Garage door spring system vs pulley system

Marietta Garage Door RepairDo you know about your garage door springs? Most people know that they are there; doing the heavy lifting and lowering of your home or business garage door, but do you know which system you have or what your springs really do?

Why do I need to know this?

At this point you may be wondering if knowing about garage door springs has any significance. Can’t you just fix them yourself if they break? Can’t you just hire a repairman to service them and be done with it? No on the first question and maybe on the second; it all depends on your time allotment and budget. A much smarter way is to know at least the basics about your springs so that you understand what is really going on each time your open or close your Marietta, GA garage door.

Torsion springs

Your garage door’s torsion springs are sometimes called by other names. Sometimes, they are referred to as spring systems as opposed to pulley systems which are often referred to as extension springs. Think of these terms along the lines of tissue and Kleenex. These are words that mean the very same thing even though one is a noun and one is a brand. They are often used interchangeably and people generally know what you are talking about. If you have a newer opener system, it is probably of the torsion spring variety. Is there a way to tell which one you have? Yes, and it’s easy, too. If you have torsion springs at your home, they will be located over the top of your garage door. You’ll see a torsion bar attached at the top of your garage door, on the inside. The actual torsion springs themselves are mounted on this bar. It has a drum at each end with cables that attach it to the bottom bracket at each end of your garage door. Every time your garage door operates up and down, these same cables move up the length of the garage door and around the drums. Torsion spring systems like these come in different sizes which correspond to the weight and dimensions of your garage door. Torsion springs are a little more expensive than extension springs but they make up for this by lasting almost twice as long. For example, most torsion springs varieties enjoy a span of 15 to 20 thousand cycles. A full cycle is considered one garage door opening and one closing. If you operate your garage door an average of 3 times a day, you will go through 1095 cycles annually.

Extension springs (aka pulley system)

The other, older type of spring system is the extension spring type. They have the advantage of being less expensive than the torsion variety but the disadvantage of only lasting half as long. People sometimes refer to these as pulley system springs because of the fact that they use pulleys to move your garage door. While your torsion springs are located on the inside of your garage door at the top, your pulley system springs can be found on the sides and are attached vertically. These springs make use of pulleys and cables to move your garage door up and down. In order to achieve safe and smooth operation, your pulley springs need to be balanced properly and in good working condition. Our garage door shop usually recommends servicing both of your springs as they do tend to break down at roughly the same time. Do it yourself spring repair is highly discouraged by us as both torsion and extension springs are dangerous to work with and pack tremendous power that can cause injury or eve death when they break. We encourage our readers to be safe and work with experienced garage door professionals for any kind of torsion or extension spring repair or installation.

Which springs are best for your needs?

You may not have a choice right now. Maybe you are already living in a home that you either bought or rented and it has a set of springs already attached. Owners have the choice or making a change but renters usually do not. If you are in the position of actually deciding which is best for you, we encourage you to talk it over with a local full time garage door professional in your area. Choosing the right springs for your garage comes down to more than simply cost. How long are you planning on living in the property? Will your house be going up for sale anytime soon? Most home buyers tend to want the longer lasting and safer torsion spring variety. Adding these or replacing your extension springs with these can be a selling plus. Are you keeping your home but maybe renting it out? You might opt for less expensive springs as tenants tend to put extra wear and tear on properties that they don’t own.

Ask questions

If you are local, feel free to call our experienced and licensed garage door technicians. We love to hear from our customers and we can help you with price quotes and additional details. If you don’t live in the area, call an established garage door repair shop in your locale and find out more. Ask about more than just pricing and installation or service times. Check on warranty coverage, availability of emergency service, top brands, safety and performance checks and ongoing maintenance involved with each spring type. Treat your springs well and they’ll last for many years while giving back strong and reliable performance that you can rely on.