Torsion Spring Lift Mechanism
The majority of residential overhead garage doors use a torsion spring lift mechanism. It works to enable the proper opening and closing of the door but its main component is the torsion coil trampoline spring. The other ones are the drums and lift cables. Usually, all components of the mechanism are made from galvanized steel which is resistant to rust and corrosion.
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The spring is set horizontally above the overhead door. It is mounted to a cylindrical metal shaft which goes through its center, wound, and loaded with an amount of force which corresponds to the weight of the door. At each end of the shaft, there is a drum. There is a lift cable attach to each drum. While the top section of the cable goes over the drum, its lower end is attached to the bottom corner section of the door. This is how the components of the mechanism are connected to each other.
When the door is opened, the spring unwinds. The energy which it holds is released and used for its lifting. While the overhead door is driven by the opener, the electric device provides only a small portion of the energy required for its movement. Most of the energy is delivered by the loaded hardware component. As the spring unwinds, the cables loosen up. During closing, this component winds and the cables become tighter.
Both the spring and the lift cables are under great tension when the door is in closed position. This is a consequence of the lift mechanism working to counterbalance the weight of the entire unit. The great tension and the constant operation of the door speed up the process of natural wear and tear. As a result these components are prone to breaking.
When any of the components of the torsion spring lift mechanism break or severely damage, it must be replaced immediately.