I had a spring break on my extension spring garage door. I'm trying
to figure out what weight replacement spring to get without being able
to fully weigh it. Basically, I'm afraid to take the other spring off
and lower it, because I don't think I can pull it back up on my own,
and I want to order the parts today.
The springs that were on there were 180#. However, they were
stretched about 50% more than their max stretch rating. So I am
assuming they were slightly underpowered. OR - is it possible that
springs would stretch out that much prior to breaking if they were
very old? I have no idea what the age is, but the tags on them seemed
fairly rusty and I think they are pretty old.
I used an online calculator, which told me a non insulated steel door
that is 16' X 7' is about 220lbs usually. This is 40# more than the
springs that were present. I'm wondering if the reason the springs
were so stretched out is that they were underpowered. I was
considering going up 10lbs to a 190# spring with the assumption that
that was the problem. Will that be an issue if the door actually
weighs 180? Wouldn't I be able to adjust the heavier springs (by
increasing the pull cable distance) so that 190 would work on a 180
door? Or do you recommend sticking with 180# springs?
The distance the springs stretch is determined by the length of the
door movement, not the weight of the door. No matter how heavy the
door, it still moves over exactly the same distance from fully open to
Do you know if the door was properly balanced before the spring broke,
ie if it was about mid way and you let go of it did it tend to stay
put, or did it move one way or the other? If it was balanced and the
springs were 180, then I'd go with that. Personally, I wouldn't
order new ones without weighing the door. Also, I'd try to find them
locally so that if you need to swap them, you can do it easily with no
delay. HD has them.
When I replaced mine, I found the ones from HD to be undersized
relative to my measured weight using a bathroom scale. I had to go 2
sizes higher to get the door balanced. So, I'd say if in doubt, a
size higher is probably better.
Also, I don't know why, but the new ones are much smaller diameter
than the old ones, I'd say better than 2X difference. Don't know if
that has any implication for longevity. Also make sure you have
safety cables installed. They came with my springs.
Yes, it seemed fairly balanced before, but my feeling is that the
previous owner had tightened the tension on the spring by shortening
the length of the pull cable. I assumed that might cause the springs
to pull harder, but maybe not.
I checked all the hardware stores around me, and the highest rated
extension springs I could find were 160#. So, I had to order online.
Right now my order is for 190#, so I guess I'm going to stick with
that for now. I probably should try to weigh it, but I'm also pretty
sure I'm close since the previous springs were 180 and working (tho
probably tightened more than they should have been).
All the issues about door weight aside....
When you actually replace the spring(s), make damn sure that the door CANNOT
move while you are working on it. Several sets of Vice-Grips or C-Clamps on
the track is one way to do it. I found out the hard way when I was a kid. I
didn't break or have anyrhing removed, but there sure was alot of blood.
OK guys, the perfectionist in me took over and I decided to weigh it.
Fortunately, I was roughly correct on the weight so I did not kill
myself. The door turns out to be 165lbs, although there is probably a
margin of error since the scale was not completely flat. I think its
safe to say the 180# springs that were already on there were correct.
Though now I'm wondering if I should even drop down to 170. Safest is
probably to go with what was there - it worked for many years from
what I can tell.
And yea, I've checked Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace with no luck.
Highest weight any of them have around me is 160#. Just shy of my
By the way, I totally agree with securing everything while the door is
up. I've replaced the pull cables on this door before, so I know the
drill. I make sure I get it completely flat on the top and then throw
2 or 3 C-clamps on each side.
I too have the same problems when I replaced the springs in my old house. The
springs were color coded. I replaced heavier springs. I found that when the
door moves upward, toward the end of travel it will spring back and hit the
hanger track and bounce forward. I have to replace the original color coded
springs. Further, it's almost impossible to adjust the doors that it will remain
stationary at three feet from the garage floor or remain fully open (upward). I
would not change the springs' size unless it was original wrongly size.
I believe the end of the spring is color coded, replace it with the same color.
To add further safety insurance, I include a ladder at the center of the garage
door which I am working.
BTW, I moved and now sourcing for a complete garage door hardware's and track
system less door and electrical openers. No one will sell me locally, so I went
to the Internet and found Amarr and Holmes. I called them. Neither will sell me
unless I buy their doors from a local garage door company. A local garage door
companies, charge more than $800 for a 18' aluminum door, install complete
including hauling all the garbage. For wooden door $1,600.
I am an experienced DIY home owner and had made and replace a wooden garage door
(my old house in the Midwest). It cost me less than $20 for each panel (four
panels for each door. Made from pine and hardboard, excluding hinges, paints and
router bit, to make sure it look exactly the door I replaced). Anyone can help
to find a supplier that will sell me a double track torsion spring, complete
track and hardware in San Francisco or internet?
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