Whether you're running errands, taking your kids to school, or heading to work, you begin your daily commuting with the same task—cycling your garage door. For the past several years, your garage door has functioned flawlessly. However, it's now beginning to cycle slower each day. Instead of letting your garage door delay your daily tasks, inspect it for these potential issues and perform or arrange for the necessary repairs:
Overworked Torsion Springs
If you've ever wondered why you can manually open your garage door with barely any effort, then it's time to learn about your garage door's torsion springs. Your torsion springs are an integral part of your door's counterbalance system—the assembly of springs and cable drums just above the interior side of your door. These components work together to lift and handle the weight of your door while it cycles.
As your door lifts, your torsion springs wind and provide torque to your cable drums. Your cable drums use this torque to lift the bottom panel (and consequently, your entire garage door) into the open position. After several thousand cycles (typically between 15,000-20,000), your torsion springs will begin to give out and provide less torque to your counterbalance system—resulting in a door that opens slowly and requires a significant amount of effort to manually lift.
Although you may think it will take an eternity to cycle your garage door 15,000-20,000 times, it won't. If you're cycling your garage door just five times a day, it will only take about eight years to wear out your torsion springs. If your family members also cycle your home's garage door to pull out lawn tools or cool down the garage after a long jam session on the drums, then expect your torsion springs to wear out even faster.
If you don't think you've exceeded the expected lifetime of your torsion springs, then it's possible your torsion springs may simply need to be adjusted. In some cases, the winding cones that hold your torsion springs in place can slip and allow your springs to partially unwind. In such a case, your winding cones simply need to be tightened by a few rotations.
Loose Chain Drive
Your automatic opener's chain can become loose over the course of a few thousand door cycles. In such a case, the gear teeth inside your opener that pull the chain can struggle to grip the gaps in your chain—which delays the cycling process of your door. Additionally, once the gear teeth grip your chain, the slack must be pulled taught before your door can cycle.
Inspect your opener's chain. If it's sagging well below the halfway point of its guide beam, then it needs to be tightened. Luckily, you can perform this repair on your own with a pair of vice grips and a ladder.
Disconnect your automatic opener by pulling on the release cord hanging from your trolley. Look for a long bolt with two nuts on either the left or right side of your trolley and place your ladder accordingly. Scale your ladder and loosen the nut facing your door by a couple rotations. Next, tighten the nut facing your opener until the opposite nut is pressed against the metal that separates the nuts. Repeat this process until the lowest point in your chain is about even with the middle of your chain's guide beam.
If your torsion springs need to be replaced or if you encounter difficulty while attempting to tighten your garage door chain, then stop and call your local garage door technician. By leaving torsion spring replacement and chain adjustments to a professional, you can avoid accidentally damaging your garage door or injuring yourself. Click here to read more.