Garage door springs are among the major parts that determine the performance of the door. Proper installation process and choice of the right type and size of the spring leads to high door performance as well as reduced repairs. Below is a detailed analysis of the major types of springs:
Extension garage door spring
Extension springs are ideal in case of low headroom that makes it impossible to install the rear torsion springs. Normally residential doors require two extension springs with each mounted on the either side. However, commercial and some residential doors may require more than two springs.
- They stretch and contract to raise and lower the door
- They’re either mounted on the door sides or above the horizontal tracks
- They’re normally fixed to the track hang, frame, bolt, pivot pin or pulley using either open or closed loops while some times they come with clipped ends.
- They’re paired with a safety cable that holds them in place when they break for safety purposes.
Here are the major models of extension springs;
1. Sectional garage door extension spring
These are the most common types used for successful installation of residential doors. They stretch and pull on the cables to facilitate door operations, depositing its weight on the cables. A wire effectively acts as a safety cable for this type of springs. To be effectively mounted on the door, one end is usually fixed either to an open eye bolt or an S-hook while the other is connected to a pulley using a pulley fork. A special kit is available for the commercial doors to allow for mounting of multiple springs.
2. One Piece garage door extension springs
These springs are mounted as a single large piece that pulls along the pivot pin to lift the weight of the door. Applying a weather stripping on a door using this type of spring is not advisable as the door moves towards inside and outside during operation. Therefore, doors using one piece extension springs should be installed in environments with mild weather conditions.
Torsion Garage Door Springs
Torsion springs are commonly used to install heavy duty doors of the garage. They are ideal for both residential and commercial doors especially those in harsh weather environments.
- They’re sturdy hence strong to effectively lift heavy door weight.
- Mounted above the door using a metal shaft hence best for spacious garages.
- They use the torque to balance the door whereby they unwind and wind during the opening and closing process respectively.
- The wire size, length and inner diameter are important properties that determine their lifespan.
Major torsion spring types include:
1. EZ-Set Torsion Springs
They are similar to tha standard torsion springs though their hardware is different. They are normally mounted to the winders located on the ends of the shaft. They come with a black winder labeled “R” or “L” suggesting each should go to the right or left side of the garage door. A complex double car garage requires two of these springs while a lighter one may do with a single spring. A single car garage performs well with a single spring.
2. Standard Torsion Springs
They are commonly installed on residential doors of the garage where by single or double springs are installed. This depends on the type of the door that determines its weight. To make the springs safer for the garage users, they should be fixed to the anchor brackets at the middle of the door. It is advisable to mount two springs such that if one snaps or breaks, the other may hold the door in place hence preventing injuries.
3. Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster Torsion Springs
These springs model provide safest door operations compared to other types. They are usually mounted inside the shafts that secure them in place using a stationary cone. A standard door of the garage uses one or two springs that effectively and safely raises and lowers it during the operations. On the opposite end of TorqueMaster spring is a wind cone that passes through the cable extending past the end of the shaft. Winding can be done using an electric drill, a process facilitated by a special winder that holds the winding cone. However, for the newer doors, use of a wrench is highly recommended.
4. Standard Commercial Torsion Springs
Light commercial garage doors make use of two standard commercial torsion springs. However, most commercial doors are heavy duty in nature hence having more weight. In this case, they make use of four or more springs for effective weight support. The set up is normally done in four different ways:
- Duplex system- Two large springs are mounted each on either side of the door and inside each spring is another smaller spring. This setup has a capacity to lift heavy doors due to their extra torque.
- Linear system- This involves four springs, two on each side of the door. This system is ideal for wider doors of the garage where large tracks go through. These springs cost less compared to others.
- Mixed system- This entails a combination of linear, duplex and triplex systems. Here, a set or more of triplex or duplex system springs are installed on either side of the door provided the shaft can accommodate them. This is a preferred option for heavy commercial doors.
- Triplex system- Similar to duplex, two smaller springs are inserted into an outer large spring.
DIY Questions and Answers
Are you a DIY enthusiast? Here are frequently asked questions and answers concerning garage door springs. Read carefully before trying any process out. Always remember that your safety and that of other garage users comes first. That’s why it is important to contact a door expert for guidance.
1. How much does it cost to replace a garage door spring?
Garage door springs operate under intense pressure and bear the heavy weight of the door hence prone to wearing or braking down. This calls for a replacement by a professional. Generally, you will need to buy springs at a cost of $90-$300 Depends on spring size plus labor, whose price varies from one provider to another. Contact us for an accurate replacement quote.
2. How do I know what size of garage door spring do I need?
Getting to know the right size of the spring is important as it guarantees good door performance once the installation is done professionally. Here are steps in knowing the right size of spring for your door;
- Determine the direction of the wind by observing the end of the spring. If the end of the spring is pointing towards an anticlockwise direction, it is a right wound while a clockwise direction indicates a left wound.
- Take the measurements of the length of the spring to be replaced in inches of ten coils and countercheck on the chart for an accurate size of the wire.
- Take the measurement of the inner diameter of the spring in inches.
- Take the measurement of the entire length of the spring, preferably to the nearest ¼ inch.
3.How do you wind the spring on the garage door?
Winding or adjusting the springs enhances the door performance. Identifying whether your door is using torsion or extension springs is important. Here are some DIY steps for each spring type:
How to wind extension springs
- Unplug the opener
Ensure that the door is fully open, unplug the opener and pull the emergency release code hence disconnecting the door from the opener. This helps in releasing the tension of the spring.
- Place the C-clamp to secure the door
To secure the door in place, put a C-clamp at the bottom of the roller. This holds the door in place such that it doesn’t fall during the winding process.
- Check for the spring hook and remove it
Check the track hanger and look for a large hook that holds the spring. Remove the nut fastening the hook using a wrench. Safely remove the spring once you are sure that there’s no more tension.
- Adjust the tension
Move the spring hook from one hole to the other upwards and downwards to increase or decrease the tension respectively.
- Test the door’s performance
Remove the C-clamp to release the door. Lower the door and observe if it closes too fast, slowly or with gaps. Repeat the process or call a technician for guidance.
How to wind torsion springs
- Safety first
Torsion springs are normally under intense tension that can lead to serious injuries and damage of property if not handled properly. If you do not have technical knowhow, contact a technician immediately. Ensure that there’s adequate light in the garage and have all tools with you in the garage.
- Close and secure the door
Unplug the opener and open the door fully by placing a pair of locking pliers under the door rollers. A C-clamp can also secure the door effectively.
- Check for the winding cone
Winding cone has four holes and is normally located at the end of the spring. To adjust the tension, insert the winding bars into the holes rotating towards clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Secure the cone using the bar and loosen the screws.
- Adjust the tension
Ensure that you stand at the side of the bar such that no part of your body is on the way of the spring for safety. Rotate the cone ¼ turn such that the bar is at 90 degrees. Repeat the ¼ turns till you’ve achieved the desired spring tension.
- Stretch the springs and tighten the screws
Ensure that the winding bar at the bottom part is in place and remove the second bar. Measure ¼ inch on the shaft and mark it with a marker and hold the bottom bar upwards. Use the second bar to tap on the bar in the winding cone till it reaches the ¼ inch mark on the shaft. Tighten the crews to fasten it in place.
- Test the door
Remove the locking pliers to release the door. Open and close the door to assess if the springs have enough tension. If the door closes too fast, slow or unevenly, contact us for professional help.
- Lubricate the springs
Use silicone or lithium spray to lubricate the wound springs.
4. How long do the springs last on a garage door?
Garage door springs are specially designed to lift the weight and keep the door well balanced. Generally, springs lasts between 6-10 years with regular maintenance before replacing them. However, specialty warranty programs may help prolong the duration the springs last. Call as now for more information on specialty warranty programs, springs maintenance and assessment.