Garage door springs and their replacement

Garage door springs and their replacement procedure

Garage door springs balance the door’s weight so that it is simple to open and close. They provide the same function as counterweights, which were utilized to balance doors both historically and in many modern doors. For instance, a 100-pound garage door requires a 100-pound spring force to pull against the door’s weight. To achieve this, certain pieces can be stretched or torqued by springs to help balance the door.

The torque in a wrapped torsion spring or the stretch in an expanded extension spring makes replacing garage door springs risky. Replacement of garage door components connected to the spring system is a common element of garage door maintenance, and failure to comprehend the forces at play has resulted in numerous accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Safe repairs require a thorough understanding of garage door springs, weights, and components, as well as how these are connected.

The quality of garage door springs varies depending on whether you want to complete the project yourself or hire a professional; they can be classified as “10,000-use” or “20,000-use” springs, for instance. This may seem like a very huge number, but when you take into account the fact that a garage door may be opened four or five times per day, every day of the year, it is evident that these vital components have a finite lifespan. As this is a job you’d rather not do frequently, it’s usually a good idea to get high-quality components.

Garage door springs and their replacement

Read more: How to install a garage door

Well in this article we’ll be discussing related questions about garage door springs;

  • What are garage door springs?
  • What are the types of garage doors spring?
  • How to replace a garage door spring?
  • How to notice the symptoms of a failing garage door spring?

So, let’s dive in!


What are garage door springs?

garage door spring

The largest springs that the typical homeowner will ever encounter are garage door springs. These springs are a crucial component of the setup for the garage door. The garage door cannot be utilized if it is broken. By pulling the garage door towards the motor’s direction, garage door springs ‘reduce’ the weight of the door. The springs do not pull hard enough to open the door, but they do support the majority of the weight of the door.

Standard double garage doors can weigh over 100 kg, but garage door motors are not strong enough to lift all of that weight. However, when the majority of the door’s weight is supported by the tension of the spring, the motor is strong enough to move the remaining portion of the door’s “effective weight.” If you’ve ever attempted to lift a garage door by hand, you know that it doesn’t seem like you’re lugging around over 100 kg of steel; rather, it feels much, much lighter.

The spring, which supports the majority of the door’s weight, is the reason why the door feels so light. The garage door spring will support about 80% of the weight of the door when a garage door is properly “sprung up” (the springs are placed and tensioned to withstand the optimal amount of weight). Unfortunately, springs can break after a number of years, therefore it’s crucial for a homeowner to know when the spring on the garage door has broken.

Read more: Everything To Know About Glass Doors

What are the types of garage doors spring?

Although there are numerous varieties and subtypes of garage door springs, extension, and torsion springs are the two most popular types.

Extension springs

Extension springs are lengthy, lighter-weight springs positioned above the horizontal parts of the door tracks, running perpendicular to the door. These springs, which are often found on the top and on either side of the garage door, are a very common style of garage door. As soon as the door is opened, the springs will extend, creating a balancing effect that will support the entire door. The springs will extend further in response to a greater force.

To avoid becoming a projectile in the case of a failure, all extension springs are required to include safety cords.

Read more: repair for garage doors: problems, tips and guides for repair

Torsion springs

Heavy-duty springs called torsion springs are installed around a torsion rod, which is a metal rod that runs parallel to the door and directly above the door opening.  In contrast to extension springs, which expand or lengthen, torsion springs use torque to support the garage door. These springs are located above the garage door, and when pressure is applied, they will slowly twist and turn on the shaft. The weight, height, and material of your garage door will be precisely matched and calculated for all torsion springs at Doormatic, which are available in a number of dimensions.

torsion and extension spring

Read more: What Is a Door? – types of doors commonly used in buildings

How to replace a garage door spring?

It’s crucial to purchase the correct style of springs in a length and diameter that match the old springs when getting ready to replace garage springs. Both torsion and extension garage door springs are common in residential buildings.

below shows the method of replacing both the extension springs and the torsion springs;

How to Replace Extension Garage Door Springs;

Buy New Springs

  • Buy a pair of replacement springs that are identical to the old springs’ specs. They are typically specified for doors that are 7 or 8 feet high. They could be offered as a set of two springs or as part of a kit with fresh cables, pulleys, and mounting brackets. It’s a good idea to replace all the old components at the same time as the springs if they appear worn.

Prepare the Garage Door

  • To keep the door from accidentally closing while you are working, completely open the garage door and attach C-clamps to both garage door tracks. You can also use a long brace to block the bottom of the door if you’d like. The garage door opener should also be unplugged so that it cannot be activated by mistake while you are working.

Detach Extension Spring

  • Remove the first extension spring’s bolt from the bracket holding it to the door track’s back (this is the one furthest from the door).

Disconnect Lift Cable

  • Just above the door opening, at the bracket where the lift cable attaches to the door rail, unplug the cable. Unthread the loose cable from the pulley and detach the moveable pulley from the spring’s end.

Disconnect Safety Cable

  • The safety cable that passes through the spring should be disconnected. The extension spring can now be taken out. For the second door spring, repeat steps three through five.

Attach Safety Cable

  • Start the installation by passing the new safety cable through the spring and fastening the ends to the track brackets.

Attach Lift Cable

  • The new spring should be attached to the moveable pulley with one end and the door track’s connecting point with the other. Ensure that the cable is threaded through the moveable pulley at the end of the spring, the bracket on the door track, and up over the stationary pulley.
  • When attaching the cable to the track bracket, apply a tiny amount of force to slightly expand the spring (though no more than 1 to 2 inches). For the other door spring, repeat the previous steps

Lubricate and Test Springs

  • Spray some lubrication on the garage door springs. Reconnect the garage door opener’s power cord, unplug the C-clamps, and check the garage door’s functionality. Although the new springs can be stronger than the previous ones, some modification to the lifting power of the garage door opener may be required.

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How to Replace Torsion Garage Door Springs

Prepare Garage Door

  • Attach C-clamps inside the tracks, next to the lowest wheels on the door tracks, to lock the garage door in the closed position. Remove the garage door opener’s cable. When dealing with the winding cones on the springs, position a stepladder so that you are positioned slightly to the side.
  • Verify the winding bars’ dimensions in relation to the winding cones’ holes on the ends of the torsion springs. Most bars have ends that are both 1/2 inch and 7/16 inch, so they can accommodate most torsion springs.

“Unload” the Springs

  • Make sure the winding bar’s end is fully placed in the opening before inserting it into the winding cone’s bottom lug fitting. While you remove the two setscrews from the winding cone, maintain a firm grip on the bar. As the setscrews loosen, a significant amount of force will be released, so be sure to hold on tightly.
  • Alternate the winding bars into various holes on the winding cone, progressively unwinding the springs until there is no tension left. It will take a few downward quarter-turn revolutions before the spring’s tension is completely released; you should feel it when there is no longer any tension.

Disconnect Torsion Springs

  • When all tension has been released, use an open-end or adjustable wrench to unbolt the torsion springs from the center mounting bracket. In the final section, slightly slide the springs down the torsion bars.

Disconnect Lift Cables

  • To hold the torsion bar in place in the central bracket, use a set of locking pliers. As you proceed down to disconnect the wires and the cable drums, this will stop them from falling out. At the bottom of the door, unhook the lift cables from the door brackets.
  • Set screws that secure the cable drums to the ends of the torsion bar must be removed. Slip the old springs off the torsion bar after removing the cable drums from their ends. Examine the cables; this is a good time to replace them as well if they exhibit wear.

Attach New Springs

  • Make sure the “right-hand” and “left-hand” springs are on the appropriate sides as you slide the new springs onto the torsion bar. In the same way that the old springs were fastened to the central mounting bracket, fasten the stationary mounting cones of the springs.

Reattach Lift Cables

  • Re-attach the lift cables to the door’s bottom brackets. Make sure the cables are securely fastened inside the cable drums before sliding the drums onto the torsion bar’s ends. Before you tighten their set screws against the torsion bar, make sure the cable is completely wound up so there is no slack.

“Load” the Springs

  • The hardest part is about to start. Twist the winding cone and torsion spring to “load” it using two winding bars. It usually takes between 30 and 36 one-quarter twists to fully tighten the spring; for exact directions, consult the manufacturer. The spring will be turned upward by your actions.

Anchor the Springs

  • The winding cone should be pushed about 1/4 inch down the torsion bar after the spring has been properly loaded. This will slightly prolong the spring. To secure the winding cone to the torsion bar, tighten the setscrews down by roughly a half turn while maintaining support for the cone with the bars. Avoid overtightening to prevent torsion bar deformation.

Finish Installation

  • The springs should be lubricated with a garage door spray. Remove all clamps, turn on the garage door opener, and test the door’s functionality numerous times. If the door doesn’t stay open all the way on its own or if it doesn’t close all the way, the springs may need to be further wound or unwound.

Read more: Front Doors: Everything you need to Know

How to notice the symptoms of a failing garage door spring?

Below show the noticeable symptoms of failing garage doors;

The door “weighs” heavier as a result of deteriorating garage door springs since the steel loses its resilience. A heavy garage door should only require 10 pounds of energy to push into the open position when the springs are brand-new. Since a garage door may weigh 200 pounds or more, it may take significantly more energy to lift the door when springs are getting close to the end of their useful lives.

Another indication of failing springs is when you hear the electric door opener start to struggle as it tries to lift the door. An old garage door places a heavy burden on a garage door opener. It’s time to think about changing the springs at this stage. Moreover, worn-out door springs may unexpectedly snap, which could result in a severe door slam.

When a spring breaks, which typically happens when it is fully loaded, you will typically hear an extremely loud sound that sounds like a gunshot if you happen to be nearby (stretched or twisted to its full tension). An automatic garage door opener might no longer be able to lift the door at all if one of the springs fails, making the door feel suddenly incredibly heavy when you try to open it by hand.

Springs for garage doors cannot be fixed. Both springs must be completely replaced at the same time as part of maintenance. It is a safe assumption that the other spring is reaching the end of its useful life if one spring has broken.

Read more: Understanding building construction

Garage door springs FAQs

What type of spring is used in a garage door?

Torsion springs are the most popular type of garage door spring. Torsion springs use torque to accomplish their task, whereas an extension spring extends to do it. Because they are strong, these springs typically survive longer than other types. A rotating force that twists generates torque.

Which springs are best for a garage door?

The torsion spring system is the greatest kind of garage door system. In addition to being safer than extension springs, tension springs also last longer.

How do I know what size springs I need for my garage door?

Measure the cable drum’s circumference and the garage door’s height in inches. Add one after dividing the cable drum’s circle by the height of the garage door. This represents how many turns your spring has. A 14′ high door, for instance, is 168″ high.

What are the two types of garage door springs?

Torsion springs and extension springs are the two major types of garage door springs.

What are the different types of springs for doors?

The helical spring, disk spring, and leaf spring are the three primary types of springs. Several types of springs are underneath each primary type. For instance, the torsion, extension, spiral, and compression springs are all parts of helical springs.

How long do garage door springs last?

How long are garage springs normally good for? If placed properly, the typical garage door spring should endure for roughly 10,000 cycles of opening and closing. If you only use your garage once a day, you should anticipate having a broken garage door spring 14 years after it was first installed.

Are all garage door springs the same?

In other words, garage door springs come in a one-size-fits-all design. That’s not actually the case. It’s crucial that you have the correct spring for your specific door because garage door springs come in a variety of sizes and strengths. Otherwise, a wide range of issues may occur and will.

Are there different size springs for garage doors?

Most home torsion springs are located on a shaft above the garage door’s center. These springs commonly have internal diameters of 1 3/4″, 2″, and 2 1/4″.

How many springs does a garage door need?

One spring is all that is required to balance a single one-car garage door. One spring can be designed to lift the door even on two-car garage doors, but this shouldn’t be done for the reasons listed above.

Can you use a stronger spring for the garage door?

You might want to try the extra-long life torsion springs if your garage door springs haven’t lasted more than five years or if you intend to stay in your current location for a long time. In most cases, adopting larger springs allows you to double spring life while only increasing spring cost by half.

That’s all for this article where we discussed the following related questions about garage doors springs;

  • What are garage door springs?
  • What are the types of garage doors spring?
  • How to replace a garage door spring?
  • How to notice the symptoms of a failing garage door spring?

I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.