How To Unwind a Garage Door Spring

Your garage door opens and closes with the use of a garage door torsion spring. If you look up near the tracks at the back of your garage door system, you will normally see one or two large, tightly coiled metal springs attached to the top of the garage door itself with wires and pulleys.

The motor on your garage door supplies the direction, but these springs supply the power. They exert a force equal to the weight of your garage door, so when the motor starts up, the energy from the spring lifts the door; when the motor pushes down, the springs allow the door to lower.

These springs must be calibrated correctly in order for the system to work; they have to exert a force equal to the weight of the door. If they don’t pull enough force, the motor will be taxed, or the door simply won’t rise. Too much force and the door can be damaged as it slams up and down.

In most instances, we never have to worry about these springs. But every once in a while, the springs can break, and when this happens, they will need to be replaced.

How To Replace a Torsion Spring

Simple answer – Call a professional to come and replace it. Of the many elements involved in the maintenance of an automatic garage door, this is the one that is most dangerous for amateurs to do.

The reason for this is the amount of tension the spring is under. As stated previously, these springs counterbalance the door. That said, they are wound to a tension to counterbalance 100 to 200 pounds normally. As you release or unwind the spring, if it breaks or comes loose, it can snap with the full force of this tension. Flying metal at this force can cause enough damage to rip flesh, break bones, and even kill. You need to have the correct tools and you need to take proper safety precautions; a safety helmet, protective eyewear, and gloves are essential.

Without going into too much detail, which is beyond the scope of this article, torsion springs are replaced by the following method.

Make certain that you have the proper replacement springs: measure to make certain you have the correct length and NEVER use an improper replacement.

Unplug and release the garage door from the motor assembly.

Set your springs on the proper sides of the door. Measure your torsion shafts and mark them.

Now unwind the old spring using the proper equipment. A good rule of thumb: assume the old spring will break and take the proper precautions. Use a winding bar that is at least 18 inches long.

At this point, the torsion hardware is loosened, the old springs are removed, the new springs placed, the torsion pole put back into place, and the new springs tightened and adjusted to the correct level.

Step-by-step instructions are available from a number of places. However, probably the best advice on replacing your torsion springs is to let an authorized, experienced service representative do it for you. This is a very dangerous thing to do and it is highly advised that you contact a professional, trained garage door technician like this one garage door repair website to perform any work on a garage door spring.

How I Survived a Broken Garage Door Spring and Lived to Tell About It

Today’s good news from the home front is that I was not killed by the broken spring in my garage door. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t even a near miss. Ok. The truth is that I didn’t even know it was broken until I returned to find that the garage door would no longer go up with the push of the button. Believe me, I tried numerous times.

But have you ever Googled broken garage door spring? Link after link shout this warning: people are often killed and maimed by broken garage door springs. Does it matter that most of the websites are promoting the services of some company who will rescue unsuspecting homeowners from this horrid danger by having their trained technician come right to the home to replace the dangerous spring?

In five years’ worth of episodes of the popular HBO series Six Feet Under – where a woman was crushed by falling “blue ice” from a passing jetliner, another was done in by a low-hanging street sign during a open-air ride through the roof of a limo, and a wide variety of other wild and crazy deaths were documented, not once did the writers think to use the deadly garage door spring as the launchpad for an episode.

The journalist in me began to wonder about all these deaths and maimings, so I Googled killed by broken garage door spring hoping to find some juicy news articles which chronicled the many deaths and maimings by this silent killer hiding inside everyone’s home. After plowing through several pages of do-it-yourself sites and garage door sales websites, I finally hit pay dirt.

In bold letters I spied the words a woman was killed … broken garage door. Turns out the woman was killed when she was shot in the head climbing through a broken garage door window to burglarize someone’s home.

Moving on, I found another. SWAT officers, broken, garage … nah. Some guy hiding in a parking garage. An intruder running towards a garage door when an employee fired and killed him. After a few more pages of research, I came to the conclusion that the real danger is to intruders running towards and climbing through garage doors. Seems they get shot a lot. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. A nice technician came out and rescued our little family from sudden death by replacing our garage door springs. He even talked us into the cadillac version with the promise that the fancier springs would last longer.

Often, repair is not an option with a garage door spring. Garage door spring repair usually means ‘spring replacement’. Visit St.Paul MN and check out those repairmen who offers one of the best services in garage door repairs. There are some ancillary items that can be repaired, such as cables. When a spring breaks you are stuck, the door cannot even be safely lifted This article has mostly directed you to other resources after explaining a few things. After reviewing the information we hope that you were able to make your garage door spring repair or that you were able to get a serviceman at a reasonable price. You can also visit this concrete company in case you needed help in your garage door size and other parts of your home.

You can check out this website if you are in need of concrete contractors.

Garage Door Torsion Spring Safety Tips

The garage door torsion spring is the large wound spring that runs above your garage door opening. Often found as a pair, mounted on both sides of the center point, these springs are designed to work in tandem to lift the hundreds of pounds of garage door so that you and your opener only see a small percentage of the load. Garage door torsion spring replacement or adjustment can be dangerous, so read how to stay safe.

Garage Door Torsion Spring Service Life

Basic springs may have a service duty of about 10,000 cycles, which for many people might be 5-7 years of service. Heavy-duty springs may allow 50,000 to 100,000 cycles. If the warranty on your garage door is only 5 years then you might have one of the more basic springs. You may need garage door torsion spring adjustment or replacement if the door closes improperly, too fast or too slowly.

Replacement or Adjustment is Not for the Average DIYer

Since a garage door torsion spring is positioned above the door opening, your only easy access is when the garage door is closed. However, this is also the time that a garage door torsion spring is bearing the heaviest load and must be given the most respect. Loosening a spring’s anchor bolt without the proper precautions can cause the garage door torsion spring to release all its stored energy in a fraction of a second. If a wrench or winding bar is improperly positioned during this sudden release, it could be catapulted with speeds approaching supersonic velocity. Anyone or anything in that missile’s path is going to be in for a big surprise.

This Tiger has Two Heads

It may seem obvious to use caution when working on the springs’ winding brackets, but another area that carries risk is where the lifting cable mounts to the door itself. The cable’s location can be up to 8 or 10 feet away from the spring. Many unsuspecting homeowners have discovered this suddenly, as the roller they were hoping to replace gets ripped off by the lifting cable that is attached to it. The winding drum is also an area where caution is required, as it connects the main shaft to the cable. This mechanism works as a complete assembly with many of the parts being connected to many others; understanding this complete “system” will allow for safety.

Some homeowners pick up the phone or search the internet to find skilled and qualified service professionals in garage repair for adjusting or replacing garage door torsion springs; others may spend many hours researching and planning to complete the task themselves. Whatever camp you’re in, garage door torsion springs need to be treated with caution and respect.

Learn More About Your Garage Door

This article is the eighth in a series on garage-related stuff that I have written for Networx. Other topics include cable and roller maintenance, garage door sensors, garage door repair, garage door balancing, cleaning and protecting garage doors and other basic care.