So, you have a garage door and now you’re looking to replace some of the components. One of those may be the garage spring. And if it is … you’re going to need to know what kind of spring you actually need. If you are wondering ‘how do I know what garage door spring I need’ you’re in the right place.
Backing it Up to the Beginning
Let’s start from the top. There are two different garage door springs that you need to know about. That way, you can make sure that you’re getting the right one the first time around. These are the torsion spring and the extension spring. Both are essential to getting your garage door to work properly. But they’re entirely different products, so you need to figure out which you need before you go shopping.
A torsion spring is located parallel to the garage door and actually sits above the opening. They help to open the garage door.
An extension spring is lighter and longer and it runs in the opposite direction (perpendicular to the garage door).
Over time, these springs can start to wear out and break down. This isn’t a sign of any problems with the door, but just a sign that you tend to use your garage door frequently (and isn’t that what it’s for, after all?).
But even knowing all of that, how can you be sure you know which spring you need to get when it comes to replacement time? There are a few things that you can take a look at to make your decision and to purchase the right spring the first time around.
It’s not just about whether you need a torsion or extension spring, after all. You also need the right type of whichever one you’re going to need.
Measuring it Out
Take a look at the spring you’re going to be replacing and evaluate it. This is going to be your first step in figuring out what you need to get when you head to the store. You’ll need to consider which direction the spring is wound in, whether it’s a left or right wound spring.
The easiest way to determine this is to look at the endpoint. If the end is pointing clockwise that means you’re looking at a left-wound spring. If the end is pointing counterclockwise that means you’re looking at a right-wound spring.
Next, start the actual measurements. This starts with measuring approximately 10-20 coils of the spring. You don’t need to measure the entire thing, but measuring these first coils will give you the size of the wire that you’re looking at, without having to figure it out yourself or take the wire in to get it checked.
Then, measure the length of the spring to the closest ¼ inch. This will allow you to get the proper length when you go to the store. The interior diameter or IOD is also extremely important and you’ll need to measure this to the nearest 1/6 inch.
And finally, take a look at the color code on your springs. These colors will help you get all the information that you need for your spring replacement. That’s because the manufacturer knows what those spring colors mean and can provide you with the exact piece that you need if you can provide the color code.
You won’t need to work on things like measuring and evaluating wire sizes. You can just send in the color code and you’ll be on your way in no time.
What Happens Next?
Okay, so now you know the answer to ‘how do I know what garage door spring I need.’ Now you’re ready to actually head to the store and purchase it. That way, you can get the new spring on and get your garage door functioning again.
A good idea when it comes to replacing your springs is that you should hire a professional. A professional is going to be able to get the job done quickly and accurately, which is always important when you’re talking about machinery.
You’ll be able to get back to using your garage door right away and you don’t have to try and make the time to get it taken care of yourself. All you have to do is call and the pros can come to your house and replace the spring with the correct piece.
If you choose to fix the problem on your own, however, you’ll need to carefully measure and select the right springs. Also, keep in mind that springs on a garage door generally come in pairs. Or at least, they work in pairs and they tend to fail at the same time. So if you’re replacing the right-wound spring you should also look into replacing the left-wound spring.
There are four factors you need to know:
- Wire size
- Spring length
- Wind direction
Once you know each of these things about your current garage door springs you can get new ones ready and delivered to you in no time. But make sure that you’re keeping accurate counts of what you need, including all of your measurements. This lets you get the right piece the first time and makes sure that there’s no damage to your garage door in the process.
Making it All Work for You
Now that you know what you’re getting it’s time to actually install it onto your garage door in place of your old springs. This will help you get better results from your garage door, which means you’ll be able to open and close it more smoothly from now on.
If changing out the springs doesn’t actually fix the problem then it’s time to call in the professionals and find out what else might be going on with your garage door.