This is by far the most common repair issue that we find. Most garage door springs (all of ours) are rated for 10,000 cycles. One cycle is equal to one complete UP & DOWN of your door and your springs should do that effectively 10,000 times, at least. We’ve seen springs go much, much longer but very few break much sooner. Using high quality parts are all we provide.
Identifying a broken spring is fairly easy as long as you know what you are looking for. There are two basic types of springs that are installed on over 99% of all garage doors, torsion and extension. The torsion spring is the one used most in today’s installations and these are located above your door attached to the wall. They can be seen only when the garage door is in the Down position. These springs are tightly wound when the door is in the down position and unwind as the door goes up providing the lifting force needed for the door. When a torsion spring breaks it normally comes with a loud banging sound and if you have a garage door opener installed one of the symptoms (assuming you didn’t hear it break) is when you attempt to open your door with the motor and the door raises 4-8 inches and then stops. This is a good indicator of a broken spring.
The Extension Springs are located toward the back of the horizontal tracks and you will find these on older installations although they are still used in some system even today. These were the original types and during operation they extend when the door goes down (thus the name) and retract when the door goes up. These will also make somewhat of a loud bang when they break but not nearly as loud as torsion spring. The same issue with the garage door opener may be present when attempting to lift the door.
The good news is that it’s pretty rare for one of these types of springs to break while the door is in the up position. This means that from a safety perspective the door won’t run down on it’s own or on top of something.
On a side note; The same symptoms of the door becoming very heavy or the motor not lifting could also be due to a broken cable but will save that for a different post.
In either case we always recommend that a trained technician do the repair for you. Unless you have had experience with this exact type of repair do not attempt yourself. Always remember the springs do all the heavy lifting of the door and, as such, there is a good amount of tension and force present.
Your Overhead Door of Mohawk™ Team