How torsion garage door springs work

When you are closing your garage door, torsion springs are winding up. In a fully closed position your torsion springs are under highest tension and at that position springs are most likely to break. If you have a two car garage door, then you would probably have two torsion springs that are connected together on top of your overhead garage door. Each spring is designed to lift half of your garage door weight and that is why your overhead garage door appears to be nearly weightless when you lift it up manually, but this is an illusion. Average steel overhead garage door weights ~ 220lbs. In case of a torsion spring failure while the door is in an open position it will suddenly gain ~110lbs and if the door is disengaged from the garage door opener it will drop down with a force of ~110lbs. That is why we strongly recommend you and your family members never walk or stand under your overhead garage door when you opening or closing it.

Torsion garage door spring life expectancy

Oil tempered torsion garage door springs have a lifetime expectancy that ranges from 10.000 to 12.000 cycles. Galvanized torsion garage door springs have a lifetime expectancy that ranges from 10.000 to 15.000 cycles. The galvanizing process softens the steel and it becomes less fraudulent, but it loses its tension faster and has to be frequently readjusted to prevent overload damage to the opener. Garage door springs experience tremendous forces every time your overhead garage door opens or closes.  Slowly with time, the spring fatigues with each flexure, and at some point it cracks and breaks. One thing that you should consider is that replacing only one spring will take the same time and effort as replacing both springs and your second spring has reached the same amount of cycles and its breaking will soon follow.  

Torsion spring size determination

Different doors use different size torsion springs it depends on the doors weight. For us to be able to determine the exact spring size we’ll need the diameter of the spring, the length of the springs coil and the gauge of the coil. But be aware of improper prior installations. Many times we encounter wrong type or size of spring prior installations and in that case we have to use a scale to determine the weight of the door.

 Measure coil length  of the broken spring                   



       Measure 10 Coil rows                                             Measure 20 coil rows                                          Spring diameter

 spring10               spring1               springdi 


 To approximate the torsion spring size over a phone we’ll need some details: the material type the door is made of (wood or steel), thickness of the door, width, height, insulated or not, has windows or not. 



911 Garage Doors

911 Garage Doors & Gates

yelp5st 162 reviews
Serving Fremont, San Mateo and the Surrounding Area
Phone number(510) 458-2048

Sri V.
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yelp5st 2/17/2016


Our emergency pull string on the motor chain came off after a little car reverse accident at 10 am on a Wednesday morning , called Michael and he came promptly at 12.30 pm and...

Mansi A.
yelp5st 12/2/2014


Of course garage doors break on Sundays! With most garage door companies closed, I searched Yelp and quickly had my parents call up 911 Garage Doors to fix their broken springs. Liran was super professional ...

edlyn l.
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yelp5st 2/5/2016


The spring broke in my garage door. I decided on go on Yelp. I think his name was Michael. He was on time. The work was done in about 30 minutes. Thank you