Garage door systems commonly use two main types of springs: extension springs and torsion springs. These two types of springs differ in their construction, placement, and the systems in which they are commonly found.

  1. Extension Springs:
    • Construction: Extension springs are typically long, coiled springs that stretch or extend when the garage door is opened. They are usually installed on both sides of the door and are connected to the track and the bottom bracket of the door.
    • Function: Extension springs work by extending and contracting to support the weight of the garage door. When the door is closed, they are in a state of tension. As the door is opened, they stretch and store energy. This stored energy is released when the door is closed, assisting in lifting the door.
    • Common Systems: Extension springs are commonly found in older and lighter garage door systems. They are often used in residential garage doors with a single-car configuration.
    • Safety Considerations: Extension springs can be dangerous if not properly maintained or replaced. They are under high tension and can cause serious injury if they snap or break. It is essential to follow safety precautions and have a professional handle any maintenance or replacement.
  2. Torsion Springs:
    • Construction: Torsion springs are mounted horizontally above the garage door, parallel to the door’s opening. They consist of tightly wound coils on a metal shaft. When the door is closed, the springs are under significant torsion or twisting force.
    • Function: Torsion springs operate by twisting or unwinding to counterbalance the weight of the garage door. When the door is opened, the stored energy in the tightly wound spring is released, assisting in lifting the door. When the door is closed, the spring returns to its wound state.
    • Common Systems: Torsion springs are commonly used in modern residential and commercial garage door systems. They are more durable and safer than extension springs, making them a preferred choice for heavier doors and doors with higher usage.
    • Safety Considerations: While torsion springs are generally safer than extension springs, they can still be dangerous if mishandled. It’s crucial to follow safety guidelines and have a trained technician perform any adjustments or replacements.

In summary, extension springs are typically found in older and lighter residential garage door systems, while torsion springs are commonly used in modern residential and commercial systems, especially for heavier doors. Understanding the type of spring your garage door uses is essential for proper maintenance and ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your garage door. If you are unsure about the type of springs your garage door has or need maintenance, it is advisable to consult a professional garage door service for assistance.