Garage door extension springs are an essential component of garage doors, responsible for counterbalancing their weight and facilitating smooth operation. However, like any mechanical part, extension springs can break over time due to wear and tear, leading to potential safety hazards and inconvenience. In this article, we will explore the signs that indicate a broken extension spring. We’ll also provide you with practical steps on how to fix garage door extension springs. By understanding these signs and taking necessary action, you can maintain the functionality and safety of your garage door.
Understanding Extension Springs
Extension springs are tightly wound coils that stretch and contract to support the weight of a garage door. They are typically mounted on either side of the door, parallel to the horizontal tracks. When the garage door is closed, the extension springs are under tension, storing potential energy. This stored energy is released when the door is opened, helping to lift the door and counterbalance its weight.
Signs of a Broken Extension Spring
- Visual Indicators: One of the most apparent signs of a broken extension spring is visual damage. Inspect the springs carefully for any signs of separation, gaps, or elongation. If you notice any distortion, such as a stretched-out or twisted spring, it's likely that it needs to be replaced.
- Uneven Garage Door: A broken extension spring can cause the garage door to become uneven. If one side of the door appears higher or lower than the other when fully closed, it indicates an issue with the springs. The uneven distribution of weight prevents the door from operating smoothly.
- Loud Noise or Popping Sound: When an extension spring breaks, it can produce a loud noise or popping sound. This sound may be heard while operating the garage door or even when the door is stationary. If you hear any unusual noises, it's crucial to investigate and inspect the springs.
- Difficulty in Opening or Closing: A broken extension spring can make it challenging to open or close the garage door. The door may feel heavier than usual and require more force to operate. If you notice a significant change in the effort required to lift or lower the door, it's likely due to a broken spring.
- Cables Hanging Loose: In some cases, a broken extension spring can cause the lifting cables to hang loose or become slack. Inspect the cables near the springs and check if they are properly aligned and tensioned. If the cables appear loose or out of place, it's a strong indication of a broken spring.
How to Fix a Broken Extension Spring
Before attempting to fix a broken extension spring, ensure your safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves. Follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Gather the Necessary Tools: You will need a pair of winding bars, vice grips, a wrench, and replacement extension springs. Ensure that you have the correct size and weight rating for your garage door.
- Disconnect Power and Secure the Door: Turn off the power supply to the garage door opener to prevent any accidental activation. Use vice grips or clamps to secure the door in place, preventing it from moving while you work on the springs.
- Locate the Broken Spring: Identify the broken extension spring by visually inspecting both sides of the door. The broken spring may be visibly separated or distorted. Exercise caution and avoid touching the broken spring to prevent any injuries.
- Release Tension from the Broken Spring: Insert a winding bar into one of the winding cone holes on the unbroken spring side. Slowly unwind the spring until there is no tension left. Repeat the process for the other side of the door.
- Remove and Replace the Broken Spring: Once the tension is released, disconnect the spring from the brackets and remove it carefully. Install the replacement spring in the same orientation, ensuring it is properly secured to the brackets.
- Reattach Cables and Test the Garage Door: Reattach the lifting cables to the new extension spring. Slowly release the clamps or vice grips holding the door, allowing it to rest on the newly installed springs. Test the door's operation to ensure it opens and closes smoothly.
Preventing Extension Spring Breakage
To minimize the chances of extension spring breakage and ensure the longevity of your garage door system, consider the following preventive measures:
- Regular Maintenance and Lubrication: Schedule routine inspections and maintenance for your garage door system. Apply lubrication to the springs, hinges, and other moving parts to reduce friction and wear.
- Professional Inspection: Hire a professional garage door technician to inspect your door regularly. They can identify potential issues before they escalate and provide necessary repairs or maintenance.
- Replace Both Springs: When one extension spring breaks, it's recommended to replace both springs simultaneously. This helps maintain balance and prevents strain on the new spring.
- Avoid DIY Repairs: Garage door springs are under high tension and can be dangerous to handle without proper training and equipment. It's best to leave complex repairs to experienced professionals.
Mojo Garage Doors To Maintain and Inspect Your Extension Springs
Identifying the signs of a broken extension spring is crucial for maintaining the functionality and safety of your garage door. By paying attention to visual indicators, uneven door operation, strange noises, and cable alignment, you can catch potential spring issues early on. If you encounter a broken extension spring, follow the recommended steps for repair or contact us garage door professionals to ensure a safe and effective solution.
We understand the importance of well-maintained extension springs for the longevity and efficiency of your garage door system. Our team of experts is here to assist you in inspecting, maintaining, and, if needed, repairing your extension springs to keep your garage door functioning optimally. Mojo Garage Doors is your go-to partner for extension spring maintenance and inspection.
Call us today for expert extension spring maintenance.
How long do extension springs typically last?
Extension springs typically have a lifespan of around 10,000 cycles, which translates to 7-9 years of normal use. However, their lifespan can vary based on factors like usage frequency and maintenance.
Can I replace a broken extension spring myself?
While it's possible to replace a broken extension spring yourself, it's recommended to seek professional assistance. Garage door springs are under high tension and mishandling them can lead to serious injuries.
Is it safe to operate the garage door with a broken extension spring?
No, operating a garage door with a broken extension spring is unsafe. The door may become unbalanced and pose a risk of falling, causing property damage or injury.
Are extension springs interchangeable?
Extension springs are available in various sizes and weight ratings. To ensure safety and proper functionality, it's essential to replace a broken spring with the correct match.
What should I do if my garage door has two extension springs, and only one is broken?
If one extension spring is broken, it's recommended to replace both springs. Operating the door with one new and one old spring can lead to uneven tension and potential safety issues.