Like most people, you have probably given very little attention to the springs of your garage door. This oversight is quite unfair because it is the most important part of your garage door and garage door opener that allows the raising and lowering of the door with so much ease. Hence, garage door springs should be treated with a little bit more respect. Garage door repair services are normally needed when something goes wrong with a spring.
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Garage door springs, offset the weight of the door to make it easy to close or open. If a garage door weighs 100 pounds, for instance, you need a spring force of 100 pounds to pull in the opposite direction with the weight of the door. Springs that either stretch or torque, play a special role to maintain the door’s balance.
There are many different types of garage door springs, which are generally categorized either as extension springs or as torsion springs.
Extension springs are given such name because they store energy by extending or stretching. When the door is closed, more and more weight comes off the horizontal track. It adds tension to the stretched extension springs. Generally, there are two extension springs in every door; each one is located on either side of the door and runs parallel to the horizontal track.
Every spring independently provides tension independent of the other, on the opposite ends of the door. Some extension doors offer the mechanical advantage of metal pulleys. However, in some instances, uneven distribution of force can cause the door to walk up and down the opening. This happens when either side of the garage door seems to lag behind another as the door is opened or closed. This can be corrected by some adjustments to balance the spring tension.
Extension springs can further be classified based on the type of ends. They can be double looped, open looped or clipped ends.
Open looped garage door extension springs are the easiest to change. You do not need to disassemble the pulley or open the eye-bolt. However, as the entire spring relies on an open wire at the end, you need to replace the entire spring, even if this is the only part of the spring that is broken. A clip at the end of the spring could have saved you a few dollars.
Double loop end garage door springs are stronger than open loops. They have two coils at the end of the spring that is connected to the pulley and the eyebolt. One disadvantage of this type of spring, however, is that they are difficult to replace.
This is the most durable among all types of extension springs for garage doors. It also has a longer service life since the clips place less stress on the spring. Clip ends are being usually the standard for extension springs for garage doors weighing 200 pounds and more. However, they are the most difficult to replace.
The number of torsion springs on each garage door varies between one and four. The number varies corresponding to the size, weight, and strength of the door. Torsion springs are installed directly above the door opening, on the metal shaft.
Once the springs are installed, aluminum drums are placed on either end of the metal shaft. This type of garage door spring got its name because after cable length and the drums are set, the springs are tension-ed or wound and locked in relation to the assembly.
The force exerted by every torsion spring in the garage door is equally distributed across the shaft, before it is transferred to both drums. In turn, the cables spinet an equal rate, thereby, eliminating walking, as the door is opened.
Torsion springs can further be classified as:
Standard torsion spring
These types of springs are commonly found on residential garage doors that are mounted above the opening of the garage. The metal shaft the runs through the middle, support the springs. Generally, lighter garage doors use one torsion spring while the heavier ones use two.
Early set torsion spring
These springs are similar to the standard type; however, they are mounted in the middle of the torsion shaft. They also use a different type of hardware, mounted on each end of the torsion shaft, next to the cable drums.
Steel rolling door torsion spring
This type of torsion springs is commonly used in commercial buildings. The springs are installed within the torsion barrel, which supports the rolling door.
Torque master torsion spring
Probably the safest of all garage torsion springs, these springs are enclosed inside the torsion shaft. They are also held in place by a winding cone at the end of each torsion rod. These springs, however, are wound up using a power drill.
There are many different types of garage door springs. Hence, you need to be familiar with each type to identify which spring is appropriate for your garage door.