Most residential garage doors use a torsion spring system to run. It typically has a single spring mounted over the center of a shaft above the door. Larger and heavier doors can use two of these, however. Even though you most probably don’t pay any attention to this component of your door, it actually plays an extremely important role. Here you will get a complete overview of torsion springs' operation, the care and repair which theyrequire and how theyare replaced.
Usually, you will have the spring or springs mounted over the center of the shaft above the door, as explained earlier. With winding at the time of installation, they are loaded with an amount of torque sufficient to balance the door. Simply put, the spring system holds the door in place when it is closed. What happens during opening? As the opener initiates the process, the spring unwinds and releases the torque necessary for the lifting of the unit. The torque is applied to the drums at the end of the shaft and then to the lift cables which go over the drums and are attached to the bottom of the door. During closing, the spring winds to get loaded with torque once again.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
As the spring winds and unwinds, friction occurs between the coils. The best way to keep them in good condition is to lubricate them. You can do this once or twice a year depending on how often you open and close your door. Light lubricant spray which isn’t sticky and doesn’t harden is the ideal choice. Remember to cover all coils with it. Running the door once or twice will help for perfect spreading of the product.
Only a few problems can occur with the torsion spring. If the door is too difficult to open or to close, there is probably too little or too much torque in the component. The best way to confirm this theory is to disconnect the door from the opener and lift it by hand until it’s halfway open. If the unit moves swiftly up, the amount of torque held inside the spring should be reduced through unwinding. If the door drops down, the torque should be increased through winding.
Broken Spring Replacement
Springs of all types and sizes break eventually. They get weaker over time and snap in the end. Unfortunately, this weakening doesn’t have any visible sign. That is why it’s difficult to tell when the component is close to breaking so that it can be replaced beforehand. When the component breaks, it will produce a loud bang associated with the release of the torque held inside. The door will be impossible to lift with the electric operator or by hand.
The choice of new spring is extremely important. The size of the component must match the size and weight of the door. The other major factor to look into is the cycle life (how many cycles the component can perform before it breaks). The greater the number is the better.