Torsion and extension springs are both commonly installed on garage doors as a key component of the lift system. The question is, which spring type is more durable, safe and an overall better investment when installing a garage door and an accompanying lift mechanism?
What are Extension Springs?
Extension springs function in the traditional sense. They expand and contract with the movement of the garage door. Installing this type of spring involves also installing additional accompanying parts, including safety cables and hardware. Two are mounted on either side of the door, with each bearing the weight of its side, lifting the door with the assistance of a pulley system. The length of each spring must be specifically matched to the height of the garage door. This type of spring is inexpensive.
What are Torsion Springs?
Metal torsion springs are normally mounted above the garage door and use torque to lift weight. The spring slowly rotates and contains applied force in its tight coil rather than stretching and compressing lengthwise to lift and lower the doors. Selecting the size and the number of springs needed is based on the weight and size of the door. This type requires fewer additional parts to install, meaning less maintenance is required to keep the system operating and in good shape. While garage doors with extension springs can move at erratic speeds depending on the level of force used during opening, this type always opens the doors at a steady pace, keeping them in balance.
Which Option Lasts Longer?
All garage door springs are made to last for 10,000 door lift-and-close cycles. If the homeowner opens and closes their garage four times every day, the springs will last for 6.8 years. Purchasing high-quality, extended-life torsion springs can double that length of time. Some last for 15,000 to 30,000 cycles. Since the torsion type offers better balance, the motor is not overtaxed and the moving parts are not put under an excessive strain. Not only will torsion springs outlast extension springs, they will also extend the life of the garage door opener and the doors themselves.
Which Option is Safest?
Extension springs have many more exposed mechanical components. When they break, they can detach and catapult into the air, potentially causing serious damage to vehicles, possessions and/or inflicting major injuries to people nearby. Torsion springs may break, but the high-tension spring itself stays in place. It will make a loud noise the moment it breaks, but no physical harm comes to any objects or humans in the vicinity. For this reason, torsion springs are considered the safer option when selecting garage door parts.
Replacing both torsion and extension springs is a job best completed by a professional, so contact the team at Accent Garage Doors when your garage requires expert, safe spring repair or replacement.