Your garage door would be hopeless without its springs. Garage door springs allow garage doors to open and close smoothly. Garage doors are deceptively hefty, and the springs do most of the heavy lifting. If garage door springs are getting used every day, it is not uncommon for them to get worn out and need a replacement.
There are two main types of garage door springs. While both types have their positives, the spring you should use will ultimately depend on what is best for your garage door.
Torsion springs are most common for newer garage door installations. They are located on the wall above your garage door, and they run horizontally. The spring itself is installed on a metal shaft with two aluminum drums placed on either end of the shaft. The drums carry the cable that lifts or lowers your garage door, but all of the force behind the cable pull is created from the torsion spring.
When garage doors close, they coil up the torsion spring. This leads to a large buildup of tension and energy within the spring. When the garage door needs to be open, the spring releases all of this energy by unwinding and providing the garage door with the power it needs to be lifted.
Extension springs usually come in pairs. They run along the tracks of the garage door and include cables and pulleys. Unlike torsion springs, extension springs expand when garage doors close. The taut springs release their tension when the doors open by shrinking back to their natural state.
Garage Door Spring Color Coding System
It is also useful to know what type of torsion or extension spring you have in your garage. Torsion springs are typically broken out into two categories: left-wind and right-wind. A left-wind spring is red and unwinds in a clockwise direction, while a right-wind spring is black and unwinds in a counterclockwise direction. It is important to know the difference between these two springs so that you know which direction to place them.
Extension springs have a much more elaborate color-coding system. The color of your extension spring will indicate how much weight the spring can lift. The colors for extension springs are:
Tan – 100, 200, & 300 lbs.
White – 110, 210, & 310 lbs.
Green – 120, 220, & 320 lbs.
Yellow – 130, 230, & 330 lbs.
Blue – 140 & 240 lbs.
Red – 150 & 250 lbs.
Brown – 160 & 260 lbs.
Orange – 170 & 270 lbs.
Gold – 180 & 280lbs.
Light blue – 190 & 290 lbs.
Take a look at the springs in your garage to determine what type of springs you currently use, and how much weight they can hold.