Press the button: your garage door opens. Press it again, and the door closes. Up and down, up and down, day after day after day, your automatic garage door opener quietly and safely lifts and lowers your overhead garage door. It’s easy, and you almost never need to think about it at all, which is how it should be. That said, like everything, your garage door opener does require a bit of attention; with the help of regular, basic maintenance, you can avoid costly and inconvenient garage spring repair in Charleston, IL, and prolong the life of your overhead door.
Cables and Springs: What Do they Do?
Understanding the basics of how an overhead door opener works will give you valuable insight about keeping your opener in tip-top shape. Automatic garage door openers are essentially a counterbalance system; they use force, stored in coiled springs, to counterbalance the weight of the door. Some systems use one torsion spring, and others use a set of extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted to a metal rod that runs along the top of the garage door opening. Extension springs are long, thin springs that run parallel to the horizontal part of each door track. Both systems require two cables, one on each side of the door, that run from the top of the door all the way down the side to the bottom bracket. When you click your remote, it activates a motor that uses gears to catch and turn a chain or belt that’s attached to a trolley that coils or uncoils the springs, lifting or lowering the door.
In both torsion and extension systems, the springs provide the energy, and the cables carry the weight of the door. In a torsion system, when the door closes, the force of the winding spring is transferred to the cables and the cable drums. When the door opens, the energy stored in the tightly wound torsion spring lifts the door. In extension spring systems, the cables are configured in a pulley system, but the principle is the same; the stored energy in the springs provides the force to lift the door, and the cables support the weight of the door.
Cables and springs depend upon each other to get the job done. The spring provides the energy to lift the heavy door, and the cables carry the weight of the door as it lifts and lowers. The right combination of energy and support ensures that the door opens and closes smoothly, evenly, and at the right speed. Poorly functioning springs will cause the door to open unevenly, possibly listing to one end or the other, or may prevent the door from opening at all. Damaged cables won’t support the weight of the door, and the door will come crashing down, damaging the door and creating a safety hazard.
Get Your Cables Replaced
All the components of an automatic overhead garage door opener are interdependent; a problem with any of those apparatus will cause the entire system to malfunction. Inspect your springs and cables regularly. Cables fray, which is actually good because it’s a visible sign of wear. Take the time to look at your cables to check for fraying. Frayed cables will snap. Snapped cables will leave your garage door dangling. The unsupported weight on one side may cause the cable on the other side to break and may lead to springs breaking since they’re all so closely connected. Broken cables cause a cascade of problems that result in costly garage spring repairs, damages to your garage door, and unsafe conditions.
Call a Professional
Because the springs and cables are under extreme tension, calling a professional is the safest choice. If you see any signs of wear on your cables or springs, call Midstate Overhead Doors, Inc., for expert garage door cable repair in Charleston, IL. Maintaining your garage door opener is an important part of prolonging the life of your overhead garage door.