The Garage Door Spring Snapped?
It can happen when you are closing the garage door, and it can happen in the middle of the night when no one is inside the garage. You suddenly hear a loud noise of something snapping, and you wonder what you are going to see when you will go down to check what the source of the noise is. If it is a spring that snapped, you are about to find your garage door closed, with no option to open it, or with an option to open it with your help, which is dangerous.
You may try to open it using the electric opener, but it can led to a bigger damage, and can easily burn you opener, because the opener is not supposed to lift the garage door by itself, this is the spring’s system job. And trying to lift a garage door without the help of its springs is both dangerous, and can lead to bigger damage to your overhead door. What you need is a garage door spring repair service.
The garage door spring system
If you ever asked yourself the question “how can it be so easy to open such a heavy door”? You are about to find out. The short answer to the question is the spring system. The long answer and the explanation is something we are going to try and answer in this article. If you look at your garage door, and go over its parts, you will notice that what connect the door to the tracks are rollers (Plastic or steel), and that the bottom bracket of the door is connected to cables, which are connected to pulleys (In extension scoring system), or wrapped around a drum (In torsion spring system). The spring of your garage door – in case they were installed by a professional technical – are designed to fit your garage door, and only your garage door, or other doors from that kind. To the person who isn’t from the garage doors industry, many different springs may look the same, when the truth is that they are different from each other since each spring was designed to fit a certain door.
The different sizes of garage doors, is why we carry with us so many different springs, to fit different overhead doors. If the same set of springs would fit all garage doors, we wouldn’t have to load our tracks with so many different types and sizes of springs.
The best thing you can do if your garage door spring snap, is to do nothing, and contact a garage door contractor to come and replace the broken spring. A garage door with a broken spring can be dangerous, and shouldn’t be used.
Types of garage door spring systems
Most garage doors in our area, and it does not matter if it is a garage door in Mt Vernon, an overhead door in Yonkers, or a garage door in New Rochelle, are equipped with torsion spring system or extension spring system. There is no rule when to use extension or torsion springs, but usually the torsion sporting system is installed when it is a garage door from the heavy kind, or when the structure of where the door is installed require it. We would like to go over the different spring systems, and explain the differences between them, and try to answer the question: “What kind of spring system do I have”?
The easiest way to start the explanation, will be to show a picture of the different springs, so it will make it easier for you to locate them in your garage. Here is a picture that will help you define your spring system:
Extension spring system
Look at your garage door and try to locate the springs (Or the spring if there is only one torsion spring installed). If your springs are installed on the sided of your garage door, above and parallel to the tracks, then you have extension spring system. If the springs are located close to the center of your garage door, then you have torsion spring system, and you should click here in order to move to the part in this article that explain abbot torsion spring system.
What parts the extension spring system include?
(Please note that we will address here extension spring system with one spring on each side. There are extension spring systems with 4 springs (2 on each side), and they require a different post on a garage door spring repairs.
The common extension spring system include 4 pulleys (2 on each side), and 2 cables which are connected to the bottom bracket on one side, and to the door’s tracks on the other side. Beside the pulleys and the cables, extension spring system should also include safety cables, which supposed to protect you in case the springs will break one day.
What is the size of my spring?
A good garage door technician can tell which springs are required for your garage door just by looking at your garage door based on he’s experience. There are many different sizes of springs, and for you it may be difficult to tell the difference between a 130 Pound spring and the 140 pound springs. To help identify the spring, each extension spring come with some color at the edge of the spring, to make it easier to define which spring it is. You can find a chart of garage door springs here.
What size of spring do I need?
This is an important question, because replacing the broken spring, with exactly the same spring may not always be the right solution to the problem, because it is not impossible that the previous spring was the wrong spring for the door. There are many reasons why the same spring will not fit, starting from installing the wrong spring previously (May be the reason why it snapped), or maybe the weight of the door changed over the years, and now it may require different set of springs. To learn how to measure your garage door, you can click here.
The safety cables installation is a simple task, it doesn’t cost a lot, but it can save you a lot of money in the future, but more important than saving money, it may protect you, your family, your car and the door itself from a breaking spring that can be under a lot of tension and can lead to serious injuries. It doesn’t matter if you own a garage door in Mount Vernon, or your garage door is in Yonkers, safety cables can protect you from serious injuries).
We would like to explain how to check if there safety cables installed at your overhead door (Again, relevant for extension spring system only). Look at your springs, if there are safety cables already installed, you will see a steel wire that enter from one side of the spring, and coming other from the other side. Do not confuse the cables which are wrapped around the pulley and connected to the door with safety cables, unlike the safety cables, those cables are necessary to make the work. If you do not have safety cables installed, you can either buy them at places like Home Depot or install them by yourself, or you can contact Vernon’s Garage Doors, or any other garage door company in New York to come and install them for you.
If your spring snapped, and you contacted a garage door technician to replace the springs for you, make sure that the new spring installation will include safety cables.
Torsion Spring System
If you look at your overhead door, and you see that the springs (Or the spring) is install close to the center of the door, above the open, and they are wrapped around a steel shaft, it mean that you =have torsion spring system. Like the extension springs, there are many different sizes of torsion springs, and all of them may look the same to you. But the truth is that using the wrong torsion spring is dangerous, because the spring can be under a lot of tension, and you want to see how it looks when a torsion spring snap, you can watch this Video, and learn how dangerous it can be if your hands are next to it while it snap.
How to replace a torsion spring system
We chose not explain how to replace a torsion spring, because during many years in the industry, we witnessed few cases where people got hurt badly from a wrong installation and adjustment. There are many tutorials online, where you will find explanations on how to replace a torsion spring by yourself, but we prefer not to publish out tutorial. We believe that no money worth the health of you and the health of your family.
Do it yourself spring repair
If you will search online for a garage door spring repair, you will find a large collection of Videos and articles that explain how to replace a garage door spring by yourself. And when you will watch the Videos, it may seem simple to replace the springs, just purchase the spring and replace the old one. But, and this is the important part: Every garage door is unique, in terms of the place where it is installed, and the way it is operating (And of course the size and the weight). And what work for the garage door repair you saw on the Video you watched, will not necessarily work for your garage door, and here is where the problem begin.