Garage door springs are an important part of the door’s movement process as it allows the door to be opened and closed easily. It works both ways (when you try opening the door by hand or by an automatic garage door opener). However, these high-tension steel from which the springs are made have a limited lifespan. After a certain time, these springs start to lose their power. They say, garage door springs are of “10000-2000 use”. Yet, you are opening your door three-four times a day, do the math!
So, knowing about springs and learning how to replace them can be a good knowledge and a new thing for you today!
Different Kinds Of Garage Door Springs
It is impossible for you not to hear about the two types of garage door springs if you are a homeowner. Let’s spell out – Torsion Spring & Extension Spring.
Usually, torsion springs are strong springs that are mounted to a metal rod, running parallel to the door. The movement is rather twisted when loaded or tensioned. The cables connected to the bottom corners of the door pull on pulleys attached to the ends of the metal rod springs are mounted on when the door closes. The tension is created when the pulleys turn the rod, which curves the springs.
Unlike torsion springs, extension springs run perpendicular to the door and they are mounted above the horizontal part of the door tracks. They are longer, lighter-weight springs. Their behavior is quite different as they are tensioned by stretching out using cables and pulleys. Extension springs must have a safety cable running through each spring because they are merely suspended between two brackets. If you don’t have a safety cable, a spring that breaks under a tension causes serious trouble. So, quick tip – install them if you aren’t replacing the springs.
How To You Recognize A Failing Spring?
Do you have an aging garage door? If you do, then definitely do a quick check on the springs. It’s best that you contact someone who provides garage door services and do a full checkup once in a while.
Anyway, talking about new springs, a garage door should not take more than 10 pounds of pressure to lift into an open position. For older ones, the force can be much more as a garage door can weigh more than 200 pounds.
Another easy way to find out if your spring is failing is to check if the door is putting a huge amount of load on the garage door opener. Electric garage door openers fail to lift the door on multiple attempts for that reason. Furthermore, old garage doors may also be a victim of spring breaks. If that happens in front of your eyes, you will definitely hear a loud noise. You will not be able to open the door by your hands because it would be so heavy.
Springs cannot be repaired. What we can do is to replace them. Let’s look at how to replace garage door springs.
Replacing Your Garage Door Springs
Let’s go over a few steps to divide your work while you replace the spring of your garage door. We will be talking about torsion spring replacement as it is more common. You will need some tools that probably are in your garage anyway. If not, get them – Safety goggles, winding bars, wrenches, sockets, vice grips, ladder, etc.
Step 1- Mark Torsion Shaft & Drums
You need to make sure that the cables are still tight and working on the drums. So, go ahead and mark the shaft and the drums with the help of a file. If both springs are broken or not working anymore, wrap the cables around both the drums and make the marks.
Marking is important in order to level the door after the torsion springs are installed.
Step 2 – Unwind Old Springs
Next, you need to unwind the spring. You can use winding bars that are at least 18 inches long and not screwdrivers. The bars must fit perfectly into the winding cones. We recommend marking the winding bars with tape. It is easy, just insert the bar into the cone and then tape the bar. Finally, unwind the old spring.
Step 3 – Loose Torsion Hardware
It is now time to loosen first remove the bolts that secure the torsion cones to the spring bracket. Slide the springs out over the top of the garage door. Above the left side of the garage door, Loosen the set-screws on the drum until the drum turns freely and then remove the cable from the drum. Repeat the step for the other side as well.
Step 4- Replace The Springs
Let’s go ahead and replace them now. Slide the drum away from the bearing plate and pull the shaft to the right until it slides out completely of the bearing. Repeat the same step for the other side. Lubricate the bearing with grease. Now you can remove the cable drums. Now, slide on the new springs that you’ve bought. Slide the shaft back into the bearings after having the cable drum reinstalled.
Step 5 – Redo Torsion Hardware
Remember when you made marks? Now is the time to slide the drum on the shaft and then the shaft into the bearings. You need to align it with the marks. When the cables are inserted, make sure you pull down the drum to tighten the cable. Finally, secure the torsion springs in the middle. Test the screws. Make sure that the door stays on the floor when you are pulling down on the bar and raising it.
Should It Be A “DIY” Project?
Why not? Replacing garage door springs can be difficult, but not as hard as it seems. The thing is, a homeowner who is good with tools and knows what he is doing can do it without any hesitation. For people with less amount of experience, it is a better choice to call garage door experts and ask for assistance. Or you stay in Manhattan Beach, CA and you need to be garage door repair service just contact our company (Garage Door Repair Manhattan Beach)
Other than that, you can make it a complete DIY project for your spare time.