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Extension Spring to Torsion Spring Extension: a Step by Step Guide

in Garage Maintenance by Tony M

When it comes to garage door springs, many homeowners are oblivious regarding which are the best. After all, garage door parts aren’t the most exciting topic to be researching. That being said, overhead door springs are perhaps the most important component of the garage door. Without them, you’d be forced to lift up your overhead door every time you park your car. On the market you’ll find that there are two types of overhead garage door springs: extension and torsion. It’s generally accepted that torsion springs are superior in almost every way. 

If you have extension springs and are surprised by this development, fret not. It is possible to convert extension springs to torsion springs on your garage door. We don’t recommend you do this repair yourself unless you’re a qualified repair expert. These springs are under incredible tension and can cause serious bodily injury if suddenly released. It’s also not uncommon for garage doors to come crashing down if springs are messed with. Safety is key, especially when your wallet is at stake. You can typically convert garage door springs for about $300 to $400, though prices may vary depending on quality, location, and if you consult a garage door installation company for the replacement. Here is the repair in a nutshell.

Again, these springs are extremely dangerous. Always wear thick gloves and eyewear when handling springs. Make sure the motor has been unplugged before you start this repair if you are not working with a service. 

There’s a strong chance that your garage door probably already has torsion springs so make sure you do an inspection before you head to the hardware store. Torsion springs are the most common and are used on older doors or when space issues present a problem.

Why Torsion Springs?

Torsion springs have a number of advantages over extension springs. These springs have fewer parts and don’t go through as much wear and tear as extension springs. The latter expand and contract every cycle, meaning they get just a bit less effective every single time you open or close your door. Torsion springs provide greater control and have better movement, meaning they won’t shake or jitter when you open the door. This can lead to significantly less wear and tear, as vibration can lead to garage door parts becoming loose. Torsion springs tend to last longer and are safer if they break.

Extension springs, however, are best if you have limited space for movement. In most cases, extension springs are used on a case-by-case basis because of need rather than choice. If you have extension springs installed on your overhead door, it’s worth figuring out why that’s the case.  

Remove the Springs

Open the door in a fixed position. This will release the tension on the spring. Disconnect the opener from the door and remove the safety cable. Carefully remove the torsion spring. Close the door slowly.

Installing the New Spring

Measure the length of your spring. Place a vice grip on the track a few inches above a roller. This is a safety precaution. Attach the new spring. Tighten it down. Reengage the door.

Consider Calling a Professional

Be safe and call a professional. Our technicians have the right tools as well as the training to do the job safely. While this job can be done yourself, it is dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Be honest with yourself about your capabilities. Calling a professional could save your life, or at least your Saturday afternoon.

What to Do if a Garage Door is Off Track

Did your garage door come off track? Stop using it immediately! This repair is usually fairly simple. In most cases, you can fix it yourself. But if you continue to use the door, you can badly damage the door or the track. Then this job suddenly costs you several hundred dollars. Even if your car is stuck inside and you need to get to work, call an Uber, work from home, whatever it takes. Fortunately, we offer 24/7 emergency garage door service. Give us a call, and we’ll have a solution on the way. These things happen. The important thing is to not turn a minor convenience into an expensive repair job where your entire track needs replacing.