Understanding the Cycle Life of Your Garage Door Torsion Spring
Many modern overhead garage doors use a torsion spring. All torsion springs have a rating for only a certain number of cycles. As time goes by, the spring will come closer to the end of its cycle life. Here is what you need to know about the cycle life of your garage door’s torsion spring.
What Is Torsion Spring Cycle Life?
The standard cycle life for a torsion spring on a garage door is 10,000 cycles. This means your spring should hold up for approximately 10,000 turns of the coil, which equates to the garage door going up once and down once.
On average, a 10,000-cycle rating can only give you a few years of service. The problem is, these ratings don’t always account for corrosion, misuse, and other factors that can cause your spring to wear faster than it should.
While 10,000 cycles represent a standard, you can find springs with ten times the cycle life. The quality of the spring matters as well. Cheaply made springs, even with a good cycle life rating, can still fail because they’re made of thin or inadequate materials.
Spring Cycle Life Is Not Door Cycle Life
The spring cycle life is not an indication of how long the garage door will last. The cycle life only tells you how many times you can use the garage door with that particular spring. Once the spring cycle life ends, the door will only need new springs to continue operation.
By contrast, a garage door’s cycle life equals how long the door will operate given all its components working together. In this case, the torsion spring is just one of those components, not the decider of the overall health of your garage door system.
What Are Factors That Affect Torsion Spring Cycle Life?
Everything from the torsion spring’s manufacturing environment to its handling can affect cycle life. The way a manufacturer or dealer stores the springs can affect how well they perform and how long they will last. From there, the quality of the installation will factor into the spring’s cycle life.
A faulty installation can occur easily if you don’t use a professional garage door contractor. Someone inexperienced can apply the wrong type of spring to the wrong type of door.
Some mistakes can also include things like installing the spring backwards. All these things will shorten the life expectancy of your torsion spring far before you have any effect over the condition of the spring yourself.
How you use your garage door will play the final role in shortening your spring’s cycle life. Improper usage can include:
- Leaving the garage door open, exposing the springs to the elements
- Overusing the garage door, opening and closing it frequently for no reason
- Spraying the springs with corrosive or inappropriate cleaning chemicals
- Not taking care of the other garage door components that work with the spring
If you misuse your garage door or neglect it, you will prematurely lower the cycle life of the garage door spring.
Why Is Torsion Spring Cycle Life Important to Homeowners?
If a spring breaks or fails prematurely, the odds are your garage door used a spring with low cycle life. For homeowners, spring failure can introduce several issues, some of which are dangerous.
A damaged or broken spring will render your garage door inoperable. If the spring breaks while you’re using the garage door, the door can abruptly drop and crash down onto whatever is under it. An abrupt fall can also ruin your garage door altogether.
The biggest dangers come from people attempting to diagnose or fix their torsion springs on their own. A torsion spring holds an incredible amount of tension, and loosening one requires specific tools and expertise. Trying to manipulate or remove the spring can cause the spring to snap and cause severe injury.
How Can You Maximize Your Torsion Spring’s Cycle Life?
You can do a lot to maximize the cycle life of your garage door’s spring. Start by making sure your garage door installer is professional and reputable. You should also express an interest in the torsion spring used by the installer.
Ask if the spring the installer uses is of good quality and has a cycle life beyond the standard. For example, torsion springs rated for 100,000 cycles are ideal and definitely better than the standard. If you need to replace a torsion spring, don’t just purchase any off a shelf.
Practice good garage door habits by avoiding the previously mentioned forms of improper usage. If you feel your garage door isn’t operating as it should, or suspect a problem, don’t hesitate to contact a professional garage door contractor.
At Plano Overhead Garage Door, we replace old or damaged torsion springs with a high-quality one backed by a lifetime warranty. For any garage door service and repair needs, contact us today.