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We Fix Most Makes & Models
Garage Door Springs Under Extreme Pressure. Do Not Tamper With!
Garage door springs are on your door to counter balance the weight of your garage door and to make it lift properly and evenly so that your opener is not doing all the work. If your opener does all the work instead of your springs you would completely burn the motor out repeatedly and have an unsafe garage door environment. For example, most double car standard un-insulated garage doors weigh roughly 160lbs. That means that you need two springs that can counter balance the weight and lift 160lbs seven feet off the ground and hold the door in place once it reaches the top. Replacing these garage door springs is extremely dangerous because of the amount of torque needed on the springs to lift the garage door successfully. Therefore, it is defiantly not advised to replace the springs on your garage doors yourself but instead to hire a professional who has years of experience replacing garage door springs and can insure you that your door will operate safely after he has installed a new set of springs. Below is a little bit of information on the various styles and compositions of springs and how they generally function.
Wayne Dalton has a spring system that was designed to be safer than a torsion spring traditional system by placing the springs inside of a tube and minimizing the danger zones. Normal garage door sizes have two individual springs that are inside this tube to lift the door. The only problem with these systems is there is no way to tell when one or both of your springs have broken and can case your motor unnecessary extra work resulting in a malfunctioning opener or worse, a broken one. The springs attach to a stationary cone on the ends of the tube which wind up the door with the end cones being plastic. The system also comes with a Wayne Dalton special center bracket that holds the tube in place and keeps the tube level. We offer Wayne Dalton conversion kits that we use to convert these systems back to the traditional torsion spring system in the event that our customers want the old system on their door. One of the benefits of the traditional system is that you can see when a spring breaks and not cause your opener to overwork itself and burn out prematurely.
When a commercial spring breaks it is even more dangerous than a residential spring system because you are dealing with more weight and torsion torque on the door. Commercial torsion springs systems can have up to 4 different springs depending on the specifications of the manufacturer. There are four traditional setups on commercial applications: mixed, linear, duplex and triplex.
Mixed system features a mixture of the linear system and the duplex/triplex system. There are generally more than one set on each side of the garage door which gives the installer some flexibility in installation and helps accommodates various tricky scenarios requiring flexible installation. The only downside to a duplex system is that it is hard to tell if there is a broken spring inside and often the only way to tell is if you heard it break or if the door suddenly becomes heavier than normal. If that is the case then you will defiantly want to get the springs checked out by a professional before operating the door.
Tend to be more cost effective because less commercial parts are used when installing these springs if their is ample room allowed. They tend to require more space to mount them because of their length. It is not uncommon to have 4 or more springs for a wide commercial application and this is the preferred method if your commercial application will allow and the door is not overly heavy for the width and height.
A spring inside a spring. It appears that their is only two springs; one on the left and one on the right but in reality their is 4 springs. This is extremely useful when the width of the door is not allowing for linear springs to be used and the door is an extremely heavy commercial door requiring 4 heavy-duty springs. These are fairly common on heavy auto body shop doors and fire department doors that require a heavy-duty fire rated door. The only downside to these spring systems is that it is hard to detect if one of the inner springs has failed. If your door becomes heavier than normal then you most likely have a broken duplex spring and will want a professional to check it out before further operation.
Similar to the duplex system except their are 3 springs total. 2 springs are in the interior of the one major spring. On a heavy commercial project then there could be 6 springs when the appearance is only 2 springs that are visible. Now that's a heavy duty garage door spring system!
The standard system and the most common that our technicians deal with on a day to day basis. Standard residential garage doors will either have one or two springs on the garage door depending on the width and weight of the door. It does not matter where the spring is located on the header where the spring attaches to the center pad plate.
Most customers will act surprised when they see that we mounted the pad off center to give the opener room to fit and for a cleaner install. We prefer to mount the springs in the center but if we need we can mount it anywhere as long as we don't allow the springs to hit the drums. Normally having two springs makes the operation of your garage door a little bit safer in case one spring breaks while the door is opening. This will cut the door weight in half if the door was to drop and the opener was not able to hold the weight of the door. Plus with two springs on the door your cables will most likely not fall off the drums and cause the door to stick sideways in the opening in the event that one spring broke. This is important for people so they do not get stuck in their garage for a longer period of time.
Lets discuss in a nutshell how the basic operation of your traditional torsion spring system functions. We believe it is good to educated the homeowner briefly so that they are relieved that they did not attempt to replace the torsion springs on their own. A traditional torsion spring system comes equipped with two torsion springs, a center spring anchor bracket, a center bearing, and two drums for the right and left.
Both torsion springs mount to the center plate which should be securely mounted to your header with a 3-4 red lag bolts. The shaft mounts to the torsion shaft and is secured in the end bearing plates on the right and the left side of the door. A bearing mounts inside one of the springs to keep the spring from rubbing on the shaft so that it prevents the shaft from splitting in half over time if the spring were to rub on it. Two drums are then installed, one on the left and one on the right. These drums hold your cables in place which are attached to the bottom of your garage door. Both drums and are tightened down and the cables are set in place, then it is time to wind the garage doors springs.
Once the proper tension is placed on each torsion spring then they are tightened down to the shaft. When the springs de-wind the cables wrap around the cable drums on both sides and lift the door up the vertical track and ultimately it will rest in the horizontal track which runs parallel with your ceiling. With all this in place you should have a smooth operating garage door system. You should be able to operate your garage door manually or with the help of an automatic opener. Even when the garage door is opened there is still some tension on the springs to keep the door in the horizontal track and from falling down. With the proper tension your cables will stay securely attached to the drums.
We get asked all the time about how many springs should be replaced and we give the same answer all the time. Generally, if both springs were replaced in the past at the same time then you will want to replace both springs once a technician is at your house. The reason being is that springs each have a unique life cycle based upon how many times your door is operated. So if one of your garage door springs is broken then you will be looking at replacing the other spring within a relatively small time frame. We offer a discount to replace both springs at the same time so it ends up saving our customers, in the long run, to have them both replaced at the same time instead of having us out twice. One trip. Two springs. One trip charge. Equals one happy customer that will not have to see us in the near future.
We use special oil tempered springs that provide a long life to your customers. However, some customers are interested in increasing that life by purchasing our high life springs systems which produce more life cycles and obviously a longer operating life than a standard oil tempered spring. We tend to go with heavier gauge spring coils so that the spring last longer throughout the years and we always try to get more cycles by increasing the springs length instead of installing a lower spring gauge.
There are many various options as far as to lift for a garage door track. There is a standard garage door lift, high lift, and follow the pitch lift. With high lift, you can lift a door vertically higher than normal before it kicks back into the horizontal track. This works great with garages that have a lot of ceiling height, an auto body shop or any commercial or high ceiling environments. Some doors can be high lifted straight up instead of kicking back right away. This allows the ceiling space to be utilized instead of having a garage door in the way when it is in the up position. Untimely you can get more light space on your ceilings and have bigger hoists in the garage for auto work.
Follow the pitch lift is exactly that. It follows the pitch of your ceiling and roof line. Of course, not every garage has the same pitch so this will need to be calculated by an experienced garage door salesman. They can get the correct calculations to our engineering department and have a customer follow the pitch made for your exact specifications.
For special high lift and follow the pitch lift a higher torque spring is used because of the increased lift. Commercial drums and cables are also used because of the extra cable drum turns needed to hoist the door vertically instead of horizontally. All in all the commercial high lift and follow the pitch lift are a lot of fun to install and our customers love the fact that their ceiling is free from unnecessary horizontal track.
Garage door extension springs are our least favorite and they sometimes provide a very unbalanced lift of the garage door because they operate on two separate pulley systems to lift the door. Two springs are the most common for residential garage door systems, one on each side of the door with two pulleys on each side of the door. In total there are 4 pulleys used. Two extension spring pulleys are mounted to the side of the vertical track and two pulleys are mounted to both extension springs via a metal u clamp also known as a pulley fork. As the door is lifted the extension springs are de-stretched as they pull on the cables that loop around the pulleys and to the bottom of the door, ultimately lifting your door off the floor. When your door is fully open the springs should still have a slight amount of pressure to hold the cable taunt and to keep it from falling out of the pulleys.
Safety cables are always recommended with every extension spring door system because of the tendency of the springs to break and to shoot off the hooks. This is potentially dangerous and deadly to a person. Safety cables help some of the danger by ensuring that the extension springs do not fly off from where they are mounted to the angle bracket or ceiling hook. Most older homes do not have an extension door system that has safety cables installed already. Safety cables are basically a heavy gauge wire that runs inside the extension springs and attaches to the front of the garage and then to the angle bracket, leaving nowhere for the extension spring to go when it breaks.