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extension garage door springs

What are Extension Springs and How Do They Work?

Extension Spring Repair

Extension garage door springs are a critical component of many residential garage door systems, providing the necessary force to counterbalance the door’s weight and facilitate smooth opening and closing. Understanding what they are and how they work can help you maintain your garage door properly and recognize when it might be time for maintenance or replacement.

What Are Extension Garage Door Springs?

Definition: Extension springs are long, thin springs that run along the horizontal tracks on either side of your garage door. They are typically used in lighter garage door systems, where they extend and contract to provide the lifting force needed to raise and lower the door.

Construction: Made of high-tension steel, extension springs are designed to stretch as the door closes and contract when the door is opened. They are anchored at one end to the garage door tracks or ceiling, while the other end is connected to cables that run along the door.

Types: There are various types of extension springs, including open-looped, double-looped, and clipped-end. The type used can vary based on the specific requirements of your garage door system and the weight of the door.


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How Do Extension Garage Door Springs Work?


  • Counterbalance: When the garage door is in the closed position, the extension springs are stretched and under tension. This tension balances the weight of the door, making it easier to lift.
  • Lifting Force: As the door opens, the springs contract, releasing their stored tension and providing the force needed to lift the door. The springs’ energy helps to lift the door smoothly and with minimal effort, either manually or with a garage door opener.
  • Closing Action: When closing the door, the springs extend again, storing energy as they stretch. This stored energy is what helps control the descent of the door, preventing it from slamming shut.

Safety Features:

  • Safety Cables: To prevent potential injury or damage in case a spring breaks, extension springs are often equipped with safety cables. These cables run through the center of the springs and are secured at both ends, keeping the spring in place if it snaps.
  • Adjustability: Extension springs can be adjusted to ensure proper tension. This is typically done by a professional to maintain balance and smooth operation, as incorrect tension can cause the door to be unbalanced or operate unsafely.

Common Issues:

  • Wear and Tear: Over time, extension springs can wear out due to repeated stretching and contracting. Signs of wear include visible gaps in the coils, rust, or deformities.
  • Breaking: Due to the high tension they are under, springs can eventually break, often making a loud noise and rendering the door inoperable until replaced.

Extension Springs Repair & Replacement

Extension garage door springs are vital for the efficient and safe operation of many garage doors. They work by extending and contracting to counterbalance the door’s weight, making it easier to open and close. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of these springs by professionals are essential to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your garage door system. If you notice signs of wear or experience difficulties with your garage door, it’s important to contact a professional to inspect and service the extension springs to avoid potential safety hazards and ensure smooth operation.

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