Often overlooked in the realm of the garage door are the bearings. Because the bearings are hidden by the drums and springs, they are one of the most ignored moving parts on a garage door. As Murphy would insist, they are also one of the more important moving parts of a garage door system. The bearings are the support for the torsion shaft which spins inside the bearing (exactly opposite of a wheel spinning on a fixed axle). Cables are attached to the bottom of the door and wrap around drums which are mounted on the torsion shaft. This transfers the weight of the door from the cables, to the drums, through the shaft to the bearings.
Poorly rolling bearings will adversely affect the lifespan of other parts in the torsion spring system. A worn or poorly rolling bearing creates friction. As is in most mechanical systems, friction is bad. Friction or drag can cause a number of failures: Gear kits in the garage door opener will wear out prematurely and need replacing, Wrong sized springs may be needed to balance the door leading to future issues, and the torsion shaft may actually grind away allowing for a collapse of the system and catastrophic falling of the door.
Fortunately, it is easy to maintain bearings. Lubricate the bearings using a garage door specific spray lubricant as part of your routine monthly inspection. Don’t forget about the bearing between the springs. In spite of routine maintenance, the bearing will eventually need to be replaced. This is best done as part of another job on the torsion system such as a spring or cable replacement.
As always, you can contact us at 602-495-1555 and the Door Doctor will answer any questions. Or you can schedule an appointment to maintain your garage door, including a full safety inspection of all moving parts, including the bearings.