Types of garage door springs

Types of garage door springs

The springs on your garage door serve a dual purpose, to offset the weight of the large and heavy garage door while also allowing for easy opening and closing. These high tension steel pieces are vital in keeping everything functioning properly but they will begin to lose their effectiveness with age. In most cases the spring does not get replaced in time and leads to a broken garage door spring.

Before we start the task of replacing the garage door spring we need to understand what springs we are looking at and how they function, here follows a list of garage door springs common in the South African market.

Torsion springs

sectional garage door springTorsion springs you typically find on sectional garage doors. There can be one to four of these depending on a number of factors including weight or size of the door. Generally speaking a single sectional garage door takes one spring and a double sectional garage door takes two springs.

Torsion springs are also available in different "weight" ratings. The rating of the spring, typically expressed in kilograms, should be similar to the weight of the door in order for the system to work optimally.

The torsion bar, which is situated through the middle of the torsion spring, also holds the cable drums. The cable drums holds and spools the cables that are attached to the brackets at the bottom corners of a door. The free end of the springs will be anchored firmly onto the torsion bar by means of a winding cone. As soon as you close your garage door, an extending cable will cause this drum/bar system to rotate and twist up the spring into a "torsioned" state - loaded like bent bows waiting to release tension when next opened again so they can assist in lifting the garage door! 

To adjust the tension of the spring you would require a set of Torsion Spring Winding Bars. This will make the job go a lot easier and safer as the Winding Bars allows for better control of the coiled torsion spring.

Tip up springs

tip up garage door springsSome refer to this spring as extension springs, and indeed there is another garage door assembly that does utilise extension springs which we will cover next.

The tip up springs is situated on the side of your garage door and attaches to the jam arm. The jam arm and associated assembly can be used to adjust the spring tension. The perfect tension will cause the jam arm to move past is fulcrum and ether open or close the door in a controlled manner.

Extension springs

garage door extension springs

Extension spring assemblies have become less popular over recent years due the complex nature of the assembly and regular maintenance it requires. We will discuss it briefly as we are sure some of you have ether come across them or have it currently installed,

As the door closes, two sets of pulleys and cables help to lift it. One cable is anchored to one side at the bottom of your garage door and runs up and over a stationary pulley attached near the top corner. This pulley needs to be anchored properly and is normally fixed to the wall.

From the anchored pulley the cable goes around the moveable pulley, which is secured to the spring, and then back to the fixed point on the garage door. As these stretch out when the door is closed they create tension which will assist in lifting the garage door when opened again!

Keep a keen eye

When it comes to your garage door, the springs are an important piece of equipment and should be inspected from time to time for signs of wear or damage. The old saying of "prevention is better than cure" rings true in this case, as broken garage door springs can cause additional damage which will likely add to your repair bill and frustrations.