How to Measure Garage Door Torsion Springs: 5 Easy Steps
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The torsion springs on your garage door can wear out over time. When they become damaged, you have to replace them with new ones. Before you can buy any new springs, know the exact size you need. To do this, you need to measure the springs precisely to avoid getting an undersized spring.
You may wonder, “What size of torsion springs for my garage door should I buy?” or “Do I need a specialist to figure out how to determine a torsion spring size for a garage door?”. Read our guide to find out how to measure garage door torsion springs.
Measuring Torsion Garage Door Springs: Why Is It Important?
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Measuring torsion garage door springs is a key step in any replacement. Torsion springs play an essential role in the opening and closing mechanism of a garage door. While the opener initiates the motion, springs permit the opening and closing of the door. Springs store energy which is transferred as the door opens and closes. A torsion spring usually has 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. This means it can last about 7-8 years depending on the frequency of use. After the cycles have expired, a replacement should be done immediately. Otherwise, the door will fail to open.
Springs are designed to fit specific garage doors. So if you do not measure the spring correctly, you will end up buying one that is not compatible with your garage door. Should that happen, the door won’t lift as you try to open it. Also, you risk injuring yourself by getting the wrong spring size.
Is this a task that you can do alone? Well, if you have some experience with garage doors, you may attempt. However, many injuries have been associated with measuring torsion or extension springs, so take extra caution. Otherwise, it is advisable to call up an expert. Never measure springs that are still on the bars above the garage doors. Always remove the springs first and measure them on a flat surface like a table or the floor.
Experts know how to measure your torsion garage door spring for a replacement for sure. Another advantage of using a professional is that they can check, measure, and replace the torsion springs.
Simple Guide on How to Measure Garage Door Torsion Springs
Now that you understand the importance of learning how to measure torsion springs for a garage door, it is time to get to work. Measuring torsion springs is as simple as 1,2,3.
1. Determine the wind’s direction
Most garage doors have a left and right winding direction. To determine this, look closely at the torsion spring. You have to check the inside to determine which direction the coils are following. A right-hand wind moves in a clockwise direction. Springs that move in an anticlockwise direction are considered to be left wind. Bear in mind that the left-hand wound is on the right, and the right-hand wound is on the left.
The wind direction uses a Color coding system to assist anyone trying to replace torsion springs. The left wound always has a black-colored cone while the Right wound has a red one. If after replacing the spring you notice that the end is pointing downwards, it is probably not placed correctly. If only one of the springs is broken, it is better to replace them both. Replacing only one will likely cause the garage door to malfunction.
2. Measure the wire size
When you try to figure out how to measure garage door torsion spring size, accuracy is everything. Relying on calipers or micrometers can give you wrong lengths. That’s because things like rust may make the actual length longer. You can use calipers to confirm the final length.
To determine the wire size, measure the distance between the first 10 coils. This is the first length. The second one should be between the first 20 coils of the torsion spring. These measurements are accurate because paint doesn’t get in-between the coils of a torsion spring.
To measure the first 10 coil distances, place a tape measure between the first two coils of a spring. Then place the tape after counting 10 coils. Note down the length. Now do the same thing except count 20 coils: this is the second distance.
Once you have measured the wire size, use the chart below. This chart gives you the approximate size of the spring you should get. Remember that if the torsion springs have gaps in-between, the measurements automatically become inaccurate. All measurements should be approximated to the nearest ⅙ inch.
10 Coil Length
20 coil length
1 ½ ‘
3 ⅛ ‘
3. Find out the inside diameter
This measurement is useful for broken springs. It is easy to determine the inside diameter of a torsion spring. This is usually indicated on the damaged spring. Check the winding cone where most manufacturers indicate the inside diameter. If a cone indicates OMI 1 ¾ then the inside diameter is 1 ¾ inch.
To check the inside diameter of a spring that is broken, first remove all tension. Once you have done that, measure the individual parts before putting them back together. The goal is to get a measurement that is plus or minus ¾ inches. Once you are within that, the measurements are still considered to be accurate.
Residential garage doors usually have an inside diameter of 1 ¾ or 2 inches. When measuring the inside diameter, make sure you do not include the cone. Otherwise, you will have the wrong measurement, which will cause the garage door to be unbalanced as it opens and closes.
4. Measure the overall length
The key thing to remember on how to measure the length of garage door torison springs is to unwind them first. This gives you the correct length. The length affects the winding capacity of a torsion spring. If the spring is shorter than it should be, it will be impossible for it to lift the garage door. All you have to do is run the tape measure along the entire length of the torsion spring.
If the torsion spring has two parts, unwind both, place them together, then measure the combined length. Avoid including the cones as you take measurements as it may throw you off. You can always rely on an expert to figure out how to measure garage door torsion spring length.
5. Measure the height of the garage door
This measurement is also important as it allows you to buy the correct torsion spring. The majority of residential garage doors are either 7 or 8 feet in height. To measure the height of the door, take a tape measure. Measure carefully from top to bottom.
Once you have the height, you can buy the matching torsion springs. For doors that are more than 10 feet, you need to be cautious when taking measurements. To get the best results, consult an expert.
Get in touch with the STI Garage Door specialists to measure torsion springs for you!
How to Measure If the Torsion Spring Is Intact
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In some cases, the torsion spring may malfunction but still be intact. Measuring the size of an intact spring is easier. So how to determine torsion spring size, and how do you know that the torsion spring is intact?
Put the spring on a table. Now pull the three scraps of paper. Put the first scrap between the two coils of the spring. The next one goes after 10 coils. The third scrap should be placed after 10 coils from the second one.
Now measure the distance from the first scrap to the second one. Again, measure the length from the first to the third scrap. You should have two lengths, the 10 and 20 coils. Now use the standard charts to compare the first and second measurements. Ideally, these sizes should match your manufacturer’s springs.
How to Measure If the Torsion Spring Is Broken
Measuring broken torsion springs is a complex task. It is similar to measuring an intact spring in that you have to use three scraps of paper. If one of the broken pieces is long enough, use the same method to measure the 10 and 20 coil lengths.
So you should have a scrap at the first coil, after 10 and 20 coils. When measuring garage door torsion springs, you have to measure the distance between the first and second coil for the first length. For the second length, measure the distance between the first and third scraps. Then compare with your manufacturer’s charts.
If one piece is not long enough, you should try to pull the broken parts together as close as possible. For springs that have gaps, you may have to measure the 10 coil distance first. After that, pull another part of the spring to measure the 20 coil distance. Use three scraps of paper when measuring both lengths.
Consider STI Garage Door Your Trusted Partner
Do you need a company to measure the torsion springs for you? Check out the STI Garage Door service as our specialists know everything about garage doors and how to measure lift for garage door torsion springs. Our services are available for both commercial and residential garage doors in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington. Our experience over the years has made us a trustworthy company. We work with all our customers to ensure that they get satisfactory results even when you need just to make a garage door torsion springs measurement!
When it comes to measuring spring size, our technicians know how to get an accurate estimation even for broken or rusty springs. Our services are available 24/7. We also provide emergency services and replacement of broken pieces, so feel free to call us when you need to figure out how to cope with any issue.
We have worked with Liftmaster, Genie, Craftsman, and Clicker garage doors. With all types of doors, we can measure, buy, and replace the torsion springs. Even when we have encountered challenges, our technicians always find an appropriate solution. So you can trust us to always provide high-quality services. Send us an email or call us today to measure your garage door torsion spring size.
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When replacing torsion springs, getting the correct measurements is a priority. You can do the measurements alone or call up a professional. To get accurate information about which torsion spring to buy, measure the wire size that indicates the thickness of the spring. Additional measurements include the overall length of the spring. Check the winding direction of the spring you want to replace. Finally, measure the inside diameter. Make sure the spring is removed from the bar before making any measurements. This will reduce the risk of injuries.
For springs that have accumulated rust or are broken, seek professional help. You can contact the STI Garage Door service now, as we work with the best experts in the field to measure your garage door torsion spring size!
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How can I determine torsion spring size?
To find out the size of the torsion spring for your garage door, use a tape measure or calipers to check the wire size and overall length.
What is the best way to measure torsion spring length?
While you can attempt doing it by yourself, it is recommended that you use an expert to help determine the torsion spring size. Avoid injuries and get only accurate measurements for the garage door torsion spring.
Can I do garage door torsion spring measurement by myself?
Yes. It is possible to perform a garage door measurement by yourself. You just need a tape measure, accuracy, and some patience.
What size of torsion springs are suitable for my garage door?
The size of torsion springs to buy depends on the measurements you get. You can use the manufacturer’s charts to compare with your measurements to find out which one to buy.