Choosing springs for garage doors is not easy. After all, not all garage doors are the same. And so, springs vary too in order to meet the requirements of the garage door. All the same, getting the right spring system for your garage door is of the utmost importance. Since they are tensed to balance the garage door and use this force to lift and lower the door, getting the right spring system is essential. So, let us outline the basics on how to select garage door springs.
The extension springs vs torsion spring dilemma
Some garage doors utilize extension springs. Some work with torsion springs. Which spring system is best for you? It depends on the garage door weight, if this is a permanent residence or not, how much you want to spend, and factors like that. Let us explain.
As a rule of thumb, torsion springs are better than their extension counterparts. Why?
• Although there are variations, most torsion springs will last for 20,000 cycles, while extension springs usually last for 10,000 cycles.
• Torsion springs are safer due to their shaft. Unless extension springs have safety cables laced through them, they may snap and cause significant property damage – let alone human accidents.
• Torsion springs are stronger and some may last even longer. These cost more. But if you intend to live in this house for many more years, they are worth the extra expense.
On the other hand, torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs.
In any case, the first factor to consider before you choose either spring system is the weight of the garage door. When it comes to extension springs, they come in pairs. But when it comes to torsion springs, it depends on whether this is a single or double garage door. The latter ones are wider and heavier – hence, they often require two torsion springs.
How to select extension springs
The first thing to do is weigh the door, if you don’t already know its weight. This is not always easy since it involves releasing the spring tension to weigh the door with a bathroom scale (by putting the scale under the center of the door). Since the springs are tense, you may want to turn to a garage door repair pro to help you with that.
It’s also good to know the height of the door – that’s an easier task. The difficult part is when you need to verify colors and select ends. Okay. Take a deep breath. The color codes have to do with the height and weight of the door and repeat every hundred pounds – for example: the color blue is for 40/140/240lbs. The color red for 50/150/250lbs, etc.
You choose the ends of extension springs based on door weight again.
• Single looped are for doors that weigh up to 200lbs.
• Double looped are also used for doors up to 200lbs. They are more durable than the single looped ends.
• Clipped ends are for doors over 200lbs.
Extension springs contract and expand to lift and lower the door. And so, the length of the spring when it is stretched and when it rests also matters. The outside diameter (when the springs rest) and the wire diameter must also be measured.
How to choose torsion springs
• You need to measure the length of the spring – from the first to the last coil. That would be a bit difficult if the garage door spring is broken.
• You need to measure the wire (thickness) of the spring.
• It’s also important to know the inner diameter.
• Torsion springs have a stationary and a winding cone. You need to choose the spring wind – left wind springs are placed on the right-hand side of the door, while right wind springs on the left-hand side of the door.
Last but not least, make sure you choose the spring based on the type of the garage door – rollup/sectional. That’s of the essence, too.