What’s the Difference Between Torsion and Extension Springs?

Your average garage door is made up of dozens of parts that work in unison so you don’t have to manually lift it. One of the most important parts of your door – and most dangerous – is the spring. Without it, your automatic overhead door opener would be rendered useless. If you’re interested in learning more about your door, it’s important to pay strict attention to the garage door springs. 

Garage Torsion vs. Extension Springs

The majority of overhead garage doors use a counterbalance system with a spring. Without a spring, your door would be incredibly heavy and difficult to operate. The two types of springs used are torsion and extension.

Extension springs are the oldest design and typically 2 of them are required to the balance the door. They work by contracting and expanding during operation.

Torsion springs are a superior design and usually, only 1 is needed to operate your door. Instead of expanding, garage door torsion springs actually turn.

When it comes down to it, torsion springs are superior in every possible way. There’s little reason to choose extension nowadays. Torsion is better because:

1) They last much longer. Extension springs tend to last about 10,000 cycles whereas high-end torsion springs can last up to 100,000 cycles. The longer torsion springs last for your door, the less likely you’ll end up spending on repairs. Repairs involving garage door springs can get quite costly, so It’s prudent to take the step in upgrading your extension springs. 

2) In the event of a broken garage door spring, torsion is much safer. There have been reports of extension springs launching through walls, windshields, and even injuring bystanders.

3) The sudden jerking motions caused by extension can lead to a garage door off track, which is another costly repair. Torsion stabilizes the operation of your door so you don’t have to worry about your door veering off track. 

We recommend everyone consider switching to torsion style springs for their garages. It’s a small upgrade that could potentially save you money and your life. 

A Reminder on Spring Safety

At EDH-Serrano, when we discuss springs, we always like to remind everyone that they can be extremely dangerous. Never place body parts in or around springs. They’re under heavy tension and should they be recklessly tampered with, it’s extremely like that your door could break or crash, resulting in a pricey garage door repair. Also, springs have been known to cause death and dismemberment, so be extra cautious if you’re a novice. Should you want to upgrade your door’s springs, it’s key to contact a company that specializes in spring repair. They’ll walk you through the necessary info needed to purchase torsion springs for your door and will install it swiftly.

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Call a Pro for Garage Door Spring Repair

Need to repair your garage door springs? Since springs last only about 5 to 7 years, it’s inevitable, eventually. But the first thing to know is this is not a DIY repair. Garage door springs are under an incredible amount of tension. If they should suddenly snap, they can cause serious bodily injury, even death. A garage door professional has the proper tools and training to repair the springs safely and correctly. It is a good idea to occasionally inspect your springs, however. Look for signs of rust or brittleness, or any slack or loose springs. If you see anything that’s a concern, call a professional for a more thorough spring inspection. It’s always best to replace a spring before it snaps. This way the repair can be done according to your schedule and not on an emergency basis.