Adjusting garage door springs is a task many homeowners find themselves facing. As Calgary Garage Door Fix, which does garage door spring repair, points out, it can be difficult if you don’t go into it knowing the basics of adjusting them, or with a step by step guide on adjusting garage door springs. So exactly how do you adjust garage door springs?
Depending on what issue you are having with your garage door, you will either need to increase or decrease the tension. I will tell you how to do both in this article.
Types of Springs
There are two types of tension springs, torsion springs and
Extension springs fully expand and contract when operating an overhead garage door. They aren’t as controlled as torsion springs and tend to jerk and be unstable when opening and closing the door. These are usually used for smaller garage doors (8-9 feet wide).
Torsion springs are the more common type. The springs are mounted horizontally above the door opening. We will go over how to adjust both spring types.
Common Indications That You Need to Adjust the Springs
There are a few telltale symptoms that indicate you may need to adjust the tension on your springs. Some common issues include:
The door is hard to open or close
The door opens or closes too quickly
The door doesn’t fully open or close
The door opens and/or closes unevenly
Solutions to Each Problem
Each of these problems will either require you to increase or decrease the tension. If it is difficult to close, or opens too quickly, you need to decrease the tension. If the door is difficult to open, or closes too quickly, you should increase the tension. If the problem is that it closes or opens unevenly, you only need to adjust the tension on the side that the gap is on.
What You Need for Both Types of Springs
Two 18-24-inch steel rods or bars, which can be found at a hardware store
Safety equipment including gloves, safety glasses, and a hard hat
How to Adjust Torsion Springs
The door should be closed, and the opener unplugged (if you have an automatic door.) By closing the garage door, you are increasing tension, which also increases your risk of injury.
According to Home Repair Central, it is not recommended that you do this job by yourself because you could get seriously hurt. Have someone available to help you. You should also have all your tools in the garage with you when you begin to avoid having to go away from your work area.
Secure the garage door with a c-clamp just above the bottom roller on the track of the garage door.
Find the winding cone. This is located at the end of the spring. According to WikiHow, you will see four holes evenly spaced around it with two set screws there to lock the spring in place on the center shaft.
Loosen the two set screws by inserting the winding cone or steel rod into the bottom hole of the winding collar. Hold the cone in place with the steel rod and unscrew the screws.
Prepare to adjust the tension. Insert the two steel rods into two holes on the winding cone. Be sure you are not standing behind the springs and always be prepared to move quickly.
To decrease tension, (for difficult to close doors or doors that open too quickly, or don’t close completely), wind the cone down, in the OPPOSITE direction from how the garage door cable goes through the pulley.
To increase tension, (for difficult to open doors or doors that close too quickly), wind the cone up, the same way the garage door cable goes through the pulley.
Depending on how much it needs to be adjusted, you may have to repeat a few times before you get the correct tension.
Next you need to stretch the spring. Keeping the bottom-most winding bar in place and removing the second bar, you are going to measure out ¼ inch from the end of the winding cone (toward the center) and mark it with a piece of masking tape.
With the bar still in the bottom hole, pull gently upward on the bar and toward the center plate.
While doing this, continue holding the bar up and over and hit it gently with the other bar. Tap it toward the masking tape on the shaft.
Keep tapping the bar until you have stretched the spring to meet the mark.
Tighten the screws back up. Hold it in place with one bar and lock it in place by tightening the set screws. Be sure to replace the screws into their flats to make it sturdier.
If you have two springs, repeat steps for the other side. They must be adjusted evenly to be balanced.
You will want to test your garage door when you are finished
and lubricate it to keep it running as smoothly as possible.
How to Adjust Extension Springs
These are much easier to adjust and a lot less dangerous
than torsion springs because you don’t do it with the springs under tension.
Open the garage door and unplug and disconnect the door from the opener. The springs should then be released from tension.
Make sure the door doesn’t fall on you by securing the door with a c-clamp below the bottom roller.
Remove the spring hook from the track hanger. Use the wrench to remove the nut that is on the back side of the bracket.
Increase or decrease tension by moving the hook higher or lower.
Adjust one hole at a time to make sure you get the right tension. Also make sure they are being adjusted evenly.
Once it is in the correct place, replace the nut back and tighten the hook back into place.
Adjust the same way you would the other type. For example, decrease tension when the door isn’t closing fully or is difficult to close.
Test your door. Look for balance and function.
If this doesn’t get your desired results, repeat the steps
until you reach the correct tension.
It is very much possible to fix your springs on your own; however, be extremely cautious when adjusting torsion springs. After reading this article and doing additional research, if you still don’t fully understand or feel confident that you can adjust it, you may want to consider talking to a professional.