A popular issue that plagues homeowners is a garage door that won’t open, even though their opener seems to be on. So what do you do if your garage door isn’t opening and your opener is seemingly trying to lift your door?
Why Won’t Your Garage Door Open?
If your garage door opens but your opener is trying to operate, most likely is your garage door gear. The gear is probably stripped. The solution: replace the gears, or replace your opener. The solution will depend on your situation. If your opener is quite old, it might make sense to replace it. If not, new gears is an easy fix!
The video below is a great example of a stripped gear. The video will show you what it looks like when your garage door gear is stripped. It also lets you hear what this sounds like. This can help you determine if this is the case for your garage door. The general idea though is that your opener will hum and make noise when you press the button, but nothing will happen. The opener motor will be running, but the door won’t move.
How did my gears get stripped?
There are a few things that can cause your gears to strip. In some cases, if your door is too heavy, your gears will strip over time. Making sure your springs are the correct size and your hardware is intact can help prevent a situation that would make your doors strip. You can read more about how the wrong size springs can mess with your door here.
In the video we posted above, you see replacing the opener solved the problem. The LiftMaster chain drive opener was able to lift the weight of the door correctly, which solved the problem. If you go the route of replacing just the gear, keep in mind that if more than one gear was stripped, replacing your garage door opener is the best option.
How do you know if you have the wrong size spring or springs on your garage door? Why does it matter? The wrong size spring can cause very serious problems with your garage doors. Below and in the video, we explain how a spring that is too small, or too large, can cause safety issues.
A properly fitted spring or springs will create a safe, balanced garage door. A spring that is too small or too large can damage your opener, wear on your cables, cause a safety hazard, and more.
The solution to replacing a garage door spring, is first identifying the problem. If the issue is an ill fitting spring, you first need to determine the proper size for your specific door. In the video below you see two cases of improper spring size.
Springs Are Too Small
In the first example, the spring is too small. When the spring is too small, the door is way too heavy. Opening and closing the door with springs that are too small can end up damaging your garage door and your opener.
Springs Are Too Big
In the second example, the springs are too big they are also too strong for the door. This causes excessive force, which can ultimately damage your door and your opener, as well as be unsafe for use.
Notice in both examples how difficult it is to raise and lower the doors when the wrong size spring is used, compared to how easy it is when they are fitted properly.
Two Kinds of Garage Door Springs
Extension springs and torsion springs are the two kinds of garage door springs you’ll find in garage doors. Torsion springs turn as you open and close your garage door. Extension springs do as their name suggests. They extend as your door moves, and helps to balance your garage door. Springs in general last about 10-14 years or 15-20 thousand cycles. Perfect Solutions recommends replacing all springs on your door, even if only 1 snaps or breaks. This we believe is the most cost effective solution long term, and ensures the safety of your garage doors. Generally if one spring breaks, the other is not far behind anyway.
Two Spring System
Many garage doors only have 1 spring installed. This is fine, but we recommend upgrading to 2 springs. It is less expensive long term, and also increases the overall safety of your doors. High cycle springs are another recommended upgrade. This increases the number of cycles your garage door can perform before the springs need replacing again.
Garage door springs are essential to the safe operation of your garage doors. Springs work by maintaining the balance and weight of your garage door. They work together with your cables so that your door will open and close safely. In this post, we will take a look at a broken torque master spring on a Wayne Dalton door, and learn more about fixing this properly.
If one or more of your springs break, your garage door will be very difficult to open, both manually or with your garage door opener.
How do I know if my spring or springs is broken?
Generally your spring breaks while the door is in motion, which means you are nearby. You will most likely hear a loud “spring” type noise when it happens. If your garage door closes, it will then be difficult to open again. If this is the case, your spring is most definitely broken. Not only that, if your garage door is closed and hard to open, getting your car out is next to impossible.
In the video below, you will see what we mean by “hard to open”. The video features a Wayne Dalton garage door, which is hard to open and close due to a broken torque master spring. The method of repair in this case was converting the springs to a standard torsion spring system with double springs. After the spring replacement, you’ll see the door is easy to lift and open, and is also well balanced.
How to Replace Broken Springs
The first step to replace any broken spring or springs is to disengage the motor from the door. After that, you can easily replace the broken spring(s). Replacing broken or damaged springs on your garage door is dangerous! If you have experience doing this, still be careful! If not, it’s best to call a licensed and bonded garage door company who can send out an experienced tech to handle the problem. When springs malfunction, your springs can easily fall on your car, or worse, a person (you!).
Recommendations For Garage Door Spring
The rule of thumb is to replace garage door springs as a set, even if only one of your springs is damaged or broken. Generally if one spring is broken, the other spring is not far behind. It is easier to replace both simultaneously. We recommend also upgrading from 1 to 2 springs, if your current door only has 1. Two springs is generally cheaper in the long run .
In general, torsion springs have a lifespan of about 15-20,000 cycles, or about 10-14 years. This depends on how often you use your door.