Everything You Need to Know About Your Torsion Springs
What do you know about your torsion springs? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your garage door unless you encounter an issue with it.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the ideal time to learn more about your garage door and its torsion springs. Gaining the knowledge you need upfront is a great way to ensure the longevity of your garage door for the years ahead.
We’re here to help you figure out everything you need to know about your torsion springs. It’s time to dive right into these main things every homeowner should know to keep their garage door opening smoothly.
How Do Torsion Springs Work?
The very first thing you need to know about your torsion springs is just how they work in relation to your garage door. These essential elements are found above the garage door and run parallel to the ground.
Depending on your garage door (check out the article on the types of garage doors), you might have one torsion spring right in the center or two smaller ones on each side of the door. They should be mounted on a shaft that contains the cables that are responsible for lifting and lowering your garage door.
Your torsion springs are responsible for winding up the cables on the spools at the end of the shaft. The springs do all of the lifting required to open the garage door as well as the slower unwinding necessary to protect it from lowering down too quickly. In short, the torsion springs are designed to help maintain the tension necessary to open and shut the garage door with greater ease.
Without these essential elements, you’d be responsible for lifting your extremely heavy garage door all on your own. Can you imagine how difficult that task could be if you had to do it each time you wanted to pull the car inside? This is why maintaining your torsion spring or springs is crucial to keeping your home running smoothly.
Should I Have One Torsion Spring or Two?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. Some homes have only one torsion spring while others have two. Both are perfectly acceptable options to help keep your home running smoothly for the years ahead. A double-spring door might help you to save more money on maintenance and repair costs over the years (check out the article on 6 garage maintenance tips).
Since the workload is split between two different springs, this cuts the amount of wear and tear on your torsion springs in half. This creates a scenario that enables you to go longer periods of time without the need for replacing them.
It also sets you up to have a safer operation of the door when you have more than one spring. When one torsion spring breaks, the other can help to minimize the risk of personal injury or property destruction if the door slams shut rather quickly.
The second spring may not be able to prevent the rapid fall of the garage door, but it can certainly help to slow it down long enough for you to potentially move out of the way.
Do You Ever Need to Replace the Torsion Spring?
All mechanical elements will eventually reach the end of their lifespan. Your torsion spring is no different than anything else. It depends on the type of torsion spring you have, but they might last anywhere from seven to twenty years. How can you figure out how long your spring is likely to last?
Take a look at your purchase receipts to determine how many cycles your torsion spring is supposed to last. Many of them are 10,000 cycles, which means that they should last approximately seven years. This is based on the average of having the garage door open and close at least four times each day (once when you leave for work and once when you return).
If possible, you’ll want to replace your torsion spring when it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. It’s always best to work repairs into a schedule that is convenient for you instead of waiting for them to break and being unable to open or close your garage door for a few days while you await a repair.
How Do You Know If the Torsion Spring is Broken?
You might be wondering if the recent problems you’ve been experiencing are the direct result of your torsion spring breaking. There are some identifiable ways to determine if your issue is related to the torsion spring. First, your door will be nearly impossible to open. Since the entire weight of the door will suddenly be your responsibility to lift, this should be a telltale sign that your springs need a little attention.
Alternatively, you might notice that your garage door simply slams into the ground instead of lowering gently. This could also be a sign that your torsion spring isn’t in the best shape and could potentially be dangerous for you.
If you have two torsion springs on your garage door, it is recommended to replace both of them at the same time. Given that both springs help to open the door equally, they tend to experience the same degree of wear and tear. Any indication that one spring might be broken or extremely worn should be a sign that both need to be replaced.
Can You Replace a Torsion Spring on Your Own?
If you feel like you’re a relatively handy homeowner, you might be tempted to try fixing the torsion spring all on your own. It might seem like a relatively minor part of the door that could be fixed with just a few hours of your weekend. However, experts really advise against attempting a DIY torsion spring replacement.
Many homeowners don’t have the tools or the know-how to replace their torsion spring safely. The actual act of removing the old springs can be highly dangerous but installing them incorrectly can pose an equal risk to your safety. This is one repair that is best left to the experts.
Keep in mind that replacing your torsion springs may not be the only repair your door needs at this time. You will likely need to purchase new winding bars to help minimize the wear and tear on your door. While it isn’t completely necessary, this is also a great opportunity to replace the cables if any of them are starting to show significant signs of wear and tear.
You’re a Torsion Spring Expert
Keeping up with your torsion spring can be a simple task if you know what to look for. Identifying problems with this key piece of the door early is going to be very beneficial for keeping your garage door opening and closing with ease. These details should give you all of the information you need to make a wise decision with your torsion spring changes in the upcoming years.
If you garage is deteriorating or it’s time for a change, don’t hesitate to get a free quote from Danley’s – we’re Chicago’s garage experts. Whether you’re looking for a one, two, three or custom style garage, we can help you create exactly what you’re looking for.