garage-door-spring-vs-extensioinTesting Springs – Torsion vs. Extension

Testing the balance of your garage door is great to ensure the safety of your overhead door.

The balance of your garage door is the relationship between the springs of the garage door and the garage door’s weight. They need to counter each other so they are “balanced.” Garage doors that are not in balance can put an extra burden on your garage door opener and add wear and tear, shortening the life of the opener.

To test your garage door’s balance, detach the automatic opener when the door is closed. Lift from the middle part of the door halfway and let go carefully. Be prepared to catch the door if it drops drastically.

The garage door falling too quickly means that the spring tension is too weak.

If the door, when you let go, continues to open, then the spring tension is too strong.

When you let go of the garage door from midway, the optimal movement is none or very little. If this is the case, your garage door is balanced!

If not, read on about two different types of springs, torsion and extension springs.

Torsion Springs

Most two car garage doors utilize torsion springs. Torsion springs run parallel to the top of the garage door. They are designed to counter the heavy weight of the doors to enable lifting and slow down closing. However, after being opened and closed thousands of times, they may need replacement or adjustment.

Replacement or adjustment of torsion springs should be done by professionals or very, very experienced do it yourself people. Remember, this springs can hold very heavy weight and stores hundreds of pound of potential energy that can cause serious injury if not done properly.

Extension Springs

The other type of spring, the extension spring can be adjusted more easily by the homeowner. Extension springs are coils that the door pulls on when closed and usually are used with single, lighter garage doors. Extension springs are parallel to the track and usually have a pulley at the end of the garage door. When the garage door is opened, the spring can be adjusted. Caution and safety in mind should still be used when adjusting an extension spring.

Having a balanced garage door will allow easy and smooth operation of your garage door opener without putting strain on the equipment as well as manual opening and closing of a garage door without an automatic opener, so test your garage door and keep it maintained.


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