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Tips for Replacing Your Garage Door Spring

By Balanced Garage Doors

Based on our experience at Balanced Garage Doors, we use the following guidelines to measure garage door spring performance:

 

  • Below average if spring lasts less than six years
  • Average if spring lasts 6-8 years
  • Above-average if spring lasts 8-10 years
  • Superior performance if spring lasts 10+ years

1.  High-Quality Garage Replacement Springs Are Less Expensive in the Long Run

If the torsion or extension spring on your garage door breaks within six years of installation, we recommend replacing your garage door spring with one of higher quality to reduce future spring repair costs.  The incremental cost of a better-constructed spring will be more than offset by its longer life cycle.

For many local garage door repair companies like Balanced Garage Doors, the 1¾-inch torsion spring with a thicker wire gauge and longer length made out of oil tempered carbon steel with black corrosion-resistant coating remains the affordable quality standard for durability.  The 1¾-inch torsion spring is completely interchangeable with the more common 2-inch spring.

When an extension spring breaks, the homeowner has fewer options to upgrade to a higher quality spring than a torsion spring.  As a result, their garage spring repair cycle and costs tend to remain relatively unchanged unless they install an extension spring with enhanced connections.

This tip guide can help homeowners become better informed on how to identify a high-quality garage door spring replacement.

2.  High-Quality Springs Have a Thicker Wire Gauge and Are Longer

There is a saying in the garage industry that the longer the torsion spring, the longer the spring's life.  In general, springs with a thicker wire gauge and longer length are more durable and long-lasting.  When comparing cost estimates for replacing a garage door torsion spring, the homeowner should consider the differences in potential performance and durability based on the wire thickness and length of the proposed replacement spring.

Listed below are four torsion spring configurations for a 170.46-pound door with a 50.8 IPPT rating from the same garage door spring manufacturer.  Each one has a different performance potential based upon the diameter and wire gauge used to create the spring.

diameter/wire gauge/length/weight/IPPT/performance ranking/cost ranking

2.0"/0.2625/33.5"/14.6 lbs/50.3/#4/#4 (shortest-lowest performance-least expensive spring)

1¾"/0.2625/38"/14.7 lbs/51.0/#3/#3

2.0"/0.2730/40"/18.1 lbs/50.8/#2/#2

1¾"/0.2730/45"/18.1 lbs/50.5/#1/#1 (longest-best performance-most expensive spring)

Note: When comparing the 2-inch diameter 0.265 garage spring to the 1¾-inch diameter 0.237 spring with the same ballpark IPPT rating, the 1¾-inch spring is 11.5 inches or 34.3% longer.  When comparing the two 2-inch diameter springs, the thicker gauge 0.2730 versus 0.2625 is 6.5 inches or 19.4% longer.

The following guideline can be applied when comparing torsion springs with the same ballpark IPPT rating.  If the spring wire gauges are the same, the longer spring will be more durable; if the wire gauges are different, the thicker wire gauge will be more durable.

For many homeowners, having a high-performance torsion spring installed during a garage spring repair is not always an option.  Due to stocking limitations for parts on their service trucks, not all garage door repair companies carry them.  The same can be said about extension springs.  Not every garage door repair company stocks the higher performance replacement springs with enhanced connections, such as double loops and clipped ends.

3.  10,000+ Cycles is not a High-Performance Spring

For both torsion springs and extension springs, 10,000+ cycles has become the standard rating for the vast majority of garage springs produced either domestically or imported.  More than likely, your garage door repair will be made with a 10,000+ cycle rated spring derived from a lab test that does not take into account normal garage door conditions.

Garage spring manufacturers, who produce higher-end torsion springs and sell primarily to the garage repair industry, claim their springs are capable of 15,000 to 20,000 garage door cycles in a well-maintained garage.  Increased cycles would save a homeowner a significant amount of money in the long run.  Based on our repair experience, we have been able to validate their superior performance.

With that said, you may get more or fewer cycles from a 20,000+ cycle-rated spring depending on your garage's operating condition.  The same can be said for a 10,000+ cycle-rated spring.  Based on our experience, you will still get better performance on average from a 20,000+ rated spring than a 10,000+ rated spring, but there is no guarantee that the performance difference will be 10,000 cycles.  It may end up being 15,000 cycles or a 50% performance improvement versus 100%.  The point is, the incremental cost for the additional 50% performance gain will still reduce your future garage spring repair costs.

Ultimately, garage door weight determines the size of your garage spring.  The relationship between garage door weight and the proper size of a pre-manufactured garage spring is precise if you want your garage door system to work at peak efficiency.  Cycle ratings should not be the sole criteria when evaluating the quality of a particular garage door spring.  The best measure of a high-quality torsion spring relates to its wire thickness, length, and caliber of metal.  Whereas, the best measure of a quality extension spring is how its end connections are fabricated and quality of metal.

4.  Know Your Garage Replacement Spring Options

Garage door repair companies often use the broken spring specs to determine the wire gauge and length of the replacement spring.  If your broken garage door spring failed within a six-year or less cycle, chances are the replacement spring will have a similar outcome.  As a result, your garage spring repair cycle, costs, and performance will remain relatively unchanged.

For homeowners who want a higher-quality spring replacement to lower their long-term repair costs, it is advisable to visit the websites of prospective garage repair companies to read about their spring repair service and check for current reviews.  The best service companies usually have current reviews reflecting high customer satisfaction levels.  A steady stream of highly satisfied customers can only be achieved by a company with a strong commitment to quality, service, value, and professionalism.

Call the best prospects to inquire about their fees, warranties, and expected performance of their garage replacement springs.  If possible, obtain estimates from repair companies that do not charge service fees so as to avoid being subject to the service fee trap.

When finally deciding on a company to make your garage door spring repair, base your choice on which one provides the best value for your needs and budget, and you are convinced can make your repair with the spring quality and performance you want.

Generally, a garage door repair company's service area ranges from 20 miles to 60 miles, which offers a wide selection of repair companies from which you can choose.

5.  Preventive Maintenance Reduces Garage Door Spring Repair Costs

Keep in mind that having a scheduled maintenance every 1 to 2 years helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear on all components of a garage system, especially springs, which can save repair costs in the long run.

 

Additional information:

Managing Garage Door Spring Costs - By Customer Service - Balanced Garage Doors.

The Basics of Garage Door Spring Systems - By Customer Service - Balanced Garage Doors.

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