How to Measure Garage Door Torsion Springs
If you need a new garage door torsion spring, you will need to know what length you need to purchase. This is not as simple as just measuring the spring from side to side, because torsion springs are labeled based on unwound length. If the spring is broken and unwound, then your job is easy, but most of the time you’ll need to get this measurement when the spring is still wound. Since you aren’t going to unwind the spring due to safety risks, here’s how you can find the measurement.
- Measure the Wire Size
Wire size is the first bit of information you need to collect. To measure the wire size, measure the length of 10 coils of the spring. If you have 1 1/4 inches in a 10 coil count, the wires are 0.125. If your 10-coil count measures 2 1/2 inches, you have .25 inch wires. For other measurements, talk to a garage door repair professional, or find a 10-coil measurement chart online. The accuracy of the wire width is essential to properly measure the spring.
- Measure the Inside Diameter
About 90% of garage doors in America have a 2-inch inside diameter, but because of that 10% that do not, you do need to double check. Simply measure the interior diameter of the spring with a tape measure. You don’t need to take the spring off to take this measurement.
- Measure the Spring Length
Finally, measure the spring length when it is closed. This needs to be within 1 to 2 inches for accuracy. If your spring is broken, push the pieces back together so that no gap exists before measuring.
- Determine the Direction of the Spring’s Wind
If you can still see the paint on your torsion spring, then the direction is easy to determine. Springs with red paint are right wound, while springs without red paint are left wound. If the paint is not visible, look at where the spring is located. Springs on the left side of the door are right wound, and springs on the right side of the door are left wound.
Don’t Neglect Safety
Once you have those four measurements, you are ready to order your spring, but throughout this process, be careful. Don’t neglect these crucial safety precautions:
- Never wrap your hand around a wound torsion spring.
- Keep fingers away from the spring whenever possible.
- Wear eye protection.
- Have someone helping you.
Torsion springs look innocent, but they contain quite a bit of tension and can injure you easily. Be careful when measuring a torsion spring, and if at any time you feel you can’t do the job safely, contact ASSA ABLOY for help from a qualified professional.