image of garage door spring

The Differences in Garage Door Springs

Your garage door’s springs play a very important role in the smooth opening and closing of the door itself. Specifically, these springs are designed to counteract the forces of gravity on your garage door, making it easier for the motor to open and close the door—and also making it possible for you to open and close the door manually in the event of a power outage.

Still, not all garage door springs are the same. There are two main types: torsion and extension springs. By understanding the differences between each and how to know when your springs need replacing, you can take better care of your home’s garage doors.

Torsion Springs

A torsion spring is located inside a metal shaft that is located above the garage door opening itself. The main function of this type of spring is to ensure that weight is distributed equally along the garage door drums as the door opens and closes.

There are a few different kinds of torsion springs, including early-set, torque-master, and standard torsion springs. While they all operate in more-or-less the same way, the standard torsion spring is most commonly used in residential garage doors.

Depending on the weight and size of the garage door, there may be one or two of these springs used in a residential garage door.

Extension Springs

Another type of garage door spring is known as an extension spring. This type of spring works by storing energy while extended and expending energy while compressed. In a typical residential garage door, there will be an extension spring installed on either side of the door to ensure even tension and weight distribution during open and closing.

Just as there are different types of torsion springs, there are also different types of extension springs. The most common in residential garage doors is the open-looped spring, although double-looped springs are also used in situations where more strength is needed.

When to Replace Springs

Most springs on a garage door will be rated by the manufacturer to last for a certain number of cycles (usually around 10,000) before needing to be replaced. In most cases, you can expect a standard garage door spring on a residential door to last anywhere from four to six years with an average use of several times per day. Of course, if you use your garage door less often or more often, your results may vary.

If your garage door uses extension springs, keep in mind that when one spring goes bad, you’ll need to replace both of them at once to ensure proper operation. With a torsion spring, on the other hand, you may only need to replace one spring if your door only requires one spring to open and close.

Always Hire a Professional

You should never attempt to replace a garage door spring yourself. These springs carry a large amount of stored energy when under tension and can cause serious injury if you don’t have the proper experience and knowledge.

Working with a garage door specialist is always the best and safest way to have your existing garage door springs removed and replaced. From there, you can expect your new springs to last for many years to come before needing to be replaced again. Contact our garage door professionals today to schedule your spring replacement!

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