Your garage door has operated smoothly and silently for several years. Lately, this hasn't been the case. Each time you've cycled your door, you've experienced problems. Your door either cycles slowly or fails to cycle at all. For this reason, you're thinking about replacing your garage door's torsion springs. Although these problems can be caused by worn or broken springs, they can also be caused by these other three issues.
Is Your Automatic Opener Adjusted Properly?
Automatic door openers aren't designed specifically for certain garage doors. Instead, your garage door technician chose to install the opener you own based on its horsepower.
Since automatic openers are universal rather than proprietary, they require occasional calibration to ensure they're outputting the amount of power required to efficiently cycle your door. If your opener's lift power and downforce are uncalibrated, then it will result in unreliable and slow door cycling.
Determining whether or not your opener is adjusted properly isn't exactly easy. Although it's easy to crank up your opener's lift power to ensure that your door opens reliably, doing so will damage your opener's motor and gearbox if your garage door springs are the source of your problem. For this reason, you must carefully calibrate your opener's power settings.
To calibrate your lift power, have a friend stand at your opener's wall-mounted button or keep your remote on hand. Stand on the interior side of your door and begin cycling your door. Place about five to ten pounds of downwards pressure on your door's frame as it cycles. If your door reverses and begins closing, then incrementally increase your opener's lift power. Repeat this process until your door stops in place when you exert downwards pressure.
To adjust your downforce, place a thick object (such as a wood plank or an old barbell) on the ground in the middle of your garage door's path. Cycle your door into the closed position and pay attention to what happens. If your door reverses upon hitting the object, then your downforce is set properly. However, if your door remains closed even while encountering resistance from the object, your downforce needs to be reduced.
Once you've learned which adjustments you need to make, adjusting your opener's power is as simple as turning the dial on the back of your opener.
Are Your Cables Still Intact?
Your door's entire counterbalance system only works if your door's cables are functioning properly. Your cables transfer the power from your springs to the bottom of your door. If your cables are snapped, fraying, or show other signs of damage, then they may be causing problems for your door during the cycling process.
In such a case, replacing your cables will allow your door to return to its original cycling speed and reliability. Although your cables must be replaced by a professional garage door technician, it's much easier and more affordable to replace your cables than your springs.
Are Your Rollers Seized or Blocked?
Your rollers pick up dust, dirt, and other debris as they roll along your guide tracks. As more and more of these contaminants become stuck to your rollers (or as your roller's bearings cages become packed with debris), your rollers will become seized—which will inhibit your door's cycling process.
This isn't the only problem your rollers can encounter. Dents and misaligned sections of guide track will keep your rollers from guiding your door through the cycling process.
Seized or blocked rollers can be identified by a brief visual inspection. If you notice any seized rollers, then replace them with universal rollers from your local home improvement store. If one of your guide tracks is dented or misaligned, then use a pair of pliers to shape it back into place.
If your garage door still fails to cycle properly after testing for and fixing these three issues, then your torsion springs need to be adjusted or replaced. Tampering with your door's powerful torsion springs is an extremely dangerous task, and may even be illegal depending on your local jurisdiction. For this reason, it's always best to hire a professional to take care of your garage door spring repair.