You probably haven’t given much thought to the torsion springs on your garage door. Most people don’t even know what they are. In a nutshell, they are the springs mounted horizontally above the door opening. They are attached to cables at the bottom corners of the door. These cables cause the springs to wind up to sustain stored energy. Torsion springs are the most common springs you’ll find on garage doors.
There are generally two types of torsion springs: oil tempered and zinc galvanized.
Oil tempered springs are the most common. They’ve been around for a long time. The advantage of these springs is they tend to keep their tension for a long time. Their main drawback is they are very prone to rust, which can cause the spring to break down and need replacement sooner.
Most people think you need to tighten your springs pretty often. This isn’t necessarily true. The bottom line is that springs have a natural life span in how often they can be wound. The more often you wind your springs, the faster they’ll wear out. A good rule is to go for springs that have a long lifecycle.
Zinc galvanized springs are pretty. They don’t rust. But they also don’t last as long. And they tend to make a lot of noise. There is this weird cranking sound as they roll down that can be pretty aggravating, especially when you’ve just been in rush hour traffic.
A Word on Lifecycle
Like your heart, springs can last longer the better they are taken care of. You can improve both types of springs with cycle life conversion tools. The best types will get you at least 20,000 conversions. But with a longer life cycle, the size of the wire increases. So you don’t want to go too high on the lifecycle — or you’ll pay through the roof.
Replace Other Parts with Springs
If you are replacing your garage door springs, it’s also a good idea to replace your bearings and cables while you’re at it. These tend to have a lower life cycle than the springs, so when you replace everything you are starting off with a blank slate. Why not just get it all out of the way?