The average garage door opens and closes over 1500 times a year. For overhead doors, the torsion spring is the main component doing work. Due to ongoing use, it is not unusual for a homeowner to deal with a worn-out torsion spring.

Read on to learn about the signs that you may be dealing with a worn-out torsion spring, and how you can test the spring’s strength.

Warning Signs

There are a few key issues that your garage door may experience when your torsion spring is having issues. Some of these symptoms present themselves when the springs start to fail. However, some are not obvious until the spring is entirely broken.

  1. Your Garage Door Is Heavy

The tension in the torsion spring is what keeps your garage door relatively light. This issue usually shows up when a garage door won’t open. If the garage door is stuck down, and almost impossible to open, then the torsion spring is likely broken.

  1. The Door Only Opens A Bit

This issue is similar to a heavy garage door. In fact, they can occur in tandem. The difference is, with this issue, the spring will open the door a little bit and leave it there. In this instance, the spring is usually not broken completely, but nearly there.

If your garage door opens a crack, but no more, do not keep trying to open and close it. Leave it as is and contact your local garage door professional.

  1. The Door Jerks Or Jumps While Moving

Normally this issue presents itself while the door is closing. Typically it will initially be jerky and then shut itself rapidly. Many homeowners also describe this motion as the door shuddering while it opens.

Check that the track your door moves on is clear. You can take a small brush or use heavy duty gardening gloves to make sure that there’s no debris. If you’re fairly certain the track has no obstructions, then it is likely a torsion spring going bad.

  1. The Torsion Spring Has Visible Gaps

A majority of garage doors have one or two torsion springs. If there are gaps in the spring at all, then it is broken. If you have two springs, and only one is broken, you should replace the broken spring as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can put too much strain on the functioning one.

Torsion Spring Check

There is a test you can do on your own to see if your torsion springs are wearing out. If you have any feelings of uncertainty, this test may be able to inform you as to whether or not you need to reach out to a garage door professional.

Begin by closing your garage door completely. Pull the emergency cord so you can manually control your garage door. Lift the garage door about half-way up, and then let go. Make sure that neither you nor anybody else is in the path of the door, just in case. If the door slides shut, the torsion spring is going bad. If the door remains where it is, your torsion spring is likely fine.