Garage Door Springs – Should I Replace With One or Two?

One Spring vs. Two Garage Door Springs

What is a garage door spring and where do I look for it?  It is that object that is located above the garage door that looks like a coil or spring.  The proper name used in the garage door industry is called a torsion spring.

garage door torsion springA torsion spring is a spring that works by torsion or twisting; that is a flexible object that stores mechanical energy when it is twisted. When it is twisted, it exerts a force (actually torque) in the opposite direction, proportional to the amount (angle) it is twisted.

So why would it be important to have one or two garage door springs on a standard two car garage door?

With a single torsion spring application, if the garage door is in the closed position and the torsion spring breaks most people cannot lift the door and anything inside the garage is going to stay inside the garage.

If the garage door is in the open position and the door starts coming down, and the single torsion spring breaks in mid travel the garage door opener will most likely not be able to stop the garage door from falling and crushing anything that is in its path. i.e. person, pet, vehicle etc.two oil soaked garage door torsion springs

With a double torsion spring application, if the garage door is in the closed position and one of the two torsion springs breaks, there is usually enough power in the other torsion spring for you to still lift the garage door and get your car in or out.  The garage door is still going to be heavy but not unmanageable to lift.  You can use your garage door opener and help assist the door up yourself.

If the garage door is in the open position and starts coming down and one of the two torsion springs break in mid travel, there is usually enough power in the other torsion spring for the garage door opener to either bring the garage door back up or let it down slowly.

Why we use oil tempered torsion springs.

Garage door springs - oil tempered - zinc - galvanizedZinc or galvanized torsion springs are a good spring however, they tend to lose a lot of tension within the first 30 – 45 days after installation.  When a torsion spring loses tension it puts a lot of undue wear and tear on the garage door opener. The garage door opener will have to be replaced a lot sooner rather than later.  The torsion springs are what do all the work, it is a counter balance system.  The garage door opener is there to take the place of you  having to open or close the garage door manually by hand.

Questions to ask when calling around for pricing on replacing garage door torsion springs

  1. What kind of garage door torsion springs are used?
  2. If there is one spring broken on a standard size 16 x 7 (two car) garage door and there is two torsion springs above the garage door, Will the company replace only one spring? or both?
  3. If there is only one spring on a standard size 16 x 7 (two car) garage door, Will the company replace only the one torsion spring or change it to a two torsion spring system?
  4. What kind of warranty is given with the torsion spring replacement? One year? Two year? Three year?
  5. Does the company use sub-contractors or company employees?

So as you can see, there are a lot of different variables and questions that should be asked BEFORE you replace the garage door torsion springs.  It really is a very dangerous job and a professional service technician skilled in replacing the torsion springs should be called upon.  In the garage door industry finding a skilled service technician, that understands the true IPPT (Inch Pounds Per Turn) of your garage door and weight, will be your best choice.

Warning – Springs are under high tension. Only qualified persons should adjust them Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced person carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust the torsion springs yourself.

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