How To Adjust A Garage Door Spring?

How To Adjust A Garage Door Spring?

Is your door not opening fully? Or maybe it’s opening or closing too fast or too slow? In these cases, you may need a garage door spring adjustment.

But before you grab that wrench, let’s stop you there. You should know that adjusting torsion springs can be incredibly dangerous without proper handling or professional help.

Below, we outlined the steps our technicians take when adjusting torsion springs together with the safety precautions we observe.

When do you need to adjust your garage door spring?

Garage door spring problems may happen from time to time. It may lose its tension, sustain damages, or some other problems that affect your door’s operation.

But here’s the question, when do you need to adjust your garage door springs? In a nutshell, you should call for a professional garage door technician if you’re experiencing the following:
  • Difficulty opening or closing. If your door isn’t operating smoothly, it could mean that the spring has lost some of its tension or it’s out of balance. Both require professional attention to restore their functionality.
  • Closing/opening too fast or too slow. Is your garage door slamming to the floor or racing through the tracks? This is often a sign of torsion spring problems. With proper adjustments, these problems can be easily fixed.
  • Inconsistent reversing/closing. Garage doors that don’t open fully or close only halfway need spring adjustments.
  • Uneven door movement. If one side of your garage door pulls more than the other, you may have an imbalance torsion spring. The same goes if your door appears crooked when opening or closing.
  • Too much noise. If your garage door makes excessive noise during operation, its springs probably need some adjustment. It’s best to call a professional to do it for you to ensure your safety.
  • Seasonal changes. Humidity and temperature changes can impact the tension of your torsion spring. It can lose tension, which will require adjustments to ensure that your garage door will have an optimal operation. In this case, you should call for professional servicing as the season changes to ensure that your door is in tip-top condition.

Safety precautions for adjusting springs on your garage door

Before we get started with the steps to adjust a garage door spring, our team wants to warn you that torsion springs are loaded with high tension. If it’s not handled properly, it can cause serious – and even life-threatening – injuries.

This is why we highly discourage DIY garage door spring adjustment. If you need help in tweaking this part of your garage door, we suggest that you call us for professional servicing. During the adjustment, our technicians will observe these strict safety protocols:
  • Wear protective gear. We always wear gloves, goggles, and sturdy shoes to protect against possible accidents while working on your garage door springs. Skipping won’t only lead to additional garage door costs for repairs, but also a trip to the ER.
  • Work with a partner. Since torsion springs are wounded with high tension, it’s important to have an extra pair of hands working on this part. We always work with a partner to assist with the necessary tools and support.
  • Incremental adjustments. When it comes to adjusting torsion springs, slowly but surely is the name of the game. Adjusting too abruptly may cause the torsion spring to unravel and snap to the person nearby.
  • Following manufacturer guidelines. Although torsion springs have similar constructions, manufacturers may have specific instructions on troubleshooting.

How to adjust garage door torsion spring

Your garage door’s torsion spring plays a crucial role in its operation. If it’s not set properly, your door may malfunction, have poor balance, close too fast/too slow, and a slew of other problems. Whether you’re adjusting or replacing a garage door spring, extra caution is paramount.

In that case, our professional technicians will perform the following for a safe adjustment:

Step 1. Prepare the necessary tools

Before getting to work, we prepare all the essential tools for adjusting a garage door spring. Usually, these are protective wear, a 3/8-inch wrench, two winding bars, and vice grips.

It’s important to note that you should never improvise with random sticks or bars to use as winding bars. The ones we use are durable and made to withstand the tension of torsion springs.

Step 2. Prepare the door

First, we disconnect your door from the opener to prevent any accidental operation while we’re doing the adjustment.

Next, we put a vice grip on the shaft leaning up against the ceiling or the wall. This way, the drum and the cable won’t unwind as we adjust the torsion spring later on.

After that, we also placed another vice grip on the tracks to prevent the door from flying up and causing injuries. Overall, these are very small steps, but they can make a world of difference in case the torsion spring breaks or gets out of winding.

Step 3. Adjusting the spring

This is the most dangerous part of the job, so make sure you’re wearing proper protective wear and using the right tools.

Also, make sure that you’re not standing in front of the winding bars. So in case the torsion spring snaps, the bars won’t hit you directly. Instead, stand to one side for your safety.

Start by placing one of the winding bars on the bottom hole. After that, we release some tension on the spring by loosening the set screws a little bit.

From there, we make one quarter turn and place the second winding bar at the bottom, making sure it leans parallel to the wall in every turn.

When adjusting, we perform three quarter turns at a time. After that, we tighten the set screws back and remove the winding bars gently. Once we’re done with one side of the spring, we repeat it to the other side.

Step 4. Testing the door

After adjusting the torsion spring, we remove the vice grips from both the shaft and tracks. Next, we test the door manually by lifting it up and seeing if it slams on the floor or doesn’t hold in place.

To test, lift the door manually about a foot and a half from the floor. Release it and see if it slams loudly on the floor. If the door closes gently with a light bump on the floor, then the adjustment is successful.

Next, we open the halfway and if the adjustment is correct, it should hold in place. Otherwise, further tweaks will be needed, just one to three turns at a time.

Overall, adjusting the torsion spring of a garage door takes patience. It’s important to do it in increments instead of winding it up or down too much, which can lead to the spring to snap or break entirely.

Maintenance tips for garage door spring

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your garage door springs in tip-top condition. While you may need a garage door spring replacement at some point, the following tips can help extend the lifespan of your current spring:

  • Invest in a regular inspection. You shouldn’t wait for garage door problems before you call for a professional inspection. At least once a year, you should invest in a thorough inspection not just of the springs, but your entire garage door.
  • Lubricate the springs. You can use a silicone-based lubricant to reduce the friction on your garage door’s springs, rollers, hinges, and other moving parts. We always discourage the use of WD-40 and oil-based lubricants because they tend to attract debris and dirt.
  • Perform a balance check. Once in a while, you should do a balance check on your garage door. Simply open your door manually halfway and see if it stays in place. If not, then your door spring probably needs to be adjusted.
  • Inspect the safety cable. Aside from the torsion spring, you should also inspect the safety cables of your door. This prevents the torsion spring from flying off in case it breaks. If these safety cables are worn out or already old, consider getting a replacement.
  • Call for professional help. If you need garage door spring repair and adjustment, you should always call a professional to do it for you. As we’ve mentioned, torsion springs are highly dangerous, especially when adjusted by unskilled hands. To save yourself from the injury, call our team, and we’ll adjust the springs for you.

Let us fix all your garage door issues!

Whether you need adjustments for your springs or other garage door problems, our team at California Garage Door Repair is ready to help. We’ve been fixing garage doors since 2006 and you can count on our expertise wherever you are in Los Angeles or surrounding areas.

Ever since we started, we’ve helped thousands and thousands of residents with their garage door problems. Whatever make or model you have, our technicians can fix it for you. We also offer 24/7 emergency garage door repair since we know that these problems can happen when you least expect them.

Contact us today and let’s fix all your garage door problems! We guarantee the best value for money when you trust our expertise!