Torsion Spring

Installing a garage door will require a set of tools!

Torsion Spring

There are different kinds of springs in use in a garage door, and if the door is fit with an automatic door opener, there are more springs that come into play!

But of them all, torsion springs are the ones which are of utmost importance, and those are the ones which need to be talked about. Unlike what people generally think, garage door openers don't open doors by themselves. Lifting a 400 pound door with a motor of HP is not all that easy, is it? What the motor actually does is to direct the tension stored in the springs to pull or push the door through the track connected to it. These springs are called torsion springs, and they are by far the most used part of a garage door.

To look at, these are springs of the twisted variety, as that is when maximum mechanical energy gets stored in them. If the image has not popped up into your mind, think about a mouse trap. The spring that snaps back into place once the cheese is moved by the mouse is a torsion spring. A similar kind of a spring - but much larger in size - is what gives the force to the door opener that hangs behind your garage door. Since we are talking about examples, we should take one from the other extreme in size - it is torsion springs that make your watch tick! But they are quite tiny, obviously!

The torsion springs in a garage door opener are wound tightly around a metal shaft which has cable drums at the end. This whole shaft is mounted above the garage door it has to open, and if there is an automatic door opener, that will also be hooked to the shaft and the door. When the command to open the door is given via the door opener remote control, the motor wakes up and uses the tension already stored in the torsion springs to slowly move along the shaft. The connectors from the machine to the door become taut and also move along. This causes the garage door to open. Similarly the door is also closed.

Torsion Spring

The key word in the above paragraph is 'tightly wound'; and unless the spring retains a lot of tension in it, it cannot help open the door. That is why in the initial days the torsion springs used to snap, and garage doors used to come tumbling down. Today, the torsion springs are made of a much stronger metal alloy, and there is also a safety feature in the form of the metal shaft to stop the door from falling, in case the spring does snap. That is a rare occurrence - especially if the door has been installed by a professional.

Replacing torsion springs is a job for the pros, and even if you are quite excited about doing it yourself, we'd recommend that you don't venture. There is a lot of power behind that spring, and you could hurt yourself. Normally, there are two torsion springs, and if one does break, it is recommended that you replace both.

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