Understanding the value of garage door springs will allow you to make an informed decision when it’s time to buy new springs. First, you need to be able to identify the different types of spring systems and know which is currently installed on your door. In this post, we’ll explain the different types of springs and introduce you to the best garage door system available.
What Do Garage Door Springs Do?
If you go into your garage you’ll probably notice one or more large springs on the garage door system. These large springs are important in opening and closing the door.
Don’t see any springs? You probably have a system like mine– a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster, we’ll talk more about this in a moment.
You’re sure you don’t have a torquemaster system? Then you’ve got a problem and we need to get you some new springs.
Springs are important because they provide the push and pull force the opener and cables need to lift and lower the door. In other words, they are the real backbone of the system. Garage doors are heavy and gravity weighs down on the doors, the springs prevent the door from slamming to the ground when it’s lowered and provide the strength needed to lift the door open.
What Types of Spring Systems are Available?
Garage door professionals prefer torsion spring systems. Torsion springs are located above the garage door opening and mounted on a torsion shaft. The torsion shaft is a horizontal bar that extends across the header.
Actually, in the garage door system, it’s the cables that lift the door. The door is attached to cables and the movement of the cables is controlled by the force of the springs. In torsion systems, the spring winds and unwinds and this movement will rotate drums that will wind the cables attached to the door lifting and lowering it. All of this happens at the touch of a button or by the force of your hands (manual lifts).
Extension springs are very common but they aren’t our preferred choice. This system has a lot of moving parts making it unattractive and susceptible to damage. The reason it’s more susceptible to damage is all of its parts. Each part plays a role in the system so if any part wears out or breaks, it’s likely to cause the door to stop working properly. Extension springs can also be more dangerous than other types of springs.
Torquemaster springs are an alternative to the traditional torsion spring system. The torsion spring in this particular system is hidden within the metal tube over the garage door opening. The idea behind the design for this system is that hiding the spring makes it a safer alternative to systems with exposed springs. While this may be true torquemaster springs can be more difficult to diagnose and replace. During repairs, it’s also possible for the bar to fall.
Which is the Best Garage Door Spring System?
The best type of garage door system is the torsion spring system. Torsion springs are not only safer than extension springs they also last longer. Below are some of the benefits of torsion spring systems:
- Springs don’t fully extend when in operation
- Torsion springs last longer
- Torsion springs allow for a steady controlled motion when opening or closing
- Less likely to need adjustments
- Good at keeping the door in balance
- Requires fewer parts
- Broken torsion springs are less dangerous than extension springs (still call a pro!)
- Doors with extension springs can usually be converted for use with torsion springs
Coated springs are a great option. Springs with coatings last can last twice as long as a standard extension spring and longer than a standard torsion spring.
Torsion springs are safer than extension springs because they are self-contained. When torsion springs break they won’t turn into projectiles because they are wrapped around the bar mounted on the header.
Extension springs, on the other hand, are sometimes installed on safety cables. The safety cables can also break and fall but extension springs without safety cables are the most dangerous. The force extended springs can cause the springs to go flying when they break. Broken extension springs have been known to cause damage to property and injury to people.
Torsion spring systems offer the best value because they are safer and more durable than extension springs. Additionally, standard torsion spring systems are easier to repair than torquemaster spring systems. Because the spring is visible the torsion spring system damage and breakage is easier to diagnose and repair quickly.
Ultimately, the best garage door springs for your garage are the ones that fit your budget. Each of these options are widely used, especially torsion and extension springs.