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In-Depth Guide For Adjusting Garage Door Torsion Springs

If you're having trouble opening or keeping your garage door shut, then you may need to readjust the torsion springs. These springs help support the full weight of the garage door, which often weighs 250 pounds or more depending on the materials used in its construction. This makes it easier for you or your automatic door opener to open and close the door.

Torsion spring readjustment is a job commonly done by the pros, but you can handle it yourself with the proper safety tips and procedures.

How Often Should It Be Adjusted?

There's no word on how often you should adjust the torsion springs. As a rule of thumb, it should be done when and if it becomes unexpectedly hard or easy to open and close the garage door and only after other potential causes (such as lack of lubrication) have been ruled out.

If the torsion springs require constant adjustment, then there's a good chance that they should be replaced sooner rather than later. Most springs are designed to last for approximately 10,000 cycles or 7 years. If the torsion springs are near the end of their usable life, it's a good idea to have them replaced by a trained technician.

Adjusting the Torsion Springs

Before proceeding with the adjustment process, you'll want to unplug the garage door opener and disengage the trolley using the emergency release handle. This should be done while the garage door is closed.

  • While the garage door is closed, locate the bottom roller on the door and place a C clamp just above it. This will keep the garage door closed as you adjust the torsion spring.
  • Look for the adjustment collar on the torsion spring's shaft. You should see the set screw and several 1/2-inch diameter holes where the adjustment rods will be inserted
  • Insert one of the 18 to 24-inch long adjustment rods into the hole on the adjustment collar, with the rod positioned as close to a horizontal 90-degree angle as possible. With a firm grip on the adjustment rod, carefully loosen the set screw.
  • With the set screw loosened, carefully turn the collar in quarter increments to adjust the torsion spring. To increase the door's opening force, turn the collar in the same direction as the garage door cable runs over the pulley. To decrease the closing force, turn the collar in the opposite direction. If necessary, use two adjustment rods to maintain force on the torsion spring at all times.
  • After adjusting the torsion rod, carefully tighten the set screw while holding the adjustment rod firmly in place. Only when the set screw is firmly tightened in place should you remove the adjustment rod.

After you've finished with one side, perform the above steps on the remaining spring.

Safety Always Comes First

Safety should always be an important part of the adjustment process. Since torsion springs are always under constant tension, extreme care should be taken to avoid situations where serious or even fatal injury could occur.

  • Refrain from using books, chairs or other unstable platforms to perform the adjustment process. You should always use a sturdy step ladder when adjusting the torsion springs.
  • Always keep your head and body away from the torsion spring. This can help you avoid injury in case the adjustment bar slips out of the collar.
  • If you adjust one torsion spring, don't forget to adjust the other at the same rate. The springs could potentially malfunction and even break if they are set at different rates of tension.

These above tips can help you stay safe while you adjust your garage door's torsion springs. If you don't feel comfortable performing the adjustment on your own, you can always have a trained residential garage door repair person step in and handle the adjustment on your behalf.