Garage Door Torsion Spring Operation and Sizing Themes, Part 1

Whether you’re the owner of a single-family home or the operator of a large-scale facility with numerous garage opening areas, you’ve likely had experience with torsion springs – whether you knew it or not. Torsion springs, which are so-named due to the way they exert torque (rotational force), are the most common spring types found in garage doors of all types, both residential and commercial.

At Custom Spring Manufacturing, torsion springs are just one of numerous custom spring engineering types we specialize in, a list that also includes compression springs, conical springs and many others. Why are torsion springs generally the top choice for garages and related items, and how are the proper torsion spring sizes selected to meet the needs of a given garage space? This two-part blog will detail everything you need to know in this realm.

garage door torsion spring themes

How Torsion Springs Work

Torsion springs are found in numerous applications where rotational force is required, and they work by being rotated and twisted against themselves along their axis in a horizontal position. This rotation winds the coil together tighter and tighter, building up its innate power and storing energy.

Once the spring is released as desired, it exerts proportional force in the opposite direction. For this reason, torsion springs are incredibly common in applications where any such force is required: Automobile doors, construction equipment, tailgates, delivery trucks, and various facilities that require garage or overhead door types that frequently raise and lower.

Garage-Specific Applications

Within garages and overhead door needs specifically, the torsion spring is in place to provide support and a cushion for the door itself. They are long, tightly-wound springs that sit on the overhead of the garage door axle, storing energy in the ways we detailed above.

The torsion springs serve as a counterbalance as the door is being opened or closed. They offset the weight being displaced during these processes and allow doors to open smoothly and without major thuds or impacts.

Why Torsion Springs Often Wear Out First

As many warehouse or facility managers, people who are highly experienced with garages and their various components, will tell you, torsion springs are often the first items to wear out here. This is because, compared to many other garage door components, they undergo the heaviest strain: They spend long periods of time winding and unwinding, plus storing huge amounts of latent energy before allowing it to burst forth.

This often leads to breaking or stretching of the spring over enough time, even in cases where the spring was manufactured at a high quality level. If the spring breaks, the door will not open and the spring must be replaced – part two of our series will focus on the proper sizing for this replacement spring.

For more on torsion springs and garage doors, or to learn about any of our custom spring services, speak to the staff at Custom Spring Manufacturing today.