The spring or springs (there can be one or more) on your overhead garage door is one of the most important components of the complete door assembly. It is also an item that needs periodic inspection. Garage door springs do fail, and a failure can be dangerous.
Torsion Garage Door Springs
One of the most common type of garage door spring is called a Torsion spring. These are found at the top of the door. A torsion spring is identified by diameter, direction of winding, length and wire size. A shaft normally passes through the spring but in some cases it may house the spring. It will be mounted to the center or at one end of the shaft. The wire size, diameter and length of the spring will determine the amount of lift available and the life cycle. The industry standard is 10-15,000 cycles for new doors.
You can measure your existing torsion spring using any tape measure. Spring diameters are based on the inside diameter. They typically will be either 1 ¾” or 2” for a residential garage door. Extension springs can go up to 6” for larger doors. Wire size can be found by measuring the length of 10 coils in the spring and dividing by 10. So a measurement of 2 .5” will give you a .250 wire size.
Torsion springs are not easily installed. They require a lot of stored energy during installation and the installation is best left to professionals.
Extension Garage Door Springs
Extension type springs are found above each horizontal track or along the sides of your door. There will be a minimum of 2 springs required. These springs are color coded to make it a lot easier to find the correct replacement. If your spring is not color coded or you can’t make out the color, you can still determine the replacement needed.
They are sized according to the weight and height of your garage door. Extension springs can wear out over time but can be changed out fairly easily. In order to achieve the maximum cycle life of your extension spring and what type to buy for a replacement, you will need to know the weight and height of your door. The taller the door the longer spring you will need. One way you can find the weight of your door is by placing a bathroom scale under it. This works much better using an analog scale.
You Might Need a Professional
Use caution when working with garage door springs. If you don’t have the proper tools, assistance and experience it is highly recommended that you call a reputable overhead door company to install new garage door springs on your home. Steich Overhead Doors is a family owned business and has been in business for over 30 years in the Montgomery County / Bucks County Pa area. Our evaluation is completely free and comes without a high pressure sales pitch. Give us a call.