Garage door springs are vitally important to a working garage door. If you need your garage door springs repaired at any time, you should call a professional like us at Texas Garage Repair. We can handle your garage door spring repair anytime.  However, we feel that it’s important for you to understand how garage door springs work. In this article, we will explain the mystery that is garage door springs and maybe you’ll know better when the garage door springs need repair.

What does a garage door spring do?

The garage door springs serve the same purpose of counter weights used to balance doors in centuries past and even today. If, for example, your door weighs 100 pounds, you need a garage door spring that will have a spring force of 100 pounds at least to get it to balance the door and open and close it appropriately.

What are the two types of garage door springs?

There are two types of garage door springs, torsion springs and extension springs. Torsion springs are secured to a metal shaft above the garage door.  Torsion springs balance the garage door. They apply torque to the shaft with drums at each end. A cable is attached to each drum. It is extended to and secured to the bottom fixture on the bottom of the garage door.  A torsion spring will unwind and wind as the door is opened and closed to create a balanced system.

What are the characteristics of torsion springs?

Torsion springs have three characteristics that will determine their lift and life cycle. They are wire size, inside diameter and length. The lift is determined by the torque of the spring. It tells how much the door weight the spring can lift. The cycle life will let you know about how many times the door can open and close before the garage door spring breaks.

Standard torsion springs are most commonly used in residential garage doors. In a residential garage door, you’ll have either one or two springs. Two torsion springs are safer and they are generally mounted together. If one garage door spring breaks when the door is open, the other spring will keep the garage door from falling and injuring someone or causing property damage. Standard residential torsion springs come in 1 ¾”  and 2 ¼” inside diameters.

What do extension springs do?

The garage door also has extension springs mounted on either side of the garage door wall. These springs are very powerful and can run under a high tension. They give the garage door the strength to lift up the door, which can be very heavy. They also help the garage door go back down. Most residential garage doors only have two extension springs, one on each side of the garage door. Some residential doors have more and almost all commercial doors do.

One end of the spring usually connects to an open-eye bolt. The bolt will fasten to the angle iron that holds the track or to a beam in the garage frame. There is usually a pulley attached to the end of the extension spring with the help of a pulley fork.  They have four characteristics – length, inside diameter, wire size and type of end.

What characterizes an extension spring?

Every extension spring is characterized by its weight. Most residential springs come in 10 pound increments. The range of an extension spring needs to be equal to ½ the door height. So, if you have an 8 foot door, the range needs to be at least 4 feet.

A pulley system in the extension spring design generates this ratio. When the garage door opens 1 foot off of the ground, then the cable attached to it has to rise by 1 foot. This cable will wrap around the stationary pulley and then travel to the second pulley and so on and so forth.

The important thing to remember is that each extension spring must lift ½ the door’s weight. The spring system must exert a force twice as great as the weight of what is being lifted.

We understand that the whole garage door spring concept is not an easy one to understand. Basically, if you are having trouble with your garage door springs, give us a call at 512.518.6606. We’ll determine if you need a garage door spring repair and we can do that repair for you as well.