Garage Door Openings Systems- The Machines Behind Them

garage-door-springsYou may have read one of our previous articles on the 6 different types of simple machines that we use at least one of EVERY day. If so, you would have found that a pulley and pulley system are one of those machines and probably one of the most useful.  We open our blinds/curtains with pulley systems, and even utilize them when we open our garage doors. Most of us probably don’t really stop and think about them because we are so used to pushing a button and our garage door opens and closes for us. But this simple machine is definitely there and carrying a lot of weight, literally.  Your garage door is in fact very heavy and for the safety of you, your family and your automobile this pulley system must work with no hiccups or problems, However, with technology becoming further and further advanced, there are now two different types of machine like systems to choose from when looking at garage door openers. Both systems are utilized to carry the weight and guide your garage door up & down.  The difference is the types of springs they use in their system. One being torsion springs and thus make up a spring system, the other being extension springs, and thus being part of a pulley system. So which one is better & what exactly makes each system different? Parker Garage Doors, a Phoenix based garage door company, cleared up any questions we may have had regarding the two spring systems and their differences.  After all, we know A LOT about machines and their intricate parts, but aren’t really too savvy when it comes to garage doors!

Torsion Spring Opening Systems-   Torsion spring opening systems consist of the torsion springs themselves, drums, and cables.  The torsion springs pretty much provide all of the strength to lift the door, while the drums and the cables actually do all of the heavy lifting.  The cables run up and down the length of the garage door and move around the drums when the door is opened and closed to carry the weight of the door.  Meanwhile the torsion springs are installed parallel to the garage door at the very front and act as the force to lift the door. New garage door opening system utilize the torsion spring systems more so than extension spring pulley systemsextension-torsion-spring because of the life span associated with the spring system.  The life span of your garage door opening system is measured in the amount of opening and closing cycle it can maintain before it generally wears out. The lifespan of a torsion spring system is 10,000-20,000 open/close cycles vs an extension spring system which averages about 5,000-10,000 open/close cycles.


Extension Spring Opening Systems- Extension springs or pulley systems aren’t as commonly used in garage door opening systems anymore because of the danger they present when having repair issues or when being changed by anyone other than a professional.  Extensions springs work with a pulley system attached to either side of your garage door thus working with each other to open and shut your garage door. Extensions springs often wear out faster than torsion springs and the springs must also stay balanced to properly and evenly open your garage door system.  If one extension spring is to go out it is generally advised by garage door experts that you replace both springs as to prevent any danger or damage from the older one going out shortly after. Because extension springs are dangerous to fix they can severely hurt individuals who try to change them without proper knowledge.  In some cases the amatuer reapairs have even caused death! While extension spring systems are still used and don’t have to be dangerous, it is best should you have and extension spring opening system to leave all maintenance and repair to the garage door professionals.

Interesting how simple machines can play a big part in the mechanisms of household items and conveniences.  Understanding how various machines operate not only gives you better knowledge when it comes to issues that may arise, it also helps to keep both you and your family safe!