Torsion Vs. Extension Springs For Your Garage Door
Which Type Of Spring Is Better?
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably given little thought to your garage door — until it stops working. Suddenly, you’re forced to make all kinds of decisions about materials, installers, and even the types of springs required to safely raise and lower your garage door. Our professionals here at ProLift are dedicated to helping you fix any sort of problem you might have.
Your garage door springs are more important than you probably realize. Property damage, personal injury, and even death are just a handful of the dire consequences awaiting those who gloss over proper garage door spring selection and installation.
Yes, actual deaths have been the result of poorly installed springs, which is one of many reasons replacing you shouldn’t try to replace your garage door spring by yourself. Always contact your local garage door experts when you’re dealing with a broken garage door spring.
Types Of Garage Door Springs
Although there is a broad range of different spring types (and further sub-types), the 2 most popular categories are extension and torsion springs.
1. EXTENSION SPRINGS
Usually located above the upper horizontal tracks on both sides of the door, extension springs are the most common residential garage door spring type. In order to open the door, these springs extend — providing counterbalancing force to support the door. The more force that is applied (via a hand or motor), the more the extension spring lengthens.
All extension springs should be paired with safety cables. Safety cables prevent the extension spring from becoming a projectile in the event of a spring, cable, or bottom bracket failure. These events can occur at any time while the door is open, closed, or in motion. Safety cables should be installed on all extension spring doors.
2. TORSION SPRINGS
Whereas extension springs “lengthen” or “stretch,” torsion springs use torque to raise garage doors. Attached above the garage opening, torsion springs slowly twist and coil in the shaft whenever force is applied (via a hand or motor).
Torsion springs come in a wider variety of options, including various gauge sizes and lengths. These variations are calculated specifically depending on your garage door height, weight, track radius, and more.
WHICH GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS ARE BEST?
Because extension springs are usually cheaper, they are often the garage door spring solution in most residential construction projects. It is important to note, however, with more exposed parts, they also present more danger. If an extension spring isn’t rated for the load your garage door puts on it, it may snap, sending sharp metal shards flying everywhere at high speeds.
By contrast, torsion springs are able to support more weight and last twice as long. They offer greater overall balance, making it easier to open and close your garage door. And with fewer exposed parts, are also safer to use. As a result, torsion springs are generally more expensive.
If you’re in the market for new garage door springs, be sure to factor in the added benefits of a torsion spring system. When it comes to home improvements, garage door replacements provide some of the highest returns. You can further boost the ROI of your investment by choosing longer-lasting torsion springs over extension springs.
Remember that whether through stretching or torque, both types of springs operate using extreme forces. To limit exposure to damage or injury, it is strongly recommended that you consult with professional garage door installers before attempting any repairs on your own.