There are many types and brands of residential and commercial garage doors on the market using a variety of styles of counterbalance systems. All the different spring systems are designed to assist with balancing the doors weight allowing the average person to easily lift even the heaviest of door manually. In the event you have a garage door opener it takes some of the burden off the motor and drive system. Electric openers are only designed to guide the door up and down not to actually lift the door’s weight.
Torsion springs are by far and away the most popular style and are used by about 90% of all manufacturers in one form or another. They are mounted on a 1″ shaft directly above the door in a single or double configuration. On most doors the spring will be centered in the middle of the door but on rare occasions they are mounted directly to the cable drums or located near the back of the door tracks for cases where there is a low clearance situation. This system provides a very calculate lift amount measured by inch pounds per turn (IPPT) based on the weight of the door, it’s height, the track configuration, cable drum size and cycle life.
Cycle life is the number of times you can open and close your door before you would expect your spring to break. Torsion springs can be bought with a variety of different exterior coatings from your standard oil tempered, galvanized, stainless steel or the most popular which is a rust inhibiting black coating. Torsion springs can be very dangerous and should be handled with extreme care. If you are looking to repair or replace your torsion spring yourself they can be tricky to locate and typically will require you to purchase them online.
You can expect to pay between $20-$50 per spring based on its lifting capacity and cycle life. Most online places that you can buy springs from also provide a good online source that will guide you through the process on how to simply measure your garage door spring. Don’t forget to order your spring winding bars when you order your springs. There is no substitute for having the right tools.