Did you know that an average garage door weighs almost 150 lbs? But how can one lift or lower this heavy door so easily? It is all because of the simplest component namely garage door springs. These springs do the actual lifting and lowering of the door. Let us take a look at how these springs work.
What is the role of garage door springs?
Of all the components, garage door springs are the most important. They carry the total weight of the garage door. If these springs were absent, the heavy lifting of the garage door would never be possible. The tension in the springs is stored as mechanical energy. This energy stored in the springs helps to lift or lower the door. Garage springs also maintain the balance of the door. They distribute the weight evenly throughout the door.
A garage door can have one or more springs. The heavier the door, the more springs and replacement springs are needed. But this number also depends on the type of springs used.
What are the two types of springs used for garage doors?
There are two types of garage springs- torsion springs and extension springs. Garage door torsion springs are fitted on top of the door on a horizontal torsion bar. They are responsible for holding the weight and maintaining the balance of the door. Garage door extension springs are attached to the track cable on the sides of the door through the cables. They use counterbalance pulleys running through spring anchor brackets to work against gravity.
Do garage door torsion springs and extension springs differ?
First of all, the position or placement of these springs differ. Torsion springs are placed horizontally above the garage door. They are wound over-center bearing plates and connect to safety cables passing over cable drums at both ends. Extension springs are vertically placed on either side of the door.
Secondly, the mode of operation of these springs varies. The torsion springs wind and unwinds to lift or lower the door. The extension springs extend and contract to do the same.
The third is the life expectancy of the spring. Torsion springs are robust and last longer than extension springs. The ends of the extension springs are fragile and break easily. Even if one extension spring breaks, both have to be replaced.Next, the cost factor. Extension springs are costlier than torsion springs. They need frequent garage door spring replacement too.Lastly, the number of springs needed depends on what type of spring you use. A lightweight door can work with one single torsion spring. But not with one single extension spring.
If you use the extension spring system, you must always have a pair of springs to balance the weight of the door. But since the torsion spring is fixed up along the horizontal track, even one will do for a light door.
For heavier doors, you might need even 3 to 4 standard torsion springs.To avoid stress on the garage door opener, professional technicians always suggest the use of torsion springs.
Basics of Garage spring replacement
A broken spring is fatal to your door and life. Since the torsion spring holds the weight of the door, the door can crash if it breaks. So you cannot take chances with bad springs.
The average life of common torsion springs is five years. But the consistent lifting of the door causes its wear and tear and reduces its tension rating. So if you have a weakened spring, you need to put in extra effort to lift the door. Avoid all this and call the garage door repair company at once. They can even do a garage door extension spring conversion to a torsion one. This is the best idea as the cost of conversion is very less when compared to the savings on spring repair.
Torsion spring replacement is not an easy task that you can do on your own. It is better to leave this to experienced garage door repair technicians to do the spring repair service.