Overhead Door Company of Olmsted County

406 37th Street NE, Suite A • Rochester, MN 55906 

507-281-6872

Overhead Door Company of Olmsted County Blog

Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs on your Garage Door

Posted by Meagan Steinberg on May 13, 2014 at 7:30 AM

There are two kinds of springs when it comes to what’s used on your garage or overhead door: torsion and extension. 

garage_door_torsion_springgarage_door_extension_spring

      Torsion Spring                                                Extension Spring

 

When The Door People at Overhead Door Company of Olmsted County sell and install a new garage door for a customer, they almost always use torsion springs.  This also applies to selling and installing a commercial door for local businesses.  There are only rare circumstances that would ever lead us to using extension springs, such as very low headroom and the inability to use a rear torsion spring for the door.  Here are a few reasons why torsion springs are growing in popularity and in our opinion, are a better investment:

  • Torsion springs are not fully extended the way extensions springs are when the door operates.  Extension springs fully expand and contract when operating an overhead door.  Torsion springs turn. 

  • Torsion springs are sturdier and last longer. Torsion springs do cost more, but generally last between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles, whereas extension springs last up to 10,000 cycles.  For example, if you open your garage door 4 times a day, extension springs will last about 7 years.  You can do the math on the torsion springs.  It only gets better from there.  

  • Torsion springs allow for a controlled motion.  Extension springs can result in a jerking motion.  There might be a lot of tension when you first open the door, but then it once the tension is gone, the door can fly up at a much faster speed.  Torsion springs keep a controlled, steady motion when the garage door opens and closes.  A lasting result of the controlled motion is the ability to keep your door in proper balance.  The jerking motion from the extension springs can leave your door needing adjustment.  When a door is out of alignment or needs adjustment, it has a tendency to wear or even cause damage to other parts of your garage door.

  • Extension springs require more parts.  When you have more parts involved, more things can go wrong.  For example, extension springs have sheaves and require a longer cable.  Torsion springs are easy to lubricate and maintain, whereas wear and tear can take place on the additional door parts needed with extension springs.  

  • Use of torsion springs result in less wear on your operator.  Torsion springs allow your overhead door operator to do its job without unnecessary wear or requiring more power to function when compared to extension springs.  In other words, your operator doesn’t have to work as hard to open and close your door because it’s in better balance as a result of the more controlled motion that occurs.   This can result in you experiencing fewer problems with your operator and it performing better and lasting longer for you. 

  • When an extension spring breaks, it can be more dangerous than when a torsion spring breaks.  When you hear of an extension spring breaking, it can cause serious damage.  We’ve heard of them flying through garage windows, car windshields, and we know they can cause serious injury and even death.  When a torsion spring breaks, it doesn’t fly off.  You may hear a loud bang, but the spring stays on the shaft.  Broken springs are serious; don’t hesitate to call your garage door professional if you have questions or need assistance. 
One other item to consider if you have a garage or overhead door that is currently using extension springs, we can assist you with converting your extension springs to torsion springs.  Overhead Door Company of Olmsted County carries and sells springs and all garage door parts for customers in Rochester, MN and Olmsted County.  You can cash and carry the parts you need, or we’d be happy to install them for you.  Even though our office and showroom are currently being remodeled, you can reach us 507-281-6872.