Home » Blog » A Simple Guide to Adjusting Garage Door Springs
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Springs are a crucial element of a sectional door design, serving to balance the door leaf and making it easier to open. The balancing system is necessary for the gate because they are pretty heavy — about 90 kg; and industrial ones are even more — their weight can reach 300 kg. To easily raise and lower the canvas, it needs a counterweight. In sectional doors, this is achieved by springs that shrink and stretch, setting the roller shutters in motion. Garage door opener springs compensate for the door’s weight and make it easy to open and close. A problem with the spring can cause the door to work unevenly, incorrectly, or at the wrong speed. In this case, it will be necessary to adjust the springs to fix the problem.
Garage doors come in various styles that use two different types of springs — tension and torsion. What to choose for your gate is up to you, and in this article, we will help you make the right choice.
How to adjust the spring tension on the garage door? How to adjust the tension on a garage door torsion spring? How to adjust a single spring garage door? Keep reading to find out the answers to all of these questions and even more.
Types of Garage Door Springs: Features and Comparison
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When we talk about a garage door spring, we mean a torsion spring or an extension spring responsible for lifting and closing the gate. Torsion and extension gates are two of the most popular types that differ in the type of pre-installed mechanism. Both are used in garages, industrial premises, warehouses, and other facilities where you need to provide quick and comfortable access.
Let’s consider the main features of these springs structures. The key difference between the torsion-based doors and their extension analogs is the principle of stretching the spring, which provides different technical characteristics of these door systems.
The torsion spring is characterized by spiral torsion work. It is located on the wall above the garage and mounted on a special shaft that rotates under the influence of the drive mechanism. When lowering the blade, energy is accumulated in the spring, which does not allow the blade to fall from the fastening elements. When it is lifted, the spring releases the accumulated energy, providing the desired direction of the movement. An important feature of the torsion mechanism of sectional garage doors is the horizontal position of the shaft with torsion bars; it is almost always installed inside the garage or above its door.
The tension spring is a traditional, inexpensive, and straightforward solution based on the classic compression and tension principle. It is fixed to door brackets and runs along the side of the horizontal tracks. This system is installed on either side of the canvas, but more often to the right or left of the opening, less often — horizontally. When the gate is closed down, it stretches, accumulating energy in parallel, and when it opens, it gives the energy, which contributes to the movement of the leaf in the required direction.
An essential difference between the torsion spring for sectional doors and the tension one is the resistance to increased loads. If the tension spring is recommended to be installed only on small garage doors with a weight up to 120 kilograms and an area of up to 3500x2250mm, then torsion-bar analogs can cope with gates weighing 300-350 kg or more and an area of 8000x7000mm, which is the best option for industrial and panoramic gates.
So, what to choose? Which one is better: tension spring or torsion spring? The choice of spring depends on the functionality and the size of the gate. Their main differences are the scope of application.
The first was a torsion spring — powerful, multifunctional, and expensive. Mounting on torsion springs allows you to position the curtain as high as you want above the opening and add a wicket to the curtain. The size of the canvas is almost unlimited. If one shaft fails, there are installed two of them. For industrial doors, torsion springs are a must. They are used for garage overhead sectional doors, industrial gates, and sectional doors with an electric drive. Torsion springs establish a balance of the weight of the sectional garage door leaves and are used in standard overhead sectional door designs.
For household garage doors, torsion springs are not a necessity but convenience and luxury. The reason why the designers have introduced tension springs is the reduction in the cost of the gate structure. The tension spring makes household garage doors cheaper, as well as faster and easier to install. There is no need to adjust the torsion spring, which means that such a gate will be installed faster. In addition, the tension spring mechanism takes up much less space. Accordingly, the price is on average 5% lower than for torsion bars.
Gather the Supplies for Springs Adjustment
How to adjust garage door springs? Installing and replacing garage door springs is hazardous. If you do not use the proper tools and do not follow the safety rules, you may be in danger. Gather the required supplies and tools in advance.
If you want to adjust the extension spring on the garage door, you need some personal protective equipment (a hard hat, safety glasses, and gloves) and a versatile toolkit:
masking tape or marker.
When adjusting the torsion springs, in addition to the protective equipment, you will need the following instruments:
Now you can proceed directly to the roller door spring tension adjustment and installation process. So, how to adjust side-mounted garage door springs? Let’s look at 6 simple steps.
Open the garage door. First, free the springs from any pressure and open either manual or electric garage door as much as possible.
Fix the garage door. Ensure that the gate won’t fall when you adjust its springs. You can place a C-clamp under the bottom roller that will keep it stock-still.
Remove the spring hook. Detach the spring hook to regulate the tension.
Regulate the spring tension. If the door does not close chock-a-block, reduce the tension. And if the gate opens or closes too easily, enhance the tension. How to increase tension on a garage door spring? Attach the spring to the higher hole on the track. If the door closes unevenly, reduce the tension on the side where the gap is.
Fix the cable tension. To increase safety cables, shorten them, tightening the knot; to reduce their tension, lengthen cables, weakening the node.
Check the door & smear the springs. Test the door. If it works as expected, lubricate the springs.
For quality check, control, and adjustment of garage door springs, contact the STI Garage Door specialists. Use the advanced services and adjust garage door extension springs qualitatively and securely.
How to Adjust Garage Door Torsion Springs
The garage gate torsion springs configuration process differs from the tension springs adjustment. We offer 7 simple steps that you need to pass after all the necessary tools have been prepared. So, how to adjust garage door torsion springs?
Close the garage door. Close the gate as much as possible and put a C-clamp on its track to ensure that the gate won’t open all of a sudden.
Look for the winding taper. Find the point where the spring ends — this is where the winding cone is placed.
Loosen cone screws. Ease screws up by embedding a steel bar or winding taper into the bottom hole of the cone.
Regulate the extension. If the garage gate closes too rapidly, enhance its tension by winding the cone upwards. And if the door closes too slowly or doesn’t close completely, reduce the tension by winding the cone down.
Stretch the spring. Leave the bar in the bottom hole and take the other one away. Then apply force from the bottom up to the bar.
Tighten the set screws. Tighten the screws you have loosened earlier. This will allow the spring to lock in the new place. To adjust garage door side springs, do the same (steps 3 to 5) on the other side.
Check the door & smear the springs. Test the door. If it works properly, lubricate the springs. Reconnect the opener if you have an auto door.
To adjust torsion garage door springs properly and make this process as efficient and reliable as possible, you will need professional help, especially if you don’t have all the necessary tools or have no experience. The STI Garage Door specialists provide professional and high-grade garage door spring adjustment services.
Consider STI Garage Door Your Trusted Partner
STI Garage Door is a garage door repair and installation company. Regardless of whether you need to adjust extension springs on a garage door or the torsion ones, our experts will help you, whichever option you choose. STI Garage Door offers repair, adjustment, and maintenance of garage door springs of any type and intricacy for individuals and businesses. All customers receive a free assessment before starting work, as well as topflight service and quality assurance. The team ensures that all installation and repair services are performed to meet all the manufacturer’s specifications.
STI Garage Door is always about proven expertise, a professional team, reasonable pricing, and complex solutions. Contact the experts, fill out a service request form, and your problem will be resolved as soon as possible, within budget, and with guaranteed satisfaction.
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Springs are a key component of garage systems that are responsible for the correct operation of the doors. Torsion and extension springs have their features of the use and adjustment basics. Regardless of which type you are dealing with, it is not necessary to adjust and tighten the garage door spring on your own.
Springs are arguably the hardest part of the garage door system. This is exactly what can be most dangerous for garage door owners trying to repair damage and fix springs on their own. Thus, it is essential to trust this difficult and important job to well-trained and experienced technicians to save time and provide a safe and secure garage door system.
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How to understand when it's time to replace and tighten the garage door spring?
Torsion springs should be replaced when the door is hindered from moving up and down. It will produce a loud, banging sound, the door will be extremely heavy, most likely will not function, and you will see an approximately 2” gap in the springs.
Tension springs should be replaced when the spring’s coils stop expanding and contracting evenly. Replace if they look oblong, don’t look symmetrical, or if they are broken.
Is it easier to install and adjust garage door extension springs or the torsion ones?
Garage door torsion spring adjustment is more difficult since it is necessary to pre-tension them. They cannot be installed on a wall with a noticeable surface curvature, as they will malfunction, and the canvas will bug. However, if you do everything right, the gate will work smoothly and quietly. Extension springs do not require a scrupulous approach. They are easy to install but will be noisier even when properly fixed.
What are safety measures used in garage door spring adjustment?
Sectional doors weigh quite a lot, and a leaf falling due to a broken spring is a serious hazard. Thus, there is usually provided a security mechanism at the garage gate. An extension spring has another smaller spring inside, which acts as a safety net in case of external failure. In torsion bars, a ratchet mechanism plays such a safety role. Torsion springs are considered stronger, more durable, and safer.