A garage door comprises different parts that work together, enabling it to open and close effortlessly. Aside from cables, hinges, and openers, garage door springs also play a significant role in your door’s functionality. They make your garage door easy to open and close by offsetting the door’s weight.
Understanding the different kinds of door springs available in the market will give you an upper hand when making maintenance, repair, and installation decisions.
Which are the main types of garage door springs?
Garage door springs fall into either torsion springs or extension springs.
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Torsion springs work as a counterbalance system. The springs are wound when the garage door is closed and unwind when the door opens.
Most garage door service providers use torsion springs whenever they make new installations.
They are much more popular than extension springs for several reasons;
They are durable:
Their sturdiness makes them a worthwhile investment. You can use torsion springs for up to 100,000 cycles or higher depending on the length of the spring. However, the spring needs to match the weight of the garage door. It will take some time before you start thinking about replacements.
Torsion springs do not extend as much as other types of springs:
They turn as the garage door operates.
You can control the motion of your garage door with torsion springs:
The springs allow for a steady movement while you open and close your garage door. The main benefit of this function is that your garage door will have proper balance. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about your garage door moving at uncontrollable speeds.
They are easy to maintain:
Torsion springs can be easily lubricated. They also don’t have a lot of parts compared to extension springs.
Overhead door operators incur less wear:
With torsion springs, overhead door operators do not need as much power to function. They will also work correctly without going through unnecessary wear. Homeowners experience fewer problems with their overhead operators, and the performance is even better, not to mention long-lasting as well.
Although you should keep in mind that the overhead operator will only incur less wear when the garage door is balanced, to check if your door is balanced, disengage it from the opener, bring it halfway up, and then let go. If the door falls or goes up, then it is not balanced.
Torsion springs are less dangerous when they break:
Torsion springs don’t fly off when they break. The springs stay on the torsion tube, even though they may produce a loud bang. They are a much safer option in such scenarios.
Even though the springs are durable, they can still be affected by rust and temperature changes. However, Titan Garage Doors are always available for any repair, maintenance, and emergency services that you may need. You can rest assured that you won’t get stranded in case you face any garage door spring problems.
Wayne Dalton came up with the Torquemaster system. The counterbalance system contains the springs inside a torque tube.
The advantages of this system are:
the tube keeps the springs clean and minimizes their exposure.
And requires noticeably less headroom clearance
Cheaper option when installing a new door
The disadvantages are
Spring failure can go undetected until damage to the opener or door caused by excessive force used to operate the garage door
Pricey to repair or replace
Not as sturdy/durable (Plastic drums, higher gauge cables smaller springs)
Usually paired with cheap thin “paperback” garage doors (Wayne Dalton 9100)
Harder to get parts(pricy comparing to extension and torsion systems)
At Titan Garage Doors, we always recommend a shaft conversion to torsion, which is the most common, durable, superior system.
Extension springs were initially the go-to option in most residential construction projects. They don’t require much headroom since they are mounted on both sides of the garage door. Nevertheless, you can still get low headroom options with torsion springs.
The springs also cost less than torsion springs, which is one of the reasons why they were commonly used. However, extension springs consist of more exposed parts, making them more dangerous.
Other reasons why extension springs are becoming obsolete;
The springs are not as durable as torsion springs since they only last up to 10,000 cycles.
Extension springs have more parts, such as pulleys and longer cable clips. The extra parts make them easily prone to wear and tear.
They can’t handle as much weight as torsion springs.
Overhead door operators with extensions springs require more power to function.
They result in a jerking motion, making the garage door uncontrollable to a certain extent.
One side of the extension spring can wear faster than the other resulting in an uneven pull. When it comes to torsion springs, all the force comes from the torsion tube. You are unlikely going to face the same kind of problem with torsion springs.
The springs may cause your garage door to end up out of alignment.
Homeowners with extension springs may need their garage doors adjusted at some point. Failure to do so might lead to the door getting damaged. The garage door will also be subjected to excessive wear in such scenarios.
How to replace garage door springs
- Unwind the spring or springs if you have two springs or more.
- Remove from the center bearing plate.
- Remove the cable drums.
- Remove the old springs.
- Put the new springs.
- Re-attach the new springs to the center bearing plate. Make sure there is a bearing or a bushing.
- Reinstall the drums.
- Reinstall the cables
- Wind the springs (put the right amount of tension for a balanced door.)
Replacing garage door springs might seem as easy as the steps mentioned above. However, it is not an activity that homeowners should take on casually. The risks involved in the process can even result in death or long term injuries. For instance, extensions springs are known for flying off at times, through car windshields, and garage doors as well. Both springs pose some level of threat that you could easily avoid.
If you ever incur problems with your garage door springs, the safest option is to contact experts such as Titan Garage Doors Winnipeg and have proper tools, and skilled technicians tend to your garage door needs.