Triple Your Garage Door Torsion Spring Cycle Life

It’s incredibly important to make sure your garage door stays up and running. Increasing the cycle life of your garage door torsion spring is a valuable way to ensure your garage door continues to function longer. The standard torsion spring lasts approximately 10,000 open and close cycles, which is about 7 years of everyday use. Increasing the cycle life of your torsion spring will not only limit the possibility of injury or damage but prevent you from having to replace it sooner than expected. In this article, we will go over the different variables that make up the cycle life of a garage door torsion spring. Upgrading to a longer-life torsion spring will change the dimensions of the spring employed. We at Garage Parts Plus will do our best to make sure your torsion spring fits perfectly and last for years to come.

What is IPPT and Why is it Important?

To start off, you need to understand the importance of IPPT(Inch Pounds Per Turn). IPPT is the torque/power delivered to the shaft for each turn of the torsion spring. This, along with your garage door opener, will determine how strongly or weakly your garage door opens and closes. When replacing or substituting your torsion spring you need to make sure the replacement spring has an identical IPPT to the one you currently have, or as close to it as possible. If the IPPT is too strong or weak it could lead to potential damage, injury, or premature replacement of your torsion spring. You must also make sure that the new spring has at least as many Maximum Turns as the original spring. A spring’s IPPT is determined by dividing the spring’s constant (change in torque required to twist the spring through an angle of 1 radian (approx. 57.3 degrees)) by the number of active coils. In order to upgrade the lifecycle of your torsion spring while maintaining the same IPPT, we must consider how the wire gauge, inner diameter, and coil-to-coil length will need to be adjusted.

Upgrading Spring Dimensions

The variable that affects your torsion spring’s cycle life the most is its wire gauge or thickness. A higher wire gauge means a thicker wire and an overall stronger spring. Increasing the wire gauge will increase the durability of the spring causing it to last longer. Although increasing the wire gauge will make your spring stronger, there is more to upgrading your torsion spring than increasing wire gauge. That is because, as previously stated, we need to keep the required IPPT in mind. In order to do this, we need to think about the spring’s coil-to-coil length when switching to a higher wire gauge. When a spring’s wire gauge is increased the overall length of the spring must also be increased to have the same IPPT. For garage doors with a long enough shaft, these should be the only adjustments needed to increase the torsion spring’s cycle life, but for garage doors with limited shaft length, another adjustment may be needed for the inner diameter. Increasing the inner diameter of the spring will allow you to increase the spring's wire gauge but still be able to fit the spring on the shaft. In other words, increasing the inner diameter will shorten the length of the spring. Having a spring that fits properly on your garage door is extremely important, so we must be careful not to install a spring that is too long or too wide.

Upgrade Example

Below is a chart that shows how a garage door torsion spring’s cycle life can be upgraded by adjusting its wire gauge, inner diameter, and length while maintaining the same IPPT and Maximum Turns.

If your goal is to increase the cycle life of your garage door torsion spring, DURA-LIFT Door Hardware has everything you need. The new or replacement spring may fit differently than your original spring. However, if the wire gauge, inner diameter, and coil-to-coil length are adjusted to the same IPPT as the original spring (or close to it), then your garage door should give you many years of dependable service.

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