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  1. #1
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    Default Garage door spring failure

    I though that the members would be interested in an atypical garage door extension spring failure.

    The door is a 16 foot steel insulated garage door with extension springs and operator.

    The extension spring retainer came off causing the spring to come free as the door reached the floor. Safety cable controlled spring and there was no resulting damage.

    The door sitting at an angle was the result of an effort to raise door by the son in-law weight lifter who just jammed the rollers at an angle in the track, preventing the door to raise. I drought that he compensated for the non balancing effect of having only one spring attached and applied brute force to lift door. It took me about 5 min to unjam the rollers and door. Brains over brawn the door would raise with only a extra bit of effort.

    The interesting part of all of this is that I had seen the door some time back and noted that the spring retainer was partially detached (pict 1). The retainer was reattached and all operated properly. The spring retainer coming partially (half way) off was an anomaly I had not run across before of a door that had been operating without incident for 25 years. I have seen issues with new installations over the years, but this was a new one for me.


    For some unexplained reason the spring during the operation of the door was twisting.
    The twisting action of the spring against the fixed end of the spring causing the retainer to disengage (unscrew) from the spring. Now these retainers are only set (screwed) on to the first couple of turns of the spring but that is all that is required.

    If you run across a condition as is seen in the first picture I would suggest that you make mention that reattachment may not be enough to correct the problem. Seems that if it happened once it will happen again, sooner or later.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Around here, 99.9% of 16 ft doors are attached to torsion springs. Even 90% of the 8 ft doors, too.

    A few older 8 footers are connected to those types of springs, and most of the are already damaged or "fubar" during inspection.

    Dom.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    The issue in the OP I do not think would be a function of the door size. The scenario could happen with any size door with extension springs with this this type of retainer for spring. It is a fluke failure and took me several decades before I saw it for first time in an older door.

    Torsion springs are quickly replacing the extension springs across many markets for several reasons. Like many issues with garage doors, unless you have been dealing with them for decades you just don't see many things first hand. Hopefully you are aware of what to look for and can recognize problems that are present, even if it is for the first time in person.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Yes, I agree, I didn't properly explain my observation.

    My point was that the only time I see extension springs is on a few older smaller doors. And they're generally crap.

    Dom.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Though the OP may be of little interest or value to you in your area, there are alot of extension spring out there and the OP was directed at those installations. Just a desire to inform those that may be interested.

    The extension spring in and of itself does not have a direct reflection on the quality of the door nor it's operation, it is just part of a system.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Though the OP may be of little interest or value to you in your area, there are alot of extension spring out there and the OP was directed at those installations. Just a desire to inform those that may be interested.
    I never said I wasn't interested. I never said it wasn't valuable.

    Like you, I was vocalizing about a type of spring. As I have gleaned from this thread, you see more extension springs in your area than I do.

    No need to read any more into the comment other than that.

    Dom.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I never said I wasn't interested. I never said it wasn't valuable.

    Like you, I was vocalizing about a type of spring. As I have gleaned from this thread, you see more extension springs in your area than I do.

    No need to read any more into the comment other than that.

    Dom.
    I apologize, sorry.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I though that the members would be interested in an atypical garage door extension spring failure.

    The door is a 16 foot steel insulated garage door with extension springs and operator.

    The extension spring retainer came off causing the spring to come free as the door reached the floor. Safety cable controlled spring and there was no resulting damage.
    Garry, it seems to me that garage door extension spring broke at one time, sheared off at the end. A garage door extension spring retainer clip was added after but I feel it was not designed with safety in mind if it was designed as an garage door extension spring retainer clip.

    Any garage door extension spring retainer clip should remain mounted to the spring under normal operating conditions/loads. Most springs have a manufactured closed end. If not then the manufacture has a safety clip installed on the spring to insure their liability is intact.

    If the retainer clip breaks, the full force of the loaded spring can injure, if not kill a human if it hits a vulnerable point of the body. That is why safety cables are installed inside the spring to keep a broken garage door spring from sailing around the garage.

    I have installed 3 garage door extension spring images below to help.

    garage coil extension spring & narrative JPG.JPG

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I apologize, sorry.
    It's all good, no worries.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Dom.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Garry, it seems to me that garage door extension spring broke at one time, sheared off at the end. A garage door extension spring retainer clip was added ....................

    garage coil extension spring & narrative JPG.JPG


    No, not the case in this installation. Original unaltered springs. Original installation with the exception of the safety cable that was added years later.

    You are right that the end of the spring is the typical point of failure in the type of spring for the picture you attached.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    The thing I like about message boards is that they generally provide some great tips for Home Inspection techniques.

    This one for instance gives tips on the extension springs. The other type of spring is the torsion spring.

    Broken one here:

    GDO-dont-use.jpg

    What I try to teach Inspectors I mentor is the reason for the springs and why it is so important when inspecting the Garage door to inspect them before attempting to open the door.

    As I'm sure most here will know, the springs are there to counterbalance the door. If the spring is broken, then it's not doing it's job. The full weight of the door will need to be supported when lifting or closing the door.

    With a manual door, this is obviously a safety tip for the inspector. With an automatic door opener, a broken torsion spring can damage an automatic opener or have the automatic opener (if it's powerful enough) to damage the property.

    Just an FYI.

    Last edited by Len Inkster; 01-26-2017 at 04:59 AM. Reason: typos

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Len Inkster View Post
    The thing I like about message boards is that they generally provide some great tips for Home Inspection techniques.

    This one for instance gives tips on the extension springs. The other type of spring is the torsion spring.

    Broken one here:

    GDO-dont-use.jpg

    What I try to teach Inspectors I mentor is the reason for the springs and why it is so important when inspecting the Garage door to inspect them before attempting to open the door.

    As I'm sure most here will know, the springs are there to counterbalance the door. If the spring is broken, then it's not doing it's job. The full weight of the door will need to be supported when lifting or closing the door.

    With a manual door, this is obviously a safety tip for the inspector. With an automatic door opener, a broken torsion spring can damage an automatic opener or have the automatic opener (if it's powerful enough) to damage the property.

    Just an FYI.




    Had to replace a tension spring in my garage last week. They do have a life span and generally break while the door is closed.

    Cheers

    Certified Master Inspector
    National Home Inspector NHICC00503
    Retired and living the dream

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Cossar View Post
    Had to replace a tension spring in my garage last week. They do have a life span ...
    Hate to break the bad news to you, but ... everything has a life span ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Cossar View Post
    ........ have a life span and generally break while the door is closed.

    Cheers
    Like most of us, we never break while relaxing. Only under tension. Stress is a killer.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Garage door spring failure

    I've seen a hole bigger than your fist in the roof of a garage caused by the door spring breaking. Even with their built in safety measures, garage doors springs are a dangerous thing, especially when the door is closed and they are under tension. Another thing to watch out for is damage to the roller tracks. If the rollers come off the track at the top, when the door is open, the top panel of the door can swing down into the garage like a guillotine. I almost got killed by this once. Garage door roller tracks should be securely anchored and undamaged. The door should open and close freely with no sticking or binding. If there appears to be any chance of a roller coming off the track it's a dangerous thing (in my opinion). I'm not a garage door professional, but that's my armchair input on the subject.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've seen a hole bigger than your fist in the roof of a garage caused by the door spring breaking. Even with their built in safety measures, garage doors springs are a dangerous thing, especially when the door is closed and they are under tension. Another thing to watch out for is damage to the roller tracks. If the rollers come off the track at the top, when the door is open, the top panel of the door can swing down into the garage like a guillotine. I almost got killed by this once. Garage door roller tracks should be securely anchored and undamaged. The door should open and close freely with no sticking or binding. If there appears to be any chance of a roller coming off the track it's a dangerous thing (in my opinion). I'm not a garage door professional, but that's my armchair input on the subject.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've seen a hole bigger than your fist in the roof of a garage caused by the door spring breaking. Even with their built in safety measures, garage doors springs are a dangerous thing, especially when the door is closed and they are under tension. Another thing to watch out for is damage to the roller tracks. If the rollers come off the track at the top, when the door is open, the top panel of the door can swing down into the garage like a guillotine. I almost got killed by this once. Garage door roller tracks should be securely anchored and undamaged. The door should open and close freely with no sticking or binding. If there appears to be any chance of a roller coming off the track it's a dangerous thing (in my opinion). I'm not a garage door professional, but that's my armchair input on the subject.


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