Torsion springs are springs that take up the weight of your garage door when operated. They have been designed in such a way that the garage door may be operated manually with ease.
Good quality springs also reduce the wear and tear on the opener, mainly taking pressure, stress and load off the motor cog and internal gears, which will increase the life of the opener on residential roller doors and sectional overhead garage doors, also known as panelift doors.
Garage door torsion springs normally break when the door is in the closed position because this is when maximum tension is placed on the springs. A distinctive singular very loud bang or crack sound may be heard when this occurs. There will be a split or a separation of about 2 inches or 5 cm approxiately showing in the middle of the broken spring, in comparison to the other torsion spring which will still be intact. This description is typical for a double garage door where two springs are present and adjacent to each other, normally connected and bolted together and with a small bearing centre bracket between them.
When a torsion spring has broken and needs to be replaced, it needs to be changed over with a new spring before the garage door can be opened. If the force settings on the remote controlled opener have been set up correctly then the garage door should only lift 10cm...or 4 inches approximately and cut out. Also if you have a double garage door with two springs only one spring will break at first. We highly recommend that both springs are replaced at the same time because the spring that is not broken will break at any time.
The life expectancy of a torsion spring is normally around ten years or 10,000 revolutions or cycles. The order of one up and one down constitutes one cycle.
There are a lot of different size garage doors manufactured and installed, so it is very important that the correct size new torsion springs are installed. As a rule of thumb, if the garage door is able to be lifted with one hand and without strain, then the right torsion springs have been installed and tension applied is correct. Any work performed on sectional door torsion springs should only by done by an experienced technician because of the hazards involved.
The Image below shows a torsion spring that has just broken.