Extension garage door springs should look healthy, work noiselessly and be free of rust. In any other case, they must be replaced. With the right maintenance, they will live up to your expectations and last for the whole time of their expected lifespan which is approximately ten thousand opening/closing cycles. The problem is that garage door springs lose tension when they work because their coils extend and contract all the time. At first, they'll start showing some signs of wear by sagging below the tracks and in this case they'll need adjustment. Eventually, their coils will lose further their flexibility and will look nothing as they used to. They will look too stretched and they won't do a good job.
Springs ought to be replaced in time for two basic reasons:
- The overhead door will never open without the help of the springs. If you try to open the door manually or with the help of the electric opener and it doesn't move it's more likely that the springs are broken.
- Your safety will be compromised. Springs might snap and fly out in the garage. Not will they only cause damage to the property but most importantly they will hurt you, too. That's why it is also important to have safety cables installed.
It's rather rare for both extension springs to break together. Usually only one of them breaks but still they both must be replaced. The door would partially open on one side putting a lot of stress on the garage door cable and the opener and the door will be a great danger to you. It's good to replace extension springs together so that they will both have equivalent power at both sides of the door. Don't forget that they counterbalance the door. If the door weighs 600 pounds each spring at each door side must have force equal to 300 pounds and both springs together will balance the door. If only one spring is replaced, the old one will need constant adjustment to keep up with the tension of the new one and will soon need replacement as well.
Replace extension springs before they break
If you want to replace garage door extension springs, take the right precaution steps first. It is the advice of Garage Door Repair Hugo to refrain from ever interfering with spring tasks. Springs can never be innocent enough and people can never be experienced enough to avoid mistakes. Before you attempt to replace the extension springs, make sure you have all tools you need close to you and wear safety glasses. As far as tools are concerned, you will need wrenches, c-clamps or vise grips and a ladder.
The first thing you should do is to disconnect and unplug your electric operator. You don't want to stretch your luck more so give attention to this first step and once you open the door, remember to secure it with either vise grips or c-clamps right under the last garage door rollers. Make sure the clamps are tightened since the door's weight is enormous. You could also put a ladder under the center of the door to feel even safer. Extension springs are connected with a pulley and you need to remove this one first. There is a bolt holding the pulley in place which must be removed. To make your life easier, use some duct tape to hold the pulley and the cable together so that it won't get distorted when hanging in the air till you replace the spring.
If there is a safety cable passing through the spring, it must be untied on one side and removed from the spring. Then remove the pulley fork and remove the old spring from the eye bolt. Reverse these steps to install the new spring. If you need some slack in order to put back the pulley, put the cable s-hook to the hole closer and once the spring/pulley system is installed, place the s-hook back.