Questions and Answers
Can I replace my torsion springs in my garage doors with extension type?
I am fairly handy and have a double car garage door. I came home the other day and one of the torsion springs has snapped. My research revealed that there should in fact be two springs up there either side of the center and there is only one – now broken! Nice – thanks Mr Contractor who built the house.
I have researched how to replace these and it looks OK, although new torsion springs are somewhat expensive and a little tricky to install.
The extension springs are much cheaper and appear much easier to install. Can I simply remove the torsion springs and put in a tension spring system instead?
Posted by Nathalie
Admin: Your research is misleading. there is no set rule that says you must have 2 torsion springs. that is determined by the weight of the door generally. 2 springs work better than 1 if you can do it. many factories will only use one strong spring simply because it reduces their cost and everybody seems more worried about cost than longevity or function. even your question seems to indicate you are concerned with cost.
that being said, extension springs are a very poor choice for double wide doors as they allow the door to wobble back and forth as it moves. another thing to consider is life of the springs. extension springs have a set amount of times they are expected to lift the door. usually this number is around 10,000-12,000 times. that may seem like alot but it equates to about 4-7 years for many homes. every time you leave or got out to check the mail or take out the trash, or kids (if you have them) go outside, that’s 1 time up and down. it adds up quickly. you can’t buy an extension spring that is heavy duty or will last longer. read that last sentence again. if anybody tells you differently, they are misinformed or lying. period.
with torsion springs you can configure them for longer life, called extended cycle in the industry.
Here’s my recommendation. If you plan to stay awhile in that house, take the spring to a door company and ask them to calculate extended cycle springs for you. you would want something around 20,000 cycles or better. it will cost you more initally because you will end up with 2 springs rather than one, but this might then be the last time you will ever have to deal with them because they will last so long. the mere fact they are extended cycle won’t add much to the cost, usually when i figure them it only works out to around $10 more than the standard cycle springs. if you don’t plan on staying there a very long time or cost is a factor, take the spring to a door company and get the exact replacement. either way is gonna be better and cheaper than converting to extension springs. as far as the danger involved, either spring is extremely dangerous to those who make mistakes. if you don’t have good instructions, know how to follow them , and good tools to rely on, hire a company.