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Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs: What’s the Difference?

Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs: What’s the Difference?

You probably understand your springs are among the most critical elements of your garage door system. When your garage door does not open or close correctly, it’s likely that a worn-out or broken spring is to blame. However, you may not realize that there are two main types of springs – torsion and extension – that make up your garage door system.

How do you know the difference and is one better than the other?

Torsion springs are big springs that are located in a shaft above the garage door. Extension springs, on the other hand, are smaller and they attach to the sides of your garage door. Most doors will feature one of these two spring types. You wouldn’t typically see both on one garage door.

If you have torsion springs, they wind or unwind to lift or lower your door. If you have extension springs, they will fully expand or contract during opening or closing.

Which Kind is Better?

Despite the fact that torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs, they have twice the lifespan, giving you an overall better value. Torsion springs can also open and close your door in a more controlled fashion, whereas extension springs operate with a jerky motion, placing much more wear and tear on the springs with every use.

Extension springs require more maintenance than torsion, due in large part to their complex makeup. This makes it hard to get to those nooks and crannies with lubricant.

If a torsion spring snaps, it will generally make a loud pop but will stay in place on the shaft. When an extension spring snaps, it may fly off and pose a safety risk.

So, when would extension springs be appropriate to use? They do have their benefits, as they are less costly than torsion springs and are ideal if you don’t have much overhead space in your garage for a full-on torsion spring system. Yes, extension springs will get the job done but they need a lot of maintenance for safe and efficient operation. 

Still not sure which type of spring you should get? Ask your garage door professional at M&M Garage Doors!

Contact M&M Garage Doors

We have a lot of experience with servicing, repairing and replacing springs of all kinds. Contact us today in New Haven at 586-610-5434 and we’ll come out for a full inspection of your garage door springs.

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