If you're an avid do-it-yourselfer, then chances are you've done just about everything to keep your garage door in great shape. So changing out a broken extension or torsion spring should be a piece of cake, right? As it turns out, this seemingly simple job can easily turn into a dangerous one if you're not careful. Keep the following safety tips in mind whenever you're working on your garage door springs.
Always Wear Your Personal Protection
You should always wear the appropriate personal safety equipment when performing any major work on your garage door. A pair of sturdy work gloves will help increase grip on slippery parts and prevent your fingers from being hurt on common pinch points. Safety glasses will also prevent your eyes from being harmed by debris and foreign objects.
Check the Safety Cable Prior to Spring Removal
Most extension and torsion springs feature a safety cable that runs through the middle of the spring. The safety cable prevents the spring from whipping around when it breaks. The safety cable is essential for preventing injuries in the event of a spring failure.
Make sure the safety cable is in place before removing your springs. Check the physical condition of the cable and watch out for any signs of rust, fraying or pinching. If the safety cable is damaged, you'll need to replace it before finishing up your garage door spring replacement.
Use the Right Equipment When Releasing Tension
Using the right equipment is an absolute necessity if you want to get the job done safely. To relieve tension from a torsion spring, for instance, you'll need to unwind the spring using a set of winding bars. These winding bars must be the same diameter as the openings in the winding cone. This prevents the bars from slipping out of the holes as the cone is rotated.
Substituting other tools for the proper equipment can be a recipe for disaster. For instance, replacing the winding bars with a long screwdriver or pin punch can easily result in serious injuries. The screwdriver can slip out of the hole, allowing the torsion spring to unwind uncontrollably and cause serious injuries to yourself and others nearby.
Don't Hesitate to Call a Professional
If you don't feel confident about tackling your garage door spring replacement, you can always have a trained professional step in on your behalf. A seasoned garage door specialist has the knowledge, training, and tools to complete a garage spring repair or replacement safely. You'll also get the peace of mind that comes with having a professional handle the work.