The springs on your garage door are the most important part of the garage door and garage door opener. They’re what make the door open and close so easily. It’s important to understand their function. This will allow you to see how important regular maintenance is and the sign that you need repairs. Garage door springs work to offset the weight of the door. If a garage door weighs 200 pounds, for example, it will need a spring force of 200 pounds. The door remains balanced with springs that either stretch or torque. There are different types of garage door springs that are put into two categories, either extension springs or torsion springs.
Garage Door Extension Springs
These springs store energy by extending and stretching. More weight comes off the horizontal track when the door is closed. Each door usually has two extension springs that are on either side of the door and run parallel to the horizontal track. Each spring works on its own, on either side of the door. The door can become unbalanced when there is an uneven distribution of force. You will notice the door lagging behind the other as it opens or closes. The springs can be adjusted to correct this problem. There are different types of extension springs:
• Open ended garage door extension springs. Open ended extension springs are the easiest to change because you don’t need to take the pulley apart or open the eyebolt.
• Double looped garage door extension springs. Double looped springs are more durable than open ended springs. There are two coils at the end of the springs that are attached to the pulley and the eyebolt. These springs are more difficult to replace.
• Clipped ends garage door extension springs. Springs that have clipped ends are the strongest of all the extension springs. Because the clips put less stress on the spring, they last the longest. Garage doors that weigh more than 200 pounds usually have clip ends. They are also the hardest to replace.
Garage Door Torsion Springs
Garage doors will have between one and four torsion springs. The weight, size and strength of the door will determine the number of torsion springs. These springs are installed above the door opening, on the metal shaft. Aluminum drums will be place on both sides of the metal shaft after the springs have been installed. They are called torsion springs because the springs are wound or tension-ed after the cable length and the drum are set. The force produced by every torsion spring is evenly distributed along the shaft, before it’s transferred to both drums.
• Standard garage door torsion spring. These are mounted above the opening of the door and are typically installed on residential garage doors. Lighter garage doors will use one torsion spring, heavier ones will use two.
• Early set garage door torsion spring. These are similar to the standard type, but are mounted on the middle of the torsion shaft.
• Steel garage door rolling door torsion spring. These are used in commercial buildings and are installed inside the torsion barrel.
• Torque master garage door torsion spring. These are the safest torsion springs and are inside the torsion shaft. They are held there by a winding cone at each side of the torsion rod. They need to be wound up using a power drill.