Even with standard maintenance every six months, in about seven years or so, a roll-up/down gate or door spring is going to snap; they withstand so much pressure on a daily basis that it’s just statistically bound to happen. If you haven’t dealt yet with the stress and aggravation of a stuck, roll-up gate – Be prepared. Gate and door springs come in several different makes and sizes. The parts can be very hard to come by for the general public sometimes. Knowing the warning signs ahead-of-time so that the problem can be fixed, way before an inconvenient and costly break can happen, is not just good common sense, it’s good business sense as well. This article will give you some tips on what to look out for, and also explain some options that you have at your disposal.
What are torsion springs?
Roll-down/up security gates and steel doors work with large springs, just as in standard residential or commercial garage doors. In order to hold them up, the springs used need to both exert and withstand large amounts of torsion – An exertion of forces along a lengthwise dimension of an axis while the other end is held fast – (Otherwise known as a torsion spring). The bigger and heavier the gate or door, the bigger the spring and amount of torsion needed.
When the rolling gate or barrier is in the closed position, the spring remains wound up. When it is opened, the spring expands and safely holds the bulk of the weight in place. The key words here are hold and safely. Without a properly working torsion spring, all of the weight on the gate or rolling door can come down dangerously fast and heavy, right onto someone unfortunate enough – not to get out of the way in time. That’s why it’s very important to not overlook or ignore signs that your springs need immediate repair or maintenance. It can lead to tragedy in some cases if disregarded.
Is it safe to work on torsion springs yourself?
It’s not generally recommended that a non-professional work on a roll down security gate or barrier door torsion springs themselves. The reason for this is that attempting to deal with high tension springs is a risky business, even for trained professionals. Strict steps and safety measures must be adhered to when replacing them. Also, some special tools are required to do the job. If spring replacement or repair is attempted by someone not in the industry, it’s essential that they at least have a pre-displayed mechanical aptitude; otherwise, it’s just not worth the risk.
Even trained security gate and garage door professional repairmen are extremely careful when working on any type of springs. Trying to save money by doing self-repairs is akin to working on the breaks of your car without actually knowing how to. A lot rides on your brakes working properly. Most people would feel reckless about jumping into a break repair project with just a YouTube video and a few printed out instructions, hoping for the best. The same is true here
The New York Gates company has served New York City out of Brooklyn for over a decade. They are the top trained professionals in the industry, and they are fully licensed, insured, and totally capable of saving you the risk, trouble, and the added aggravation of trying to wing it yourself on one of the most dangerous working parts to repair or replace on a roll-up security gate.
How do I know when my gate springs need repair?
Signs of a broken or faulty spring:
- The gate closes faster than usual and has less control.
- The Gate sticks when it’s up or down, making it difficult to open or close.
- In a Torquemaster tube system, a safety lock keeps the door in the open position if a spring breaks. (The lock can be disengaged to close it).
- In the case of extension springs, a safety cable that runs along the middle of the spring can often be seen hanging or sagging down.
- The gate is slow or hard to open, due to the extra weight that is not being carried by the broken spring.
- A loud, startling, banging noise is often heard when a torsion spring breaks. This happens when the broken spring uncoils in a split second on the gate shaft.
- You can see an obvious 2-inch gap that is separated on the torsion spring over the shaft, indicating that it has snapped.
- If your two-spring extension system has a jerky unsteady motion or is crooked going up or down – that usually means that a spring on one side is broken and causing it.
How do I know what parts I need?
What can put a real snag in one’s plans to fix a torsion spring themselves is that many manufacturers and distributors can be reluctant to sell you the torsion springs, due to the liability issues. This distributor bias against selling directly to consumers is based on the proven fact of how dangerous working with high tension springs can be. The type of repair work involved requires some specialized techniques and tools. This is where a professional assessment, estimate, and service come in handy.
Torsion springs are not sold to public consumers in Home Depo or Lowes, and most other major hardware stores, because of the danger that they pose. Extension springs, however, are still available to the general public in U.S. hardware stores, as long as they’re standard residential use springs. For the business owner and commercial operator, though, calling a professional gate company is the only logical option available to them.
You will need to know some basics about the springs that you will use to replace the broken ones. Things like the length and the wire size of the spring. You will also need the inside diameter, the wind (Left or Right), and the types of ends on the springs (Straight ends or Loops). One can see how replacing gate springs as a do-it-your-selfer can get complicated very quick. Not to mention, the obvious dark overtones of manufacturer warning labels stating the possibility of injury or death if installed wrong.
Ironically, on a rolling gate or shop security door, the closed position creates the most amount of stress. Due to this fact, the spring is more likely to break while closed. This makes it even more of an inconvenience in the morning, when one would normally like to open their gate for business – and they can’t. This is also why it makes much more sense to have a professional gate company on hand for regular maintenance calls, utilizing some preventive care, to begin with, rather than face the nightmare of an out-of-order gate that’s stuck shut. Once again, the New York Gates technicians can also help to ensure that you never have to deal with a broken or poorly working gate spring.
NYG also provides 24/7 Emergency Service just case – (718) 6140616