Your garage door needs certain key parts to function properly. One of the most important components is garage door springs. Often overlooked by homeowners, garage door springs allow you to raise and lower your garage door.
Types of Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs come in different types. The springs used in furniture are either torsion springs or extension springs. Here we break down how these springs operate, their benefits, and their associated costs.
Torsion Garage Door Springs
In terms of garage door springs, several types are available today. Torsion garage door springs are more sturdy than extension springs and use torque. This type of spring also last longer than any other type of spring.
A torque is a twisting force that causes rotation. When a garage door is raised or lowered by physical strength or the motor, the spring coils around the metal shaft.
Above the garage door opening, tension springs are mounted on a metal shaft. They articulate the door by applying torque to the shaft with aluminum drums at both ends. Cables or chains are attached to the drums, extending to the bottom of the door. Torsion springs wind and unwind as the door is raised and lowered.
The number of torsion springs to be installed on the garage door ranges from one to four and depends on the size and weight of the garage door. Unlike extension springs, energy is evenly distributed by the springs on the shaft before being carried to the aluminum drums. So the cables or chains spin at an equal rate as the garage door is raised or lowered. There are many types of Torsion springs:
- Standard Torsion springs are generally used on garage doors attached to residential houses. If your garage has a light garage door, one to two standard torsion springs should be enough to power the garage door adequately.
- Early Set Torsion Springs are attached to the middle of the torsion shaft. A different device is installed at each end of the shaft adjacent to the drums.
- Steel Rolling Door Torsion Springs are typically used in commercial buildings and are set within the torsion barrel that supports the rolling door.
- Torque Master Torsion Springs is the safest option, encased within the torsion shaft. They are held in place by a cone at the end of each torsion rod.
Extension Garage Door Springs
Extension springs store energy by expanding or stretching rather than twisting. A garage door’s upper, horizontal section typically has them. Torsion springs cannot rotate in spaces with low headroom, so these springs are used instead. Stretched extension springs experience more tension as the garage door is lowered.
Garage doors usually have two extension springs that run parallel to the horizontal track on either side. Unlike torsion springs that apply force evenly, extension springs provide independent tension. Based on the type of end used, extension springs can be further divided into three types:
- Open-looped Ends are the most common type of extension springs and the easiest to replace. Opening the eyebolt or dismantling the pulley system to replace them is unnecessary. One of the drawbacks of open-looped ends is replacing the entire spring, even if only a small part of it is broken.
- Double-looped Ends, as the name implies, are extension springs that combine two springs at both ends that are attached to the pulley and eyebolt. They are open-looped ends that are more durable and stronger. The biggest drawback of double-looped ends is that they are comparatively harder to replace.
- Clipped Ends are the most durable type of extension garage door opener among the three on this list. The clips in the clipped ends spring put the least stress on the spring, aiding its longevity and service life. This spring type is best suited for large, heavy garage doors weighing over 200 pounds. The drawback is that it is the hardest to replace if they get damaged.
How to Choose the Right Type of Garage Door Springs
When picking up the right type of garage door, several factors should be taken into account. Blindly purchasing a system can come at the expense of your finances and security. Now that we have established what options you have while buying garage door springs, let’s dive into how to ensure you are purchasing the right springs.
For your convenience, we’ve listed down some essential guidelines for choosing the right garage door spring:
- Measure the wire’s size- The size of the wire here refers to the thickness of the wire used to make the spring. Determine the size of the wire by measuring ten or twenty coils of the old spring (in inches). Then compare this measurement to the wire size measurement chart.
- Determine the direction of the wind – This can be a confusing task! So you’ll need to be careful while doing it. Have a close look at the garage door springs from inside your garage. There is usually a divider in the middle of garage doors separating the springs. The left-wound spring has its endpoints in a clockwise direction, and the right-wound spring has its endpoints in anticlockwise order.
- Make a note of the color-coded springs – While measuring the size of the springs can help you find the right springs for your garage door, another much easier alternative is to check its color code. Modern springs come with different color stripes painted onto them that represent the size and force needed.
So, identify which spring you need and convey the color description to the garage door supplier. The color should be enough to inform the supplier of which spring you need.