Garage door springs, cables, bottom fixtures, and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced person carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions should adjust them.
If you are not confident please call professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust the torsion springs yourself.
Never adjust the set-screws that are attached to the end cap of the spring.
A restraining cable or other device should be installed on any extension springs to help contain the spring if it breaks.
Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.
Garage doors springs are so variable it is extremely important to have the proper details about each spring
- Spring Wind
- Wire Diameter
- Inside Diameter
- Length (without cast cone end)
Depending on how many springs you have on your door, it is critical that you measure all the springs as each spring could be different depending on the springs the installation or last service company had at the time!
Looking at your door from inside of the garage. Most garage doors the left-hand wind spring is on the right side, and the right-hand wind spring is above the left side of the door but this is not always the case!
Depending on many different installation applications and manufactures one must be very careful as it could easily be reversed.
There are many ways we teach people how to remembering spring wind, it really depends how someones mind works. Some people we can ask the to put there fist in front of them. when looking at the end of the spring, pretend they can grab the spring, with the coil coming out along side of their thumb. and wind it up its the very top of the last coil stopping in the middle of their hand. Another way to determine spring wind is to make a fist (the c shape of your index finger is the end of the “spring”. Place the thumb down and into the “spring” and the index finger curls in the direction of the end of the “spring.” Depending on which hand the apprentice uses tells them the spring wind. With this method the wind is learned. We also insist they pretend there elbow is the “stationary cone” and fist the “winding cone” apprentice are able to use their other hand to simulate torquing the spring. This helps greatly to understand how a spring works and helps installers become more versatile. By keeping their arm up across their chest, I can walk apprentice to the back of the track, and show them with pulleys and longer cables, they could install the spring at the rear of the track (LOW HEADROOM). I ask them to wind up their “spring”. The apprentice uses his other hand and winds spring tighter, when they cant turn anymore and the arm naturally springs back, I ask if the cable is coming off the top of there arm or bottom. Once they answer correcty “top”, I spin them around and ask, “and now?
The apprentices learns that it does not mater which side of the door the springs or drums go, as long as the cables, spring and drum correlate to each-other
DO NOT TOUCH A LOADED SPRING WITH YOUR HAND
The wire diameter is the thickness of each individual wire. When measuring spring diameter is to measure the wire size over 20 coils. Since the coils rub together when the garage door operates, the sides of the coils are less impacted by corrosion. Counting 20 coils and recording measurements is highly accurate.
Start with the one inch mark on your tape measure. Tape measures naturally move 1/16 back and forth for ease of construction. Hold the one inch mark between 2 coils. Then, count 20 coils and record the measurement where the 20th and 21th coils meet. When measuring, make sure all the coils are tight to each other. If there are any spaces between the coils, the spring will be very wrong and installation could be dangerous or prove fatal.
Next, measure the width of 20 coils. We measure 20 coils because it is more accurate then any less coils but the more coils you count the more accurate you will be. Record the 20 coil measurement. but don’t forget to subtract the one inch you added! Now measure spring again in another spot. This reading should be the same as long as first 20 coil reading. If it is not, go back and remeasure again. If you have one spring that is broken and one that is still wound, you will need to measure the wound spring as well. The spring diameter and length change when a spring is wound but not the wire diameter.
Now divide the measurement by the number of coils, by rounding number to nearest spring wire, you have successfully measured the spring. There is a Chart here to help you easily find the correct spring using your recorded measurement.
The inside diameter of a torsion spring can be difficult to measure when the spring is on the shaft, but it is possible. Be careful to not bend your tape. Again use your one inch mark to start, not forgetting to remove it when recording.
The more common inside diameters for residential doors will be 1-3/4″ or 2″. Some light commercial doors may also use a 1-3/4″ or 2″ inside diameter spring. Commercial and industrial doors, use springs that could vary inside diameters from 1-3/4″ to 6″.
If you cannot get a good reading, Sometimes there will be marking on the spring cones, if you let us know what the markings are we will let you know which size you have. Pictures are always great!
Measure the Length of the
If your spring is unbroken and unwound, simply measure the length of the spring. Measure from the first coil on one end of the spring to the last coil on the other end of the spring. Do not include the cast cones in your recorded measurement, If your is broken, loosen the set-screws on the cast winding cone. Once the set-screws are loose, slide it down the shaft. The two halves should line up and look like one spring with no space. Again, measure the distance from the first coil to the last coil. Again don’t forget to not include the cast cone.
When a door is fully closed the tension on the spring is at max pressure, as the door opens, the spring assembly loses tension as the door rises. We want this lose of tension because when the door goes into the horizontal section of track the tension is no longer required to lift door. This changes when different lifts types are applied. For instance, if the door is HIGH-LIFT the door needs to travel longer and maintain its applied tension until the point in which the door turns into the horizontal tracks. so the spring needs to be of higher tension, then limited through the pulley size and cable length.
Most installers chalk or paint spring before winding this should make it quick to count how many turns are on a wound spring. The torsion spring has one turn for each time the paint wraps around the spring.
Easy reference on residential drums, total spring length minus the number of coils added when the spring was installed. This means on residential 7′ doors this would be 8 coils and on 8′ doors it would be 9 coils.
To find out thee number of turns that are on your spring on standard lift commercial doors. Measure the circumference of the cable drum with a string, now measure the height of the door in inches. Divide the door height by the length of the string, then add one. ex. 12′ high door is 144″ high. A standard circumference is 17″. Dividing 144″ by 17″ would give you 8.47. Add one to this and you get 9.47 turns.
Low headroom can be treated like standard lift as there is no change aside from cable length, Vertical lift and High-Lift doors must have tension removed to find out the amount of turns on spring if no visual line is found.
Springs extend one coil in for each turn of tension applied to them. That stretch applied by adding tension is replaced with space between the coils when the door is opened because the cast cones do not move on the shaft.
So technically one can count off one coil for each turn and measure the remaining length of the spring to determine the unwound length of the spring.
We do not suggest you measure a wound spring due to the facts that #1 a wound spring should never be touch and treated like a “loaded gun” and #2 The measurement could be very different due to the stretch the installer added additionally to the springs when installing.