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Question DetailsAsked on 8/16/2016

How to get the right size springs for garage door

How do you know what size springs you should use for garage doors? Ours seem to break every year or year and a half...

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1 Answer


They are sized based on the weight of the door that they are balancing, and for extension (side) springs of course by the length. Should be replaced as a matched pair (same diameter and length and color code, which indicates the spring capacity) unless the unbroken one is quite new, and should not be wound fully tight - if have to be fully tight to balance the door weight they break much quicker and you should have stronger springs. Also, some cheapo springs are pretty thin - thicker metal will generally last longer because it does not have to (for a given length) be wound up as tight to carry the same load.

Also, when installed, if not tensioned the same amount AND matched, one will carry more load and break sooner.

Also, generally speaking, longer and larger diameter springs will last longer in a given application than smaller ones BUT they should not be kinking or buckling out of alignment in operation - if that is happening then a sleeve needs to be put in as a guide to keep them straight, or the diameter changed so the shaft keeps them straight.

Also - springs are rated by the number of cycles they can take - some cheapo imports have very low ratings, other springs last 20-30 years commonly. Not that big a $ difference between cheapo and good springs (commonly $25-50/pair), considering the bulk of the job is commonly in the labor charge. I would go with not less than 25,000 cycle rated ones - and 50,000 cycle rating is not much more expensive than that - maybe an additional 10% or so for total job cost, to gain an additional maybe 10 years of life. Of course, how often you use the door matters too - a half dozen or more times a day for Mom's Taxi and commuting, or several times a week like mine which serves as a workshop, not to park a car.

Sounds like if they are breaking every year or two that you need to find a new well-rated and reviewed Garage Door contractor (your Search the List category).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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