Garage door springs looks like the tiniest part of the garage door system. Thus, it is not a surprising fact that most people do not pay attention to their springs. These metal parts do break because of metal fatigue, and need immediate repair or replacement. To decide whether you need the help of professional, knowing the basic things about garage door troubleshoot is helpful.
You know there is something wrong with the garage door when it cannot lift completely or when you hear cracking noise. In this case, the problem is the spring. It is either broken or tensed. Both cases should be handled carefully. You could harm yourself if you immediately take action without proper safety preparation: even the professionals could lose their fingers.
- Use ladders
The spring is tensed. It is possible that the spring will break or bounce back to you once you try to fix it. To prevent any injuries, you need steady and firm foothold. Things like chairs and the upside down bucket are wobbly. They are not strong enough to hold your weight and the spring force. While keeping your eyes on the problematic spring, your body should lean to the ladder and away from the garage door path.
- Keep your head out of the path
Assuming that the spring and the cone will skid powerfully when you unwind them, you have to keep your head away from the spring path. The force is strong enough to make your head bleed internally or worse, rip your flesh. Ensure your safety by holding the spring cones firmly. This part comes with several holes to insert 5/8 inches bar. Since the iron aging, the new bar with the exact size may not fit. Instead of putting the smaller size bar, it is recommended to grind the bar until it fits. The smaller bar might be harmful, because it is less compact.
- Unplug the cables
Most garage door systems include electricity in the system. To do the repairing work safely, you need to disconnect all the cables from the electric power socket. As almost all of garage parts are made of iron, you will have less risks of electrocution. For some older openers, the system includes hardwired cables. For this case, you need to take off the fuse or turn over the circuit breaker.
- Put the tools next to you
You will need these tools: torsion spring, vise grip, wrench, winding bars and old clothes. For the grip, find the 10 inches and bring at least two of it. The wrench should be adjustable and the winding bars should be two pieces of ½ x 18 inches. When holding the bars, you want to double your grip with old clothes to minimize the injury and to clean your hand.
What To Check and To Do
After preparing the safety tools, you could start repairing. Based on different condition, varied actions need to be conducted. There are two kinds of garage door springs: torsion spring, installed on the garage door and extension spring, located on the upper tracks on each end.
- Checking the safety cable
Two types of spring above do not work similarly, even though it belongs to single system. The extension spring should have safety cable on each end of the door. It runs through the spring and stick to the wall or ceiling. It holds important function to restrain any tension from broken string. If you do not find this cable, then call professional for help.
- Checking the spring path
When the door stops working, try to operate it manually. There should be a cord hanging between the arm and the rail trolley system. Pull this cord and see if the door could work properly. If the door still won’t open, then the spring is out of the path. Try to put it back by pushing or pulling the spring to its place. If this method does not work, then you will need to dial a handyman number.
- Checking the garage door roller
For the overhead garage, the door troubleshoot is usually related to the door rollers. It helps the door to move up or down on the designed rail. This part may not work properly when rust or dust are on the way. To solve this problem, you may give lubricants to decrease the friction. If the rust or dust is already decomposing the roller, consider to replace it. The new one is not too expensive and easy to install.
- Checking the disconnect switch
Some garage system relies solely on the electricity. If the power is out, then the disconnect switch will be automatically enabled. This action helps preventing any accident cause by short circuit. As the result, you have to manually disable the button after the power is back. Otherwise, the garage door cannot work as it should be.
Because of the garage door system, there are a lot of parts for the whole installation. Each of the part have different durability and someday will get into trouble. Repairing is the first option before contacting the handyman to fix it. Identifying the problem before help comes will help you a lot, since the main problem lays on the garage door spring.