Garage door springs are loaded with enough energy to raise and lower a door tens of thousands of times. Most of the time this extremely useful asset to a home or business is overlooked or taken for granted until the garage door spring breaks and needs to be fixed.
There are many different ways garage doors utilize springs to assist in the hands free function of any door.
Torsion Spring Systems
Garage Door Torsion Spring Systems are mounted directly above the door opening, when in the down position.
Most torsion spring systems use a spring bar, also known as the torsion tube. The spring fits around this bar, and is mounted with tension. When the spring is mounted to the spring bar, it is loaded with energy, when the spring bar is loaded with energy from the spring. The bar is then called the torsion tube.
How a Torsion Spring System Works
The torsion tube has drums connected to each outer end. The drums allow for a cable attachment point to the torsion tube. From these points the cables wind and unwind around each end uniformly, as the door opens and closes. The cables connect the bottom mounting brackets on the door to the torsion tube on each side.
Above is the most basic explanation of how a torsion spring system works. If you take into consideration different applications such as the height, width and weight of different garage doors. The logistics can compound and become more complicated.
Distributing the load of the door evenly when in operation, will allow for less strain on the entire system. Some torsion spring systems have up to 4 springs to assist in operation. Once the basics of the mechanical operation is understood, safety in maintenance can proceed.
Without proper understanding and proper tools, replacing springs can become extremely dangerous and should not be attempted.
The torsion spring system has proven to be the most reliable, and most safe option of spring assisted systems.
Extension Spring Systems
Extension Spring Systems for garage doors are usually mounted on either side of a garage door, overhead just above the horizontal frame. Extension spring systems are usually used on lighter door applications.
These systems are easier to maintain, mostly because the springs are connected to a stationary anchor on one side and a pulley on the other. The pulley connects the cable to the bottom of the door, most times using a separate pulley directly above the closed door.
Extension spring systems, though they used to be common, have been phasing out due to the potential for catastrophic spring failure. If proper maintenance is not completed, it’s only a matter of when the spring will fail. A spring failure can cause serious damage to people, pets and property.
It is now standard practice when replacing an extension spring to install an extra cable through the spring to combat the potential of when or if the spring breaks it becoming a projectile.
Enough kinetic energy is stored in this system to lift the door thousands of times.