As a garage door technician serving Petersburg and the surrounding area, I’m often asked how torsion springs function to safely operate garage doors. In this blog post, I’ll explain the mechanics of torsion springs and discuss some common problems homeowners may encounter.
Torsion springs are located above the garage door, either on each side or in the center, depending on the door model. They work by twisting steel cables around a metal shaft to store energy. When the door is closed, the springs are twisted and under tension, ready to lift the door open. As the door opens or closes, a torsion bar attached to the end of each spring rotates to wind or unwind the cable.
The amount of energy stored in the twisted cables provides enough power to easily lift even heavy garage doors. When the door is opened, the springs slowly unwind to control the door’s movement up or down. This counterbalancing system allows for smooth, balanced operation no matter the door’s weight.
Common Torsion Spring Problems
Over time and with heavy use, torsion springs can start to wear out and break. Signs include doors that are getting harder to open/close, an unbalanced door, or snapping/cracking noises. Rust or broken coils are also indicators it’s time for replacement. Left unaddressed, failing springs can suddenly snap with force and cause injury.
Another issue is when one spring breaks before the other. This causes the remaining spring to carry more than half the weight load, accelerating its wear. For maximum safety and balance, it’s critical to always replace garage door torsion springs in pairs.
In conclusion, torsion springs play a vital role in safely operating garage doors through counterbalancing. Understanding these mechanics and keeping an eye out for warning signs of wear helps ensure your door functions properly for years to come. Don’t hesitate to contact a garage door pro if you notice any potential spring problems. Our technicians can efficiently diagnose issues and replace springs to restore smooth, balanced operation.
Can I replace my torsion springs myself or is it dangerous?
While possible, it is not recommended for homeowners to replace torsion springs due to the high tension involved. Leave it to trained professionals to avoid injury.
How long do torsion springs typically last?
A properly functioning set of torsion springs can last 10-15 years on average. However, factors like temperature, usage frequency, and door weight affect spring life. Signs of wear determine replacement needs.