Adjusting garage door springs is an essential maintenance task that can help ensure the smooth and safe operation of your garage door. Garage door springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of the door, making it easier to open and close. Over time, these springs may lose tension or become unbalanced, requiring adjustments. In this article, we will guide you through the process of adjusting garage door springs effectively and safely.
Types of Garage Door Springs
Before we delve into the adjustment process, it’s important to understand the two main types of garage door springs: torsion springs and extension springs.
Torsion Springs: Torsion springs are mounted on a metal shaft above the garage door. They work by twisting and storing energy when the door is closed, and then releasing it to help open the door. Torsion springs are typically found in single-car garage doors or heavier double-car garage doors.
Extension Springs: Extension springs run parallel to the horizontal tracks on both sides of the garage door. They stretch and contract to provide the necessary force to open and close the door. Extension springs are commonly used in lighter single-car garage doors.
Important Safety Precautions
Adjusting garage door springs can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Here are some important safety measures to follow:
1. Disconnect the power: Before attempting any adjustments, disconnect the power to the garage door opener to prevent accidental activation.
2. Use protective gear: Wear safety glasses, gloves, and other protective gear to protect yourself from potential injuries.
3. Work with a partner: It’s always safer to have someone assist you during the adjustment process. They can help hold the door and provide an extra set of eyes.
Adjusting Torsion Springs
Adjusting torsion springs requires precise measurements and careful adjustments. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Measure the spring tension: Use a winding bar to insert it into one of the winding cone holes. Lift the bar until it is perpendicular to the ground and note the height. Repeat this process on the other side.
2. Calculate the adjustment needed: Determine the desired adjustment by measuring the difference between the two recorded heights. Each full turn of the winding cone typically equals four inches of door travel.
3. Adjust the tension: To increase tension, insert a winding bar into one of the winding cone holes and turn it in the appropriate direction. To decrease tension, turn the winding cone in the opposite direction. Make gradual adjustments and check the door’s balance after each adjustment.
Adjusting Extension Springs
Adjusting extension springs involves stretching or contracting the springs to achieve the desired tension. Here’s how to do it:
1. Ensure the door is closed: Close the garage door completely before adjusting extension springs.
2. Secure the door: Use vice grips or C-clamps to secure the door tracks just below the bottom roller. This prevents the door from moving during the adjustment process.
3. Adjust the tension: Locate the adjustment clips on the sides of the door tracks. Move the clips to increase or decrease tension on the springs. Make small adjustments and test the door’s balance after each adjustment.
Adjusting garage door springs is a task that requires precision and caution. Whether you are dealing with torsion springs or extension springs, following the proper steps and safety precautions is crucial. Regularly inspecting and adjusting your garage door springs can help prolong their lifespan and ensure the safe and efficient operation of your garage door.