Garage Door Springs – Torsion Vs Extension

Like most homeowners, it is highly unlikely you’ve ever considered the mechanics of your garage door. You simply lift and raise it as required and assume it will function perfectly each time.

The problem arises when it stops functioning and you need to invest in a new one – you’re suddenly presented with a whole array of options; different styles of door, different types of lifting mechanism and a wide choice of operation. You might even have to decide what type of spring you want to ensure your garage door functions safely and easily.

The springs are responsible for the safe and smooth movement of the door and if you opt for a cheap replacement or attempt a DIY replacement without the required skills and tools, it can result in the door crashing down on property and can even cause serious injuries to anyone trapped below.      

Types of Garage Door Springs

The information below will explain the most common types of springs, but we always advise that you ask the opinion of an expert to ensure you get the right one and have it properly installed to avoid accidents. The two main categories of springs are extension and torsion.

Extension Springs

Extension springs are are most commonly used on domestic garage doors. Attached just above the upper horizontal tracks on either side of the door, they extend or stretch to lift and open the open, using a counterbalancing force to provide support for the door’s weight. Whether the force is exerted manually or via an electric motor, the bigger the force the wider the extension springs expand.

Extension springs should be installed with safety cables that will prevent the spring from flying out if the spring, cable or bracket break. A breakage or failure of one of these components can happen at any time, whether the door is moving or stationary, and can be the result of a faulty installation, worn-out part or damage to the door or mechanism.

Although extension springs are very widely used, it is important to note that they usually have more exposed parts, which can make them more dangerous and susceptible to damage. They are however, usually cheaper than torsion springs.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs use a twist or pivot torque to raise and lower garage doors, rather than stretching like an extension spring. They are fitted just above the garage door opening, and the spring will gradually rotate and coil around the shaft when the door is opened. They can be fitted easily to manual or remote controlled garage doors and are available in a wide range of sizes and lengths to suit different types of door.

As a result, torsion springs can support much more weight and they are usually more robust and long-lasting. They provide improved balance so the door is easier to operate, and unlike the extension springs, there are fewer exposed parts so they are generally safer. However, they are usually the more expensive option.  

Which springs are best for me?

Choosing the right type of spring should not be down to cost alone. You must ensure that the spring you opt for is safe and robust to make sure you get the best value and the smoothest operation.

No matter which you choose, torque or stretch, it is important that you remember the spring will be put under great tension and if installed incorrectly this tension cause damage to the door, nearby property and even injury to people.

The risk posed by the spring is higher during its removal or fitting, which is why the team here at CDC Garage Doors always recommend getting the advice and assistance of a professional garage door installer. To speak to a member of our team, or book a visit from an expert garage door repair engineer – simply get in touch with CDC Garage Doors today.