One of the most common components used in many garage door systems is a torsion spring. If it wears out or breaks, it can significantly reduce the functionality of the system or cause it to fail. You may be wondering, though, if replacing the spring is worth the investment. Let's take a look at what a torsion spring is and how your garage's door setup might benefit from having it replaced.
What Exactly Is a Torsion Spring?
The torsion spring is a mechanical device that has been used for centuries in a wide variety of applications. Such springs are intended to absorb energy from other actions, and they can then either store or release the energy. In the case of a garage door that uses one, the spring, when it is fully released, unloads its energy to help lift the door. Likewise, closing the door reloads energy into the spring, preparing it for the next use.
Most torsion springs are made using coiled, heavy-gauge metal wire. In a garage door, cables are attached to the spring to allow it to interact with the door, providing the mechanical lifting and closing action.
Over time, these repetitive actions will weaken the spring. Metal fatigue can set in, too, causing the entire spring mechanism to break.
Ultimately, this means you'll end up with one of two scenarios. If the spring is merely weakening but not breaking, you'll have a door that no longer opens quickly and may drop more rapidly. The door might also fail to completely open or close. If the spring is broken, energy can no longer be transferred into it. That means nothing will happen when you try to get the door to move.
A torsion spring replacement project is a job for a professional. While the torsion model is a bit safer than its cousin, the extension spring system, there are still risks that come with applying significant loads to any spring mechanism.
A contractor will remove the existing spring from the rod holding it in place at the top of the garage. They will then measure the size of spring that needs to be inserted, select an appropriate torsion spring replacement and install it on the rod. Once the spring is replaced, they will hook the cables back on, test operation, and lubricate the spring.