Garage Door Springs

We are often asked what the different types of garage door springs are, and if they can be up graded when being replaced. They are many factors that go into answering that question. Such as is are they extension or torsion springs? If they are extension springs then the answer is no, they can not be “upgraded”. Extension Springs have a pull ratio and that is based on the weight of the garage door, as well as the height that the door must be lifted. A torsion spring system can be upgraded as long as there is enough room on the shaft.

Torsion Springs

Garage door springs are the most common wear item on a garage door that will need to be replaced. The springs have a functional life cycle and will eventually break. A homeowner recently told us that a repair company stated that they used a galvanized steel torsion spring, it has a much higher life cycle and that is why it justified a much higher cost.

Garage Door Torsion Springs: Oil Tempered vs Galvanized

Oil Tempered (OT) and Galvanized Hard Drawn (GHD) are made from the “same” raw material. Both are made from high-carbon steel wire that is stretched through a series of “die” until the specific diameter is achieved. Historically garage door “torsion” springs were made of oil tempered steel. Oil Tempered is a process that uses a heat-treatment to give it certain properties. Once the wire is at the determined wire size it is heated in excess of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, cooled rapidly by submerging it in oil and reheating it again. Galvanized Hard Drawn is a process of applying zinc to the wire before it is stretched

The garage door industry uses oil tempered torsion springs that conform to ASTM 229 standards which defines tensile strength by wire diameter size. Wire size has 2 very distinct classifications; class I and class II, with class II having a much higher tensile strength in the same wire size diameter. The garage door industry once had a distinctive class called Overhead Door (OHD) Quality oil tempered wire. It was a unique middle ground between the previous two classifications. With advances in technology most of the garage industry uses class II.

In the 1990’s to extend the life of the garage door spring, technicians as well as homeowners were applying grease to the garage door spring. Yes, it created a huge mess on the garage door as well as the garage floor. So in an effort to clean up the appearance manufactures required a painted finish which was labor intensive. Galvanized wire seemed to be the answer and also was touted to be a better quality product and have superior life cycles.

The garage Door Torsion Spring Debate was started

Manufacturers from both sides hired “independent” third parties, how can both sides be right? There are aspects of both that The Wright Door Co. can interject from 30+ years of experience.

Galvanized torsion springs do look nice when installed, they do however have a limited shelf life. The material must be in a controlled environment or it will begin to dull with a white substance will appear on the torsion spring (not that it is all that noticeable). Galvanized springs need what is referred to as “installed hot”, which is extra winding to avoid possible warranty calls from the Garage door not lifting properly. Additional maintenance in the future to maintain the proper balance will be needed.

Oil tempered torsion springs now have a coating that helps deter the appearance of rust and will require a spray oil to stay rust free. Oil tempered springs hold their lifting power until the end of their functioning life cycles.

What type to use

The Wright Door Co. uses Oil Tempered torsion springs from a manufacturer in Ohio. We have tried both types and prefer the reassurance we can tell the customers about through our experiences.

The one thing to know is that any garage door torsion spring can be upgraded to a larger torsion spring wire size to get higher life cycles. The Wright Door Co. has this as a common practice, there are many different wire diameters as well as wire size and wire shapes (yes, there is a square wire). As a garage door service and repair company, we want you to be as informed as possible and it is our responsibility to educate our valued customers. The Wright Door Co. warranties all of our garage door spring replacements for 3 years regardless of possible use.

Any questions regarding your garage door give us a call at 314-484-3667, 636-293-3007 or 618-698-8058 for an opportunity to deliver Quality You Expect, Service You Deserve.

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