Why do garage door torsion springs break?

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What are garage door torsion springs?

Garage door torsion springs are coils made by large gauge steel wire that use torque or rotating force to counterbalance garage doors’ weight. Garage doors weigh between 200 to 500 pounds, depending on door type and size. The garage door torsion springs are typically located above the garage door. When the garage door closes, the spring is twisted, storing rotational energy. When the garage door opens, the spring opens the door and goes back to its equilibrium state. Its rotational energy exerts the force required to lift the door. The garage door opener initiates the opening and the closing of garage doors, with the torsion springs doing the heavy lifting. The tracks and cables keep the door open and closing up and down correctly.

Why do garage door torsion springs break?

Steel springs are elastic objects used to store mechanical energy and found in automotive suspension systems, pendulum clocks, wind-up toys, watches, mouse traps, and the Slinky. Hooke’s Law, a physics principle,   states that an object’s strain is proportional to the stress applied to it within its elastic limit.

Stress over time will eventually cause spring failure, so torsion springs are given a cycle life. At the end of its lifespan, permanent and non-reversible changes of the spring’s steel coil occur, such as cracks and fractures leading to eventual breakage. Stock torsion springs are rated at 10,000 cycles, with a cycle being a door open and a close. To calculate a torsion spring’s life span, divide its life cycle by the number of times the door is opened and closed each day. For example, a door with a 10,000 cycle life spring that is opened and closed three times a day will last about nine years (10,000 divided by 3 divided by 365 days equals 9.13 years).

Master Well recommends periodic maintenance to keep all parts of the garage door running smoothly to get the most out of your door springs. Keeping the door components aligned and lubricated reduces friction and makes it easier for the axle/torsion tube and torsion springs to do their work. Also, replacing worn out and sticking garage door rollers, bent tracks, and sections reduce friction, ensuring maximum spring cycle life, system durability, and reliability.

Common Symptoms Of Faulty Or Broken Garage Door Springs

To check for broken garage door springs, pull the emergency release rope while the garage door is closed. Pulling the release rope disconnects the door from the garage door opener. The torsion springs counter the weight of your door, and if broken, the door will be too heavy to lift. Below are tests homeowners can use to test for broken garage door springs:


The Garage Door Open Up A Few Inches and Stops
Garage doors that open up by a few inches and then stop or open at a slow pace are signs of a faulty or broken torsion spring.


A Loud Noise Emanating From a Garage
A thunderous noise coming from a garage usually means that a torsion spring snapped. A large amount of torque energy released in a split-second causes the bang when a spring breaks into two pieces.

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