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Why Springs Are Dangerous to Handle

Updated on January 14, 2016
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I am the daughter of a great garage door repairman. Make sure to check my blog dedicated to my father's experiences on the job.

On the outside, garage door springs look like regular components. However, they are unique because they actually support the door and are responsible for its stability. Due to the nature of their role, they can pose a serious injury threat when they are handled by people who do not have the required technical skills. Find out more about this and get important advice on how to stay safe.

Operation, Safety Risks and Issues

Most residential overhead doors are equipped with a single torsion spring mounted over a shaft, which sits right above the door. During installation, it is wound. It is loaded with an amount of force that corresponds to the weight of the door. When the door is opened either manually or with the opener, the spring unwinds and the force is applied to the drums at the two ends of the shaft and then to the lift cables that go over them. This is how the component actually makes it possible for the door to open.

Extension springs do the same job, but they have a different mechanism of operation. When the door is in closed position, they are stretched. During opening, they contract and release force to make the process possible.

The safety risk associated with handling both types of springs arises due to the fact that they hold energy. If the component is not properly handled, this force can be accidentally released. Remember that its amount is equal to the weight of the overhead door. This is how the unit is balanced and stays in place. When this large amount of force is released, it can easily cause major injury to the person handling the component. It is very rare for such an accident to be lethal, but the risk is present and you have to take it into consideration no matter how small it may be.

Problems with the springs range from noisy operation and too much or too little tension to deformation and breaking. Each of these issues has to be taken seriously and be resolved in the fastest possible manner. Otherwise, it may spread to the whole system and pose even greater safety risk to both people and property. When you notice a problem, the important thing is not to attempt a DIY garage door repair. Let us fix the unit instead.

The best thing you can do is to inspect the spring and all other components of the overhead door on a regular basis. This will help you notice any issues timely and to have them resolved in the fastest possible way. Besides, inspection is a completely safe activity as long as you do not mess with the hardware parts.

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