Garage Door Springs – why they break

Garage Door Springs – why they break

It’s about that time of year again when we start receiving a heavy volume of calls regarding broken garage door springs.

Why do i say “that time of year” ?

The answer is due to the colder mornings. Broken garage door springs are much more likely to occur during cold weather than warm weather because the steel loses ductility in colder temperatures. This combined with metal fatigue on older, more used springs can cause them to break suddenly, often going off with a big ‘bang’. This is what a broken sectional garage door torsion spring looks like

Broken sectional garage door torsion spring

Breakage is common with both tilt style garage doors which utilise extension springs such as this

Tilt garage door extension spring

and sectional garage doors which have torsion springs such as this

Sectional / Panelift garage door torsion spring

With a tilt door there is a real risk of the spring ‘flying’ off in any direction like a slingshot when it breaks (which is one of the reasons tilt doors aren’t widely manufactured anymore) where as this risk is somewhat mitigated on a sectional door by the torsion pole which runs through the middle of the spring and prevents it from going anywhere.

Unfortunately there is no real way to tell if a spring is going to break , but age and amount of use are a good indicator. A sectional door spring is often rated to 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. If your garage door is opened and closed 3 times per day that equates to almost 11,000 cycles over 10 years. This means that if your garage door has the original springs and is over 10 years old you should consider changing them as a preventative maintenance measure. As part of our garage door general service we can estimate the age of your springs and how likely they are to break as well as adjust the tension to optimum settings.

On an average size double car garage sectional door a spring lifts around 50kg each and they are usually found in pairs. If one spring breaks your garage door opener will be trying to lift a 50kg dead weight which is well above the recommendations of most garage door opener manufacturers and can cause serious damage to the opener and other door components. You may also find it very difficult to lift the door manually in this situation which means your vehicle may be trapped in the garage. If this happens to you don’t try and lift the door. Call a professional.

Garage Door Springs Experience with Garage Door Repair in 2023

We always recommend to replace the set of springs rather than just the broken spring as almost always the other spring/springs will break within 6 months of the first and changing garage door springs is quite a labour intensive exercise. It is more cost effective in the long run to pay a Technician once to change two springs than twice to change one spring at a time. We only use high quality springs from our supplier Aus Garage Door Parts.

Replacing garage door springs is not a recommended DIY task. They are under extreme tension and serious injury has resulted from inexperienced and/or ill equipped persons attempting to perform this in the past. If you are squeamish avoid looking at the image below of an unfortunate fellow who sustained a serious injury from attempting a DIY spring change

At Garage Door Restore we carry high quality , 20,000 cycle rated springs and every spring change includes a full mechanical service to the rest of the door and automatic opener. We cater for all makes and models and can have your garage door running smoothly again in a couple of hours.

If you would like to find out more about garage door springs and replacement options please contact us.

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