Broken Garage Door Springs

March 23rd, 2011

We just received an e-mail from a Cleveland-area customer asking a very common question:

"How do I know if my garage door spring is broken? My garage door opener seems to be operating correctly, but the door won't go up. My wife says it is the spring, but I am not convinced. Is she right?"

The short answer is, "probably." If you find that your garage door will not open, but it appears to try by going up an inch or more, it may not be a problem with your garage door opener. Oftentimes, people find their door opener unable to open the door - and a possible reason could be a broken spring on their garage door.

How Garage Door Springs Work

We first need to look at how a spring works on a garage door. The door is not part of your garage door opener; it is a separate mechanism that allows you to manually open or close the door by hand. The garage door can be thought of as similar to a wall in your house - one that weighs between 200 and 500 pounds.

To lift this wall, a spring or springs need to be attached above the door. These springs counterbalance the wall, enabling you to exert force to easily lift and close the door. Without springs attached to a garage door, the door would be at its full weight. A standard double-size door would take two adults a fair amount of difficulty to lift.

By having a properly balanced garage door with springs attached to counterbalance the weight, an opener can be installed in the garage and attached to your garage door. This allows you to open or close the door mechanically instead of manually. If at some point a spring breaks, the garage door then becomes too heavy for the opener to lift.

Inspecting Garage Door Springs

To check if a garage door spring has broken, look up at the wall above your door to find your springs. The spring or springs are attached to a torsion bar that runs along the width of your garage door. If a spring is broken, there will be a two-inch gap between the coils somewhere along the spring.

Repairing these springs is dangerous and should be done by a professional. Call a specialist to replace the garage door spring and consider replacing both if there are two springs and the other is the same age. Replacing both springs at the same time will save you a service call further down the line.

Why Does a Garage Door Spring Break?

There are three main reasons a door spring can malfunction:

  • Wear and Tear - Most springs are rated for 10,000 cycles, which adds up fast.
  • Rust - When rust and corrosion develop, it weakens the coils and adds friction.
  • Lack of Maintenance -You should lubricate the spring(s) two to three times a year and test the balance once per season.

Garage Door Spring Repair

If after reading this article, you suspect your garage door spring is broken, contact Genie Door today and we will arrange a service call to your Akron or Cleveland-area home or business. Genie of Fairview Door Co. services and installs Genie garage door openers and Amarr garage doors in the Cleveland and Akron, Ohio areas. We also offer a large selection of garage door opener parts and accessories, including keyless garage door opener entry systems, carriages, gears, residential garage door transmitters and more.