How To Measure Garage Door Torsion Springs
Garage torsion springs are what allow the garage door to open, remain open, and close. Each time you open or close your garage door, the springs either wind up or release tension depending on the direction the door is moving. Over time, the springs will wear out and need to be replaced. In many instances, the springs will even break. So, how do you determine the torsion spring size to order the proper replacements?
Measuring a garage door spring involves gathering four pieces of information. It is important to be as accurate as possible.
Before you order your springs, you will need to have the following:
- Inside Diameter
- Wire Size
- Wind Direction
Determining Torsion Spring Length
Determining the length of the garage door spring is the simplest of the four measurements required. It is important to note that the spring must be unwound to take proper measurements. Measuring a torsion spring while wound up will result in inaccurate measurements. Also, it is important that you DO NOT include the torsion spring cones in this measurement. The winding cone is located at one end of the spring, and the stationary cone is located at the other end. Using a tape measure, determine the length of the spring. If you are dealing with a broken spring, you will need to measure each section separately and then add the numbers together to get your measurement.
Determining Torsion Spring Diameter
Measure the inside diameter of the spring as shown in the image. Chances are that the inside diameter (ID) measurement will be either 1 3/4" or 2". These are the most common ID measurements of residential garage door torsion springs. If you are unsure or would just like to double-check accuracy, you can look at the cones. In many cases, the cones are stamped with the inside diameter. For example, a P175 stamp would mean you have a 1 3/4" ID, and P200 or P2000 would equal a 2” inside diameter measurement.
Determining the Wire Size
First, locate a portion of the spring that does not have any gaps or spaces between the wire and measure the length of 10 coils with a tape measure. Locate the wire size on this chart according to the measurement of 10 coils. Next, to double-check that your wire size is accurate, measure 20 coils and check your wire size on the chart once more. If both measurements match then you measured correctly. If your numbers do not match, you can try taking the measurements again on a different part of the spring.
Determining Wind Direction
Along with length, the wind direction of your torsion springs is also relatively easy to determine. Locate the cones on either end of the spring. See the photo above for an example of a cone. The left wound cone will be located to the right of the cone with the end of the spring pointing clockwise. The right wound spring will be located to the left of the cone with the end of the spring pointing counter-clockwise. In some cases, the spring and cone are color coded. A left-wound spring and cone will be colored black and a right-wound spring will be colored red.
Are Garage Door Springs Dangerous?
Yes. Garage door springs are under very high tension and if not handled properly, can cause serious injury or even death. Torsion springs should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust the torsion springs yourself.
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