How To Replace The Torsion Spring on a Garage Door

If a torsion spring attached to your home’s garage door has broken, then you need to understand how to properly measure it to ensure that the replacement torsion spring that you purchase is the correct size. This is vital because installing the wrong size of spring could result in injury or death to humans or pets.

Materials Required

  • tape measure
  • ladder
  • paper
  • pencil or pen

Measuring the Torsion Spring Length

To purchase a new spring, you need to know the unsprung length of your garage door’s existing spring. To get the correct measurement, lay the broken spring on the ground and measure it from the top of the spring to the bottom. You should not include the winding cones, but do measure the ends of the spring that are welded onto the cones.

Torsion springs vary in length from 16″ to 60″. The larger the spring, the heavier the door it is rated to safely lift. For example, most residential doors use 16″ springs because they are not very heavy. On the other hand, heavy commercial overhead doors use springs up to 60″ long to safely lift the door.

Measuring the Torsion Spring Wire Size

The wire size measurement of a torsion spring refers to the wire that the spring is made of. The best way to get an accurate measurement of the spring is to measure the unbroken spring on the other side of the door. 
Rather than try to measure a single spring, it is more accurate to measure 10 sections of the spring and then divide by the number 10. This averages out any wear or damage that may have changed the thickness of any one section of the wire.
Torsion spring wires are typically 1 3/4″ to 2 5/8″ in diameter and the difference is due to lifting weight, as well as manufacturer variations.

Determining the Torsion Spring Winding Direction

Your home’s garage door has two springs, one that is “left wound” and one that is “right wound.” The winding direction refers to the direction of the wire at the end of the spring.

To determine the winding direction, hold the end of the broken spring towards you and look at the end of the wire. If the wire points to the left, then your broken spring is the “left wound” one. If the end of the wire points to the right, then it is “right wound.”

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand how to properly measure your garage door’s broken torsion spring, you can be confident that you are ordering the correct replacement spring. Replacing torsion springs is a dangerous project. If you do not understand how to safely install the new spring, then you should contact a garage door repair business in your city or town, like those at Central Florida Garage Doors, for more details.

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