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Torsion Springs for Garage Doors
A garage doors’ torsion springs are a vital part of most family’s everyday life. Most homes in America use the garage door in place of the front door. The average homeowner uses their garage door 2-4 times a day. A lot more in some cases where kids are present and they may use the door that many times themselves as well as the adults coming and going to work, as well as trips to the supermarket or out to leisure. The torsion spring is what actually opens your garage door every time you press the remote or wall button. The garage door opener only gives it momentum and a starting & stopping limit. It’s actually not a garage door opener at all. Your torsion springs are the most utilized pieces of equipment used in your household today! For this very reason torsion springs will wear out at different times for different homes. You and your neighbor could have the very same set of torsion springs installed and yours not need to be replaced for several years longer than his depending on the everyday use.
Standard spring warranties are from 5-8 years and some companies will sell you lifetime warranty springs but beware. They are simply banking on the idea that you will either lose your receipt or move from the home before they are expected to come back to replace the springs for free. Here at Affordable Garage Doors we don’t just tell you what you want to hear and we stand behind our parts and our labor but the springs we use only come with a maximum warranty of 8 years and that is for the 20,000-30,000 cycle springs. Most garage door companies are installing the standard 15,000-20,000 cycle springs and that is pretty much the same from state to state.
The most common torsion spring sizes for standard one car garage doors:
The most common torsion spring sizes for single car garage doors with one spring is 207 and is usually colored yellow on the coils of the spring. Don’t be confused by the red or black color of the cones because that is the color coordinating of the spring being left wound or right wound. Most door manufacturers today use these 207 torsion springs for all single car door applications. This spring will be installed on one side or the other with a center bearing in the center and a bracket to hold it down with 9/16” nuts and bolts.
The 218 white torsion spring is used in most of your single car doors with either window or insulation features. This spring isn’t much bigger than the 207 but will make a huge difference if this is what the door needs compared to a door that doesn’t have windows or insulation. All of the problems we explained earlier in this article will occur if you use this spring when a 207 is needed and vice-a-versa.
Standard torsion spring size for 2 car garage doors:
Most manufacturers today will give you an option of using 1 or 2 springs when you get a 2 car garage door. Common sense will tell you that if a garage door is 8×7 and it takes 1 yellow 207 to properly balance it then a door that is 16×7 with the same features will just take 2 of those springs but there is another spring that will actually balance this door using just one of them. The green 243 is a very popular spring and can properly balance these 16×7 doors with just one. I don’t recommend doing this because if when that spring breaks your car will be either trapped in or out unless you can lift the whole door to get it open. Rarely do 2 springs break at the same time and at least with a 2 spring system you will only have to help lift the side where the broken spring is. This same green 243 spring used primarily in pairs to lift older wooden doors without windows. If it has windows then a pair of gold 250’s will be used.
Torsion springs are dangerous for even the most experienced DIY homeowner!
A garage doors torsion springs are under extreme tension and should not be repaired or replaced without the proper tools and safety training. Torsion springs were not even sold to the public for this very reason many years ago. Now I have seen them online at Amazon & Home Depot. Trust me when I tell you this, “You do not want to attempt this repair if you aren’t 100% confident that you know what you are doing and have the right tools and parts to make the repair.” You must know which spring you need and just because you have the same spring size that came off of the door doesn’t always make it the right spring. I have replaced thousands of torsion springs in my 17 years in the business and can’t even count the times that I have replaced springs relying on the previous garage door service put the right ones on to begin with. There are so many things that occur over the years that could change the weight of the door, including paint, water weight for wooden doors and additional struts to reinforce a section of the door. I have ran into many doors that were not altered at all and the previous garage door company either didn’t know what they were doing or just didn’t have the right spring on the truck or didn’t want to take the wrong spring down and install the right one because he was lazy. No matter the reason here are some things you can check for after your springs have been installed, to ensure the job was done right.
Disconnect your garage door opener by pulling the red cord and raise the garage door slowly. This should not take 2 hands and can be done with 2 fingers on one hand if the springs are the right size and the tension was added correctly. If you have the right springs and tension the door should stay down when closed and should balance it if you were to lift it up and take your hands off of the door. It shouldn’t spring up or fall down. If the door cannot be lifted with 2 fingers on one hand then you either have the wrong springs or not enough tension. I always show my customer’s t he door balanced so they know what to look for and when to call us back out to do a tune-up and add tension to the springs. It is a good idea to disconnect your opener and repeat this test at least once a year. I also recommend lubing all moving parts, including springs, rollers, hinges and bearings every 6 months to a year.
If the springs are too strong and they were wound the correct number of revolutions then the door will be hard to close and want to come open on its own. I have seen companies try to remedy this by taking too much tension off of the spring and when you do this the door will not keep the cables tight while the door is in the up position and can slip your cables off of the drums and cause damage to your door and your car if it is in the way. Making this mistake can very easily turn into a sideways or off-track door.
If the springs that were installed are too weak and the correct number of turns was put on them then the door will be too heavy and hard to lift. It also will not stay open and will try to slam back to the floor. When checking the balance of your door you should always keep your hands close or under the door when you take them away to prevent it from crashing to the floor and damaging your bottom section or breaking the glass in the top section. If too much tension is added onto this weaker spring to get it to lighten at the bottom as you lift it up then it will be harder to close in the open position. Installing torsion springs on a garage door is not as easy as some may think and can be a little more complex than some tutorial you may find online. By the time you purchase the springs and don’t get the right ones the first time and have to take those down and do it all over again you could have had a professional do it right the first time. Some online manufacturers won’t refund the spring if it has been installed and taken back down anyway. Call Affordable Garage Doors for all of your torsion spring issues and rest comfortably that the job will be done right the first time every time!
If the springs you installed are too weak, and you wind the springs the correct number of turns, the door will be heavy at the floor, and it will not stay open half way, but it will stay open if raised completely. If tension is added to the torsion springs to lighten the garage door and to get it stay open half way, the door will be harder to close; openers often damage the new steel garage doors when they are too hard to close.