Garage Door Spring Systems is the Most Used Commonly on Sectional Type Overhead Doors.
Garage doors are very heavy and some type springing systems must used at the top with cables attaching to the bottom garage doors to counterbalance the weight of the door. When a garage door is opened, these springs assist in lightening the weight of the door. When closing the door, the springs keep it from slamming hard on the ground and damaging the door or causing injury.
To release the spring tension, raise the door in the fully open and clamp the door into position using a pair of vice grips in the tracks to prevent the door from moving. Once the door is open, you can make spring adjustments to only the extension spring type systems.
Torsion spring systems adjustments are not recommended by the do it yourselfer.
Typically overhead garage door springs have a life expectancy of 10,000 cycles, unless you special ordered your door with extended life cycle springs. One cycle is an operation of an up and down. The extension and torsion springs are tempered (hardened) steel that comes either in plain cold rolled, painted, oil soaked, or galvanized. When the garage door is closed these springs are under very extreme tension and can be dangerous causing injury.
Over time, or during the later stages of the life cycles, springs will start to fatigue, and will eventually start stretching and or breaking, usually releasing its spring load with loud bang. Most homeowners, if you are at home, hear the spring break and usually unable to find where the noise came from until you try to use your garage door the next time.
On the average I see a 10k life cycle spring last around 7 to 10 years depending on how often you use your door. Anything over 10 years is a bonus. For example, if you average about two cycles per day, opening and closing the door a total of 4 times as you come and go, then the life expectancy becomes 2500 days, or approximately 7 years. If you have children that drive or more adults with vehicles, then you tend to cycle the door even more often, which in turn needing a spring replacement even sooner.
Since standard lift torsion springs are winding “up” when the door is closing or going down, the fully closed position is the most stressful on the steel spring material and thus the most likely the time of breakage. This is a good thing; because failure near the top-of-travel means that you suddenly have a large heavy door coming down and crashing against the floor with the increased weight. As a rule of thumb, and for safety reasons, you should never be standing or walking under the door when it is opening or closing, especially if you do so manually instead of with an electric opener. Also automatic door operators will provide additional safety if and when the spring breaks during the door movement.
When the springs are working correctly, the door appears nearly weightless, but this is an illusion that turns into a calamity when the springs suddenly fail.
Caution: If you need to make annual adjustments to the springs or repair the door, we recommend using a trained garage door technician to do your annual tune-ups.