A common belief among homeowners is that garage doors are raised and lowered by garage door openers. The reality, however, is that the majority of the work is done by the springs. This makes them much more important than most people believe! The springs provide counterbalancing force to safely raise and lower the garage door four times per day (on average).
The Types of Garage Door Springs
There are two types of springs at work in garage doors today: torsion springs and extension springs. Let’s take a brief look at each.
Extension springs are usually located above the upper tracks of the garage door. These springs are a very popular option among homeowners. When the garage door is opened, these springs extend – providing counterbalancing force to support the door. The more the springs stretch, the more weight they’re supporting. To ensure your safety, extension springs must be paired with steel safety cables. Safety cables prevent the extension spring from becoming a projectile in the event of failure. Extension springs are designed to last up to 10,000 cycles.
Torsion springs include a shaft, spring and drum assembly, which is installed directly above the garage door opening. These springs use torque to distribute the door’s weight evenly, which is why they’re commonly used on wide, and/or extremely heavy garage doors. Torsion springs slowly twist and coil whenever force is applied. This allows for a more controlled operation. The use of these springs also results in less wear on your opener’s motor. While a bit pricey, torsion springs generally last between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles, whereas extension springs last up to 10,000 cycles.
Garage Door Spring Safety
Springs should never be installed by individuals who are not properly trained to perform this task! Ensuring professional installation limits your exposure to injury. You should also refrain from operating your garage door until the new springs have been installed. Continuing to operate a door with broken springs is very dangerous and can cause additional to the garage door and opener. It is imperative that you halt further use of the door until it has been professionally repaired by a professional garage door repair company.