Any garage door owner should know the difference between an extension spring and torsion spring. Both types serve similar purpose but both serve that purpose in very different ways. “Extension” and “torsion” represent categories of springs. There are inherent dangers in dealing with garage door springs.
Garage Door Extension Springs
Extension springs are the most common type of garage door spring. If you have an overhead garage door, there’s a high chance that it uses extension springs. They look just like any other springs, like the ones in your mattress. They have a hook or loop at the end and are mounted on either side of the garage door above the horizontal tracks. When you open your garage door, the extension springs will stretch and the tension from that action will counterbalance the weight of the door. These springs do not operate independently and require a steel safety cable, pulley fork, and very precise installation. They’re typically cheaper to buy, replace, and cheaper to install. These types of springs do have more exposed parts, and are dependent on other parts as well which means that even though the extension springs are brand new, other parts may need replacement. Extension springs last 7-8 years at the low end and 20 at the high end. These numbers all depend on the size and weight of your garage door, the weather conditions where you live, the quality of the extension spring used.
Garage Door Torsion Springs
Torsion springs are sometimes called torque springs and are typically found mounted to the garage door header. Torsion springs are really a coiled spring like the type you see on a mouse trap. When you open the garage door, the spring twists around the center steel shaft using a winding and unwinding motion rather than a stretching one. Torsion springs last longer, typically 5-7 years and can hold more weight allowing for smoother operation. Torsion springs will eventually break as they are weakened and are also affected by rust and cold weather. Broken torsion springs will not cause damage like extension springs. This list makes the torsion springs seem more appealing, it also makes them more expensive and harder to replace. Just because they’re often safer doesn’t mean there aren’t any dangers associated with them. The torsion spring still works with extreme tension, so there’s always a possibility of something going wrong.
Garage Door Care Lubrication & Maintenance
The cycle life and reliability of all springs has a lot to do with your usage habits. Both types need maintenance and careful use. Try not to leave your garage door open and avoid chemicals coming into contact with exposed mechanisms. Inspect your garage door and mechanisms making sure all nuts and screws are tightened, keep moving parts lubricated and don’t ignore problems and signs of wear.
Garage Door Emergency Repairs & Preventive Maintenance in the Las Vegas Valley, Summerlin, North LV & Henderson, Nevada
It doesn’t matter which type of spring your door uses. No spring of any kind will last forever. Problems will occur and things may not work as they once did. The tension build up in them can cause damage, injury, and even death. Contact Quality Garage Door Repair to keep your garage door running smoothly and safely!