Garage Door Springs 101

Garage door springs are a critical part of the operation of your garage door. Garage door springs are used to counterbalance the full weight of the garage door so that it can be lifted and closed easily and safely. A manually operated garage door that is properly balanced will not drift up or down. It will:

  • Rest squarely on the floor in the closed position without drifting up
  • Hang half-way up without drifting up or down
  • Remain in the fully open position without drifting down

If your garage door is properly balance, it should take equal force to open and close the garage door.

What are the different types of garage door springs?

There are two types of springs used on residential garage doors today: Extension Springs and Torsion Springs.

Extension Springs

Extension Spring Double Looped End

Extension Springs are a pair of stretched springs that run parallel to the tracks on both sides of the garage door. Extension springs lift the garage door using a counterbalance system of pulleys and cables. When the garage door is lifted, the springs contract as tension is released.

Torsion Springs

Extension Springs

Torsion Springs are the most popular form of springs used today for residential garage doors. They are typically located just above the top section of the garage door inside of your garage. Depending on the weight and size of your garage door, a torsion spring system consists of either one or two torsion springs. Unlike extension springs, torsion springs are wound and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.

How long does an extension spring or torsion spring last?

Extension springs and torsion springs have a life cycle. The majority of garage doors come from the manufacturer with springs that are rated at 10,000 cycles. So, you may be asking yourself, what is a cycle? One cycle refers to each time you open and close your garage door. If you open and close your garage door many times a day, the life of your extension spring will be shorter than if you open and close your garage door once or twice a week. With average use, a homeowner can expect their springs to last anywhere between 5 and 7 years.

Which is better – Extension Springs or Torsion Springs?

While both types of springs do a great job in lifting your residential garage door, we believe torsion springs can be a better choice. Torsion springs tend to balance the weight of your garage door better than extension springs. This means smoother and safer operation of your garage door.

Fortunately, our partner and garage door manufacturer has developed a short but sweet video regarding garage door spring systems. We think it’s worth a look. Watch the Amarr spring video to learn more.

Are you thinking about installing your own garage door springs? Read this first and then decide.

If you’re reading this blog, then you are probably pretty serious about understanding your garage door better and maybe even thinking about installing your own garage door spring system. There are plenty of how-to videos and articles on the web that talk about how to install your own garage door springs. That being said, we highly recommend that you contact a trained garage door professional to install your new springs for the following reasons:

  • Installing a garage door spring is very dangerous. Garage door springs operate under extreme tension. In an uncontrolled release of this tension, the energy is sufficient enough to maim or even kill the installer. It can also damage the garage door and contents of your garage. Professional garage door service technicians install garage door springs on a daily basis. They are knowledgeable about which springs to install and are experts in installing springs correctly, quickly and most importantly, safely.
  • Convenience. If you’ve never installed a garage door spring before, it can be quite an undertaking. You will need to research how to do the installation, purchase the springs, remove the old springs and then install the new springs. A professional garage door repair company can install a new set of torsion or extension springs usually within one hour. This convenience is hard to beat, especially if your car is inside the garage and you need to get somewhere!
  • Cost. Specific tools are required to install garage door springs correctly. Without them, the installation process is even more dangerous. Be sure to factor that in if you are still thinking about doing it yourself. The good news is that professional garage door repair is reasonably priced. Typically, the costs associated with professional spring installation for residential garage doors are approx. $125 – $250 depending on type and number of springs needed. These costs usually include the price of the spring, labor and trip charge. Be sure to check your garage door repair company’s website for coupons and discounts. Some even offer senior citizen and military service discounts.

Do I have to replace my springs when a new garage door is installed?

The short answer is… Yes! The long answer explains why. Here it is: A new garage door will be a different weight than your old garage door – even though it’s probably the same size. To lift and balance the new garage door correctly, the right type of spring needs to be installed. If the right type of spring is not used, the new garage door can become a danger to yourself, your loved ones and the contents of your garage.

If you are a purchasing a new garage door from a professional garage door company, new springs and related hardware should be included in the installation.

For fast, professional, dependable garage door spring installation call River City Door at 513-662-3667 or 812-637-6500 or contact us online. River City Door proudly serves Greater Cincinnati, Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky communities.


River City Door Mobile Garage Door Installation and Repair

Choosing the Right Garage Door Repair Company

With so many garage door repair companies to choose from, how do you decide which one is the best for you to hire? What are some of the factors you should consider before making a choice?

It’s understandable that you want to make a quick decision – especially if your car is stuck in the garage because your springs are broken. However, it really pays to do your homework when selecting a garage door repair company so that you receive fast, professional service at a reasonable price.

Here are a few tips to help guide you through the process, as well as some questions you can ask before you set up an appointment for service:


Nothing beats experience when it comes to repairing your garage door and related hardware.Experience.

Nothing beats experience when it comes to repairing your garage door and related hardware. You want to be sure that the company you hire has specific expertise in garage door repair and installation. Professional garage door repair requires different skills than installing an entry door or window. If not done properly, the consequences can be much more severe. A garage door and opener system that is not installed correctly can lead to serious personal injury and entrapment, as well as destruction of items in your garage.

With the vast number of garage door products and manufacturers, it is important that the company you hire is not only knowledgeable about the major garage door brands and products – but also knowledgeable with some of the lesser known ones, as well. And not just the new ones. So, find out how many years of experience the company has with repairing and installing garage doors and garage door openers. It is also good to find out how well-trained their service technicians are.


A company’s reputation is a good measurement of customer satisfaction and one of the key factors you should consider.Reputation.

A company’s reputation is a good measurement of customer satisfaction and one of the key factors you should consider. After all, it’s your home and you want to protect its value. The garage door is one of the most visible structures of your home and protects the contents of your garage. Find out what customers are saying about the experiences they have had with local garage door companies. Find out if they are members of their local chamber of commerce or other business organizations and associations.

Great garage door companies, like other successful businesses, are serious about providing outstanding customer service and quality products. Reputable garage door companies are serious about being members of their business community. Here are a few places you can find out if your garage door company fits these criteria:

  • Online Reviews. The internet has made it much easier to find out about a company’s reputation. Check out the company’s reviews on Google and Yelp, as well as reviews that are posted on the company’s website. If you are a member, Angie’s List is another great resource for customer feedback.
  • Better Business Bureau. Go to your local BBB website.  See which garage door company has the best ratings, the least number of complaints, and how well they’ve handled complaints in the past. Verify that the company you are researching is a member of the local BBB.
  • Chamber of Commerce. Go to your local chamber site to validate that the garage door company is a member and read the company’s reviews.


A good garage door company shows that they are serious about protecting their customers and themselves by carrying Liability Insurance.Liability Insurance.

A good garage door company shows that they are serious about protecting their customers and themselves by carrying Liability Insurance. Liability insurance protects you if any accidents occur at any point during the repair or installation process.

Unfortunately, there are some garage door companies that claim they have insurance, but operate without it. One of the ways you can check to make sure they have insurance is to request a copy of the company’s Certificate of Insurance. If they are not willing to provide you with one, we highly recommend that you hire another company.

While there may be other factors that are unique to your personal needs, we hope that these tips will help you find the right garage door company for you. Also, make sure to check out River City Door’s first blog, How To Choose The Right Garage Door and contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.