor of our lives, as such it is a good idea to know a little bit more about how they operate. For example, have you ever heard of the torsion spring? This counterbalance system is a crucial component for ensuring that your garage door continues to function properly – no matter how many times a day you use it.

What is a torsion spring and why is it important?

  • A torsion spring is a counterbalance system that uses one or two tightly wound springs. The springs are located on a steel shaft and have cable drums at both ends. The torsion spring is mounted to the header wall above the garage door. It has a three-pronged support system with a center and two end bearing plates at either end.
  • The torsion spring is responsible for helping the garage door raise and lower. The two (or three) springs have a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the opposite end. When a garage door is raised, the springs will unwind, which releases stored tension. This stored tension lifts the door by turning the torsion spring’s shaft, which in then turns the garage door’s cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables are unwrapped from the cable drums, and the torsion springs are returned to a full tension mode.

How can torsion springs break? 
Even though manufactures typically construct torsion springs for a lot of wear and tear, there are several factors that can contribute to breaking or malfunctioning. Torsion springs are typically manufactured to provide a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles. It is important to note that one full cycle includes a single opening and closing sequence of the garage door. The torsion springs are also sold with a guarantee of three to seven years.

Additional factors that can contribute to breaking, include:

  • Poor garage door maintenance
  • Loose tracks
  • Grease build-up on garage door tracks. This causes the wheels to skate in their tracks instead of turning on their bearings.
  • Insufficient lubricant on bearings, hinges, and spring wire

If your garage door is no longer seamlessly lifting or closing, there is a high probability that the torsion springs are no longer properly functioning. Torsion springs can occasionally become undone from their bearings, snap, or become tangled. It is important to note that in these instances a professional garage repair company should be hired to fix or replace the torsion springs. Since the torsion springs are the main mechanisms involved in lifting and closing a garage door, fixing them is extremely dangerous. Rest assured dear reader, if your torsion spring breaks, a quick call to a professional repair company can have your garage door fixed in no time.

Overhead Door Company of Washington, DC
Serving Washington DC & Suburban Maryland
6841 Distribution Drive
Beltsville, MD 20705
(301) 937-1800

Overhead Door Company of Washington, DC
Southern MD Branch
151 Schooner Lane, Suite 27
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
(301) 937-1800

Overhead Door Company of Washington, DC
Northern VA Branch
8641 Virginia Meadows Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
(703) 334-4050

Overhead Door Company of Central Virginia
Serving the greater Richmond VA area
10391 Leadbetter Road
Ashland, VA 23005
(804) 550-1300

Overhead Door Company of Harrisburg-York
Serving the greater metropolitan Harrisburg PA area
576 Grandview Drive
Lewisberry, PA 17339
(717) 938-6101

Overhead Door Company of Harrisburg-York
Serving the greater Hanover-York PA area
23 Amy Way
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 633-5776