The springs of an automated garage door are essential components, as they are responsible for lifting the door and lowering it. Every time you open or close the door of your garage, the springs, aided by other parts of the mechanism, lift it up by counterbalancing its weight. Although electronically controlled doors are operated by an opener, it is not the opener itself, which does the actual lifting, but the springs.
Garage Door Weight
To get a better idea about how important the springs are, let’s consider the weight of garage doors. Of course, weight varies, depending on door size, materials used, and insulation. A small door may weigh between 100-150 pounds, medium doors range from 200 to 300 pounds, while large commercial doors can weigh more than 400 pounds. To support all this weight, the springs need to be strong and enduring.
However, over time, because of daily wear, springs eventually break, and need to be replaced. Replacing garage door springs can be extremely dangerous, that is why it is advisable to let a pro do it. When you buy parts for your garage door, springs especially, it’s best to choose high quality products, even though they may be a little more expensive than the average. That’s the wise thing to do for security reasons, but also because this way you’ll actually save money in the long run. If you replace your broken springs with low quality parts, they are likely to break down quicker, and you’ll be forced to purchase new springs again.
Torsion Springs and Extension Springs
Modern garage doors have two kinds of springs: one is responsible for torsion, the other for extension. There are several models of springs, depending on door type, as well as residential or commercial destination.
Torsion springs are located above the garage door and they are likely to break first because they open and close the door, counterbalancing its weight. They are typically oil tempered or made of galvanized steel. The endurance of torsion springs is determined by the size of the wire used in manufacturing the spring, the length of the spring, and its internal diameter. Most residential doors have two torsion springs, which are positioned above the door, in the middle part. This makes lifting easier, and in case one spring breaks, the other can support the door, preventing potential injuries and damage. Extension springs, on the other hand, are located on the sides of the door, above its tracks, and their function is to stretch when the door is operated.
Spring Life Cycle
Both torsion and extension springs have a life cycle specified by the manufacturer. On average, springs are expected to have about 10,000 life cycles. This means that you should be able to open and close them for approximately ten thousand times before they break.
By knowing the basics about your garage door springs, you’ll find it easier to maintain your door and operate it in safe conditions.