Included below are a number of popular topics that interest homeowners when considering torsion spring purchases. Though it may be helpful to consider these options, they do not apply to all garage doors.
Replace Both Torsion Springs?
If you have two torsion springs on your door, you should replace both of them. Most doors have springs with the same cycle life rating. In other words, when one spring breaks, the other spring will probably break before too much longer. Since you will be going to the trouble of changing one torsion spring, it is usually better to change your second spring as well. This will save you time in the garage as well as money on the shipping costs.
Some doors, however, have two springs with different dimensions. Many times, the cycle life of the broken spring is shorter than the cycle life of the unbroken spring. This means that you may still have another couple thousand cycles left on your unbroken spring. If you only change one spring now, you will probably need to change your other spring fairly soon down the road. Therefore, we recommend that you still replace both springs, but that you purchase springs with the same length, inside diameter and wire size.
If this is the case, each of your new torsion springs will need to lift 1/2 of the total lift of your two old springs. A matched pair of springs can be determined for you by using our Unmatched Springs calculator.
For help determining whether you should replace both springs on your door, see our Torsion Spring FAQ's page. You can also read more about springs with different dimensions.
One Spring or Two?
A lot of people have a garage door with only spring on it and wonder whether they should upgrade to two springs. If the new torsion spring that you will install on your door has an inside diameter (ID) of 1-3/4" and a wire size of .250 or larger, we suggest that you convert to two torsion springs. The same holds true with a 2" ID and .2625 wire size or a 2-1/4" ID and .283 wire size.
The problem with having a larger wire size on a single-spring door is that the spring pulls on the shaft as the door opens and closes. This can cause serious problems in the future including cables breaking or peeling off the drums and steel sections getting damaged. While it usually costs $5-$10 to convert over to two springs, it can save a lot of money down the road.
One question that people frequently ask when converting to two springs is whether they need a second bearing for the second spring. The answer is no. The purpose of the bearing is to keep the stationary cone centered on the shaft so that the spring is centered on the shaft. Since the stationary cones from the two springs will be secured to each other in the process of securing the springs to the spring anchor bracket, the second spring does not need a bearing. Additionally, adding a second bearing will probably break one or both of the stationary cones.
For more information to help you decide whether to have one spring on your garage door or two, see our One Torsion Spring or Two? page.
Different Spring Dimensions?
If your two spring dimensions are not the same, we recommend switching to a pair of springs with the same dimensions. While it is possible to use unmatched springs, you are more likely to get the maximum cycle life out of a pair of springs when they are the same length, wire size and inside diameter.
If you purchased two torsion springs with different dimensions, it is possible to maximize the cycle life on the two springs. See our Maximizing Cycle Life on Unmatched Torsion Springs page for more information.
If you currently have unmatched springs and wish to convert to a pair of matched springs, or if you want to read how to use unmatched pairs, see our Using Torsion Springs with Different Lifts page.
Longer Life Torsion Spring Options
The cycle life of a torsion spring refers the to rating regarding how many cycles (the door opening and closing is one cycle) the spring should make before it breaks. The cycle life rating does not account for premature breakage, often caused by chips in the steel or highly corrosive environments.
The standard cycle life in the garage door industry is 10,000 cycles. Spring under 10,000 cycles are considered overstressed and are not recommended for use. If you would like to have more than 10,000 spring cycles, your new torsion springs will need to have a larger wire size. The larger the wire, the longer it will take for the spring to break as thicker steel requires more bending before it breaks.
If you increase the wire size of your springs, you will also need to increase the length to keep the same lift and torque rating. On narrower, heavier doors it may also be necessary to increase the inside diameter to provide enough space on the shaft for the springs to fit.
When you search for a specific torsion spring, compatible springs with the same lift but a different cycle life will be listed. You can upgrade your torsion springs by purchasing one of these springs instead of spring matching your old dimensions. If you are browsing instead by door height, you can look under larger wire sizes to find a compatible spring with more cycles.
In recent months, there has been a rising concern about the type of steel used in springs. For example, Chinese imported steel and springs are often more brittle or not properly heat-treated and they fail prematurely. At DDM Garage Doors, Inc., we make it our primary concern to not only help people figure out how to repair their doors, but also to provide excellent products for our customers. Therefore, if you purchase a spring from us, you can rest assured that all our springs are made with high-quality steel from the United States. The aluminum alloy cones, however, are made in China, but we have not seen any product failures with these.
We supply oil-tempered coated torsion springs. We also sell galvanized torsion springs for the same price, but we do not recommend them in most circumstances. Over time, galvanized torsion springs lose more tension than oil-tempered springs, often losing one to two turns by the time they break. This can create service problems as well as shortening the life of the opener. There are times when galvanized springs last longer, simply because they lose more tension. The same longer life can be achieved by not winding oil-tempered springs as much, but we don't recommend this as doing so can damage your opener. If your door is in a highly corrosive environment, galvanized torsion springs may help to prolong the life of the springs. To prevent against premature breakage, we still recommend oiling galvanized springs as we do oil-tempered springs. For more information about galvanized and oil-tempered torsion springs visit our blog.
High Lift and Vertical Lift ConversionsA number of customers are interested in having their garage door open straight up before the top of the door rolls back toward the back of the garage. This type of a door is called a High-Lift garage door. A vertical lift door never makes a transition to rolling backward - it just opens straight up. Both of these systems require higher ceilings.
To learn more about how these systems work, see our How Vertical Lift and High Lift Doors Work page. If you are interested in the work involved when performing a high-lift conversion, check out our Garage Door High-Lift Conversion tutorial.
If you are interested in converting your standard lift garage door to a high-lift door, please find the dimensions specified in the High-Lift Conversion Tutorial and fill out the form on our Garage Door High-Lift Inquiry page. After filling out the form, you will see options for the spring cycle life for your conversion kit and the total cost; we will then contact you to complete your order.
Custom roofline lift conversion kits are also available. Most of these doors travel vertically for a foot or two before reaching the curved part of the horizontal track. Rather than rolling back parallel to the garage floor, the door instead continues to roll back and upward, following the pitch of the ceiling. This option is only available for garages with ceilings that pitch up and away from the door. These conversion kits are also available - visit our High-Lift Inquiry page to receive a quote for a custom roof-line high-lift kit.
If you have enough space in your garage for your door to open vertically and are instead interested in a custom vertical-lift conversion kit, please contact us so we can determine the parts you need and the cost of your new kit.