Understanding the Function of Torsion Springs on Garage Doors

A torsion spring, also known as helical spring, is a term given to a spring that can store energy by using twisting or rotational motions. To put it simply, when the spring is twisted, it gains the ability to store energy.

Understanding Torsion Springs


Generally, you will find two types of torsion springs in applications:

  • One is a bar twisted around its longest axis.
  • The other type is a helical torsion spring. This spring is actually wound about its center, but still twists about its axis.

Due to the high torsional movement, torsion springs are usually constructed out of titanium, carbon and stainless steel, and beryllium copper. The spring material is chosen based on the weight of the garage door. Depending on the material, a torsion spring will have a higher energy storage capacity if the manufacturing process includes a high density ratio.

Torsion Spring Application – Garage Doors

Torsion springs are largely chosen for garage doors. Using this as an example, we can show you exactly how a torsion spring works. The spring apparatus is supported by the following components – cables, cable drums, and a torsion tube.

  • The bottom of the garage door consists of brackets. The cables are attached to them.
  • The cables are attached to the cable drums, which are installed alongside the door.
  • The torsion tube runs along the top of the door, and is fitted inside the springs. The cable drums are tightened onto the tube.
  • The header of the garage door consists of a header bracket. One end of the torsion spring is secured to the bracket.
  • Two rods are placed into openings within the other spring end. The rods are used to push the spring in an upwards direction. This causes the spring to wind up, creating tension. This process is repeated until the spring is fully wound.
  • Once the winding procedure is done, set screws are used to secure the spring to the torsion tube.

When the garage door is opened, the springs unwind, and wind up when the door is closed. During these actions, the spring generates power, which is passed from the tube and the drum, through the cable to the bottom of the door. Generally, springs complete one winding revolution to raise or lower the door by a foot.

Words of Warning

  • The springs are designed according to the weight of the door. If the weight of the door is increased by a few pounds, then the springs will need to be replaced.
  • The springs also need to be of the right size. If not, then the door will end up being either too light or too heavy. This can also hinder spring performance.

So the next time you decided to use torsion spring for your garage door, keep these points in mind. If you unsure about installing the spring yourself, then contact a professional, or your spring manufacturer.