Informational Guide

Types Of Garage Door Springs Explained

We evaluate the different types of garage door springs available so you know which one to get when a replacement is necessary.

All of us have wondered how to open a garage door manually with a broken spring, but you don’t have to. Instead, you need to know about the different types of garage door springs so you can replace them.

We evaluate the garage door spring types, so you know which one of these handy tools to get when a replacement is necessary.

If you are asking how does a garage door spring work or are all garage door springs the same, it’s important to understand the different types of garage door spring products.

We can also discuss the difference between torsion spring and extension spring models in this section.

Extension Springs

You will find the extension spring in the upper track on every side of the garage door. These are most commonly used in situations with less headroom, where using rear torsion springs would be impossible. When the garage door opens, the springs extend, which creates a counterbalance supporting the door. The more the door opens up, the extra force gets placed on the springs. All extension springs are combined with a safety cable to ensure no accidents occur if the spring were to break free.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are more commonly used with garage doors. The torsion spring utilizes torque instead of extending. These springs will last longer and are sturdier than any other kind. As the door opens or closes, either by hand or by motor, the coil twists to create torque. Torsion springs come in many sizes and lengths, so you have to pick the appropriate spring for your garage door dimensions.

Types Of Garage Door Springs

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Extension Spring Types

Open-looped Ends

This extension spring is one of the easiest to replace because it doesn’t require you to open the eyebolt or disassemble the pulley. However, you will need to replace the entire spring, even if there’s only one part that has been damaged.

Double- looped Ends

This extension spring has more strength than the comparable open-looped design. With two coils located at the end of the spring, one attaches to the eyebolt and the other to the pulley. While these are stronger, they are also harder to install, especially if you don’t have any experience.

Clipped Ends

When examining these three types of extension springs, the clipped ends are the most durable. With less stress placed on the spring, the service life is extended. If you have a 200-pound or larger garage door, clipped ends should be used. However, they can be extremely difficult to replace.

Torsion Spring Types

  • Standard Torsion Spring 
    The standard torsion spring is what is found on many residential garage doors. They are placed above the opening of the garage. Through the springs middle is a metal shaft. One torsion spring is perfect for the light garage door, but it’s okay to use two for more peace of mind.
  • Early Set Torsion Spring 
    With these torsion springs, you will place them in the middle section of the torsion shaft. At the end of each, there’s a unique hardware type installed. These are adjacent to the door’s cable drums. These aren’t used as frequently as the standard torsion spring.
  • Steel Rolling Door Torsion Spring 
    If you own a commercial building, you might have seen these steel rolling door torsion springs. To hold up the additional weight and provide more support, the torsion springs are placed within the torsion barrel. It’s the ideal method for supporting a rolling door that is heavy but also more expensive.
  • Torque Master Torsion Spring 
    Among all of the torsion springs, these are the safest. The spring is enclosed within the torsion shaft and then set with a winding cone at each torsion rod end. However, having the safest torsion spring type is also going to cost a little more.

Understanding Garage Door Spring Color Codes

Figuring out the appropriate color code for garage door springs is a subject that is often misunderstood. The garage doors springs color code is different whether you have extension or torsion springs. Extension springs showcase the lifting power of each spring. Here is the breakdown.

  • Tan: 100 lbs.
  • White: 110 lbs.
  • Green: 120 lbs.
  • Yellow: 130 lbs.
  • Blue: 140 lbs.
  • Red: 150 lbs.
  • Brown: 160 lbs.
  • Orange: 170 lbs.
  • Gold: 180 lbs.
  • Light Blue: 190 lbs.

The trend continues into the 200-pound range.

On the other hand, torsion spring colors indicate whether it is a left wind or right wind spring. Black springs indicate a right wind, while red indicates left wind. Anything beyond that might indicate the gauge or thickness of the wiring.

Understanding Garage Door Spring Color Codes

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I know what spring to get for my garage door?

You want to examine the differences between the extension spring vs. torsion spring to see what replacement you need. From there, it’s important to get the right size and diameter.

Should you replace both garage door springs?

It's often recommended that you replace both garage door springs at the same time. Older springs start to lose some tension, and you want to keep the door perfectly balanced with equal force on both sides.

How do you calculate torsion spring for a garage door?

You can learn how to calculate torsion spring for a garage door with a coin. Simply place your coin in between the two coils found towards the middle of the spring. Push down on the coils to the left and measure the total length of the springs to the left. Do the same on the right side of the coin to determine the torsion spring.

Do you need two springs on your garage door?

If you have a single garage door, you might only need one torsion spring. However, the double-wide garage door and heavier single door models will require two torsion springs.

How long does a garage door spring last?

When properly installed, a garage door should last around 10,000 cycles of opening and closing. If you are exiting and entering the garage once each day, the springs should last about 14 years without a replacement.

How much does it cost to replace springs on double garage doors?

How much are torsion springs? Typical garage door spring repair is going to cost around $250 for the parts and labor. If you have multi-door garage doors or you need additional parts, you might pay $500 or more.


Replacing your garage door springs doesn’t require a lot of effort, as long as you know what type you need. Reading through our garage door springs type guide should help you get that door running the way it should.