Replacing Garage door Torsion Springs – Safety precautions
Replacing torsion springs is a dangerous affair. This is because the springs are under a lot of tension and if it snaps you can lose your fingers or your life. If you have not any experience with torsion springs, it would be wise to get a professional to fix it for you. Before you embark on any repairs ensure that you take safety precautions first.
How torsion does springs work?
Torsion springs use mechanical energy physics to operate. Energy is stored when the springs are tightened and twisted. They operate by winding up to move the garage door down and are mounted at the top of the garage door. When you want to open the garage door, then springs will unwind and enable the cables to lift the heavy door. With time, the springs will wear out and be in need of repair. If the spring snaps then it cause life-threatening injuries.
Torsion springs tend to have a lifespan of between 5 to 7 years. This will give you about 1,000 cycles assuming you close your garage door 3 to 5 times a day.
Wear safety glasses and avoid standing on loose chairs or stools; use a ladder instead. You can avoid injuries by clutching the bars firmly and holding the end that is farthest from the plugs. At all times assume that the springs will break; this keeps you alert.
To avoid ripping your flesh or wrapping your clothes on the spring keep your hands away from the plugs. This is because if the winding bar slips off the plug your hand may jerk up and rip your flesh. Always keep your head off the path of the winding plug.
Be aware when using old winding cones, especially those made for 5/8″ bars; you will discover that the holes are too small. When doing repairs do not use ½” bar but try to grind down the cone to fit; the potential for injuries with the ½” bar is very high.
Most of the extension springs have cables that act as a backup in case the torsion springs break. But to fix the springs, you will need first to disconnect the cables which are again dangerous. The cables can snap it the springs have rust and are worn out. The other problem is having the unsupported doorframe falling on you.
When you are replacing worn out torsion springs always replace both springs. Avoid buying used spare parts because it can be difficult to estimate the life cycle. When you have a new and old spring operating, then you will experience uneven wear on your garage door repair. It is more dangerous due to the excess tension on the old spring.
You will know that your springs need replacement when the garage door opens slowly, or it will not open from a closed position. Also if you have problems with your opener or there is a loud bang before door stops functioning.
Replacing torsion springs can be very dangerous when you decide to do it yourself. Injuries are life-threatening and it is recommended to talk to a professional before trying it yourself.