In-Depth Guide: How to Сhoose Garage Door Springs

Springs play a very important role in the opening and closing mechanisms of a garage door. While the garage door opener is responsible for initiating and controlling the motions of a garage door, it is the springs that open and close the door.

Springs act to overcome the weight of the garage door when in motion. However, springs have a lifetime which is about 7-8 years, depending on how often you open the door, so you can expect the springs to wear out. The good news is that you can replace them.

You have two options, either you call up a professional or buy new springs. Should you go for the latter option, then you may wonder, “How do I know which garage door spring to buy?”. Continue reading to find out all you need to know about how to choose a garage door spring. This garage door spring selection guide has all the details you will need to make the right choice.

Types of Garage Door Springs

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Before we discuss how to know what garage door spring to buy, it is better to understand the types. There are two types of springs for garage doors: torsion and extension.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are tough coiled springs placed on a metal rod. This metal rod lies parallel to the garage door. Because they are tightly coiled, torsion springs store a lot of energy, which is generated and transferred to the springs as the garage door moves. Torsion springs make it easier for the garage door to open and close. As the door opens, the springs uncoil, releasing energy that opens the garage door. There are two types of torsion springs:

  • Standard. This type is usually mounted on the garage door. It is cheaper and mostly used for residential garage doors.
  • Torque Master. Because these springs remain in place, they are considered the safest.

Extension Springs

Unlike torsion springs that are heavy and stiff, extension springs are much lighter. They are almost the opposite of torsion springs. These lie perpendicular to the garage door. Extension springs are placed on the door tracks. You can find these springs between the ceiling and the garage door tracks. The main function of extension springs is to store energy as the door closes. When the door opens the energy is released.

While these two types of springs differ, it is unlikely that you would make a mistake when buying one. Extension springs can further be divided into:

  • Open looped. This type is easy to replace and does not need to be disassembled.
  • Double looped. These are tougher than open looped springs; they have two coils at each end.
  • Clip ends. This option includes the strongest extension springs; clip end springs have a longer lifespan.

All you need to understand is which type of spring is damaged, and you can purchase accordingly. However, if you are unable to understand which spring has suffered damage, you can always seek advice from an expert.

In-Depth Guide: How to Сhoose Garage Door Springs

What You Should Know About the Spring Color Coding System

Garage door springs usually come with color codes that can help you understand the size. This coding system can be confusing, so let us discuss the Color coding system for both extension and torsion spring. The color codes are different depending on the type of spring.

Torsion springs use a color-coding system based on the wind direction. Black indicates right wind, and red is for left wind. The color-coding system is also used to determine the wire size. This makes it easier for professionals to understand the type of spring to buy. Technicians will typically look at the shape of the gauge to determine the condition of a spring.

The color-coding system for extension springs is designed to help technicians figure out the lifting power. The lifting power varies for different garage doors. The main factor that causes these differences is the garage door weight. So only specific springs can lift the garage door. The color correlates with the lifting power. Here are some examples:

  • Tan: 100, 200 pounds
  • White: 110, 210 pounds
  • Green: 120, 220 pounds
  • Yellow: 130, 230 pounds
  • Blue: 140, 240 pounds
  • Red: 150, 250 pounds
  • Brown:160, 260 pounds
  • Orange:170, 270 pounds
  • Gold:180, 280 pounds
  • Light blue:190, 290 pounds

Нow to Choose Torsion Spring for a Garage Door

Our garage door torsion spring selection guide should help you get started. Here is how to choose the correct garage door torsion spring.

1. Determine the wire size

This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right torsion spring for a garage door. This helps you know the exact size of the spring to get. Measure the entire length of the spring. It should be at least 10 to 20 coils. The measurements should be in inches.

Once you have the measurement, use wire size charts to determine the correct spring to buy. Avoid tampering with the springs above the door when making measurements.

2. Measure the inside diameter

For most garage doors, the inside diameter will be indicated between the springs above the door. The inside diameter is measured to the nearest ⅙ inch. However, if you do not have that, then you can measure yourself. To do this, you should remove the spring. This can be a hazardous task, so it is best to leave it to a professional. Measuring the inside diameter is important so that you buy a spring that will fit tightly and produce just the right amount of torque.

3. Measure the overall length

If you want to know how to choose a torsion spring for a garage door, consider the length. The overall length is measured from one end to the other of a spring. This length determines the winding capacity of a spring.

The spring length should be measured to the nearest ¼ inch. If the spring is too short, then the door may not open. Measure the length only when the garage door is closed.

4. Check the wind direction

Another thing to consider when figuring out how to choose garage door torsion springs is the wind direction. To check the wind direction, you have to check inside the garage door. There are two springs, left and right, that can help you figure this out. When you open the garage door, notice the two springs which are placed at the middle point.

Check the ends of the springs. The left spring will point in a clockwise direction, while the right one will point in an anticlockwise direction. But keep in mind that the two springs will be vice versa when you open the inside of the garage door.

In-Depth Guide: How to Сhoose Garage Door Springs

How to Choose Garage Door Extension Springs

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Do you want to know how to choose garage door extension springs? You have two ways of doing that: using color codes or the weight of the garage door. Color codes provide an easier and faster way of choosing the spring to buy. Always consider the weight when you want to choose the correct extension spring for a garage door. The code is placed at the end of the spring. While this is an accurate way to purchase extension springs, you can use other methods.

For example, you can compare the spring to the weight of the garage door. Different doors have extension springs based on the weight and height of the door. To measure the door, you will need some clamps and a bathroom scale. Place the clamps under the bottom rollers and carefully remove the extension springs. Slowly place the door’s edge on the scale. The weight that the scale shows is the size of extension springs you should buy.

What Are the Recommended Springs Based on Garage Door Type?

Because garage doors are different, the type of spring you buy should depend on your door. The main factors that determine spring type are the door height and width. Here is a table with recommended springs.

Width Height Recommended Spring
8’ 7’ SK7153, SK7155
9’ 7’ SK7155, SK7157
10’ 7’ SK7159, SK7157
16’ 7’ SK7159
16’ 7’ SK7159, SK7153

How Much Does a Garage Door Spring Cost?

Now that you know a strategy for selecting garage door torsion springs let’s discuss costs. When a spring is damaged, it should be replaced immediately. A single spring usually costs about $120-300. Some manufacturers have springs that cost less than 20$. The disadvantage of buying cheaper ones is that they do not last long. So, in the long run, you will end up spending more money.

The overall cost will depend on where you buy the springs from and how many are damaged. Another thing to consider is the labor. Different companies have varying prices for spring replacement services. Regardless, it shouldn’t cost more than $500 to replace your old springs with new ones.

For example, high-quality torsion springs should have no less than 10,000 cycles. This means they should last at least 7 years before getting damaged. Extension springs need to have about 10,000 to 12,000 cycles. Depending on how frequently the garage door is used, it can last for up to 10 years.

In-Depth Guide: How to Сhoose Garage Door Springs

Consider STI Garage Door Your Trusted Partner

Do you need to replace your garage door springs? Then STI Garage Door is the company to call. We can help you with choosing a garage door torsion spring. Because we work with all types of doors, we can help you choose a garage door extension spring as well. Our experts can help you buy the right torsion and extension springs. Our services include maintenance, repair, and replacements.

Because we have been around for years, you can expect only the best work from us. Regular maintenance allows our experts to identify that springs are damaged early on. Prevent harmful situations by letting our experts do the work for you. Whether you have a commercial or residential garage door, no task is impossible for us. Our main goal is to ensure that all our customers are satisfied with the services that we provide.

Call STI Garage Door now to find out how to buy and reply torsion and extension springs. Enjoy great services at a cost-effective price!

Final Thoughts

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Selecting a proper torsion spring for a garage door is very important. Knowing the type of spring that is damaged is a good way to understand how to know what garage door spring to buy. Garage doors have two types of springs: torsion and extension. Both facilitate the opening and closing motions of the door. They act to store energy as the door opens and closes. To choose the right torsion spring, you must measure the wire size, inside diameter, overall length, and wind direction. You can also use Color codes that are based on the wind direction of spring. Extension springs also have a color-coding system to assist professionals to pick the right type. The various colors are placed at the end of a spring based on the weight or type of garage door.

Replacing a spring can lead to accidents if not done correctly. So call up STI Garage Door to replace your torsion and extension springs.


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Getting the right measurements of springs allows you to buy the correct ones for your garage door. Use a Color-coded system to make the process easier.

To buy torsion springs, you should know the wind direction, inside diameter, wire size, and the overall length of the spring you’re trying to replace.

The cost varies on the type of spring you want to buy. It will cost you a few hundred dollars to get brand-new torsion springs.