View Full Version : How to adjust tension of torsion springs on garage door?


xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 07:44 AM
I just added some 1.5" thick foam boards to my garage door for some insulation value, and I guess that was enough weight to affect the door. So it takes several tries to get the garage door open but it does finally go. It lifts about a foot off the ground and then just stops dead in its tracks. If I give it a little boost with my own hand and let go after that 1ft mark its fine. So if there is a way to add tension to those torsion springs, then I think I'll be all fixed up. But I am not familiar with this at all. Can someone please offer some assistence? I tried searching the forums but couldn't find an answer.

1969
11-08-2010, 08:04 AM
Where is the spring located? If above the door, to tighten the spring you must rotate the adjusting collar at the end of the spring. Unless you are familiar with this process you should get someone with the knowledge to do so as the tension on the spring if not handled safely can cause you some pain.

djjsr
11-08-2010, 08:05 AM
Yes, those springs can be adjusted. You say you're not familiar with it, so you should probably leave it to someone who knows what they are doing. It's a minor adjustment so it shouldn't cost much and it may keep you from getting hurt.

dirttracker18
11-08-2010, 08:35 AM
For sure hire somone. Those springs are dangerous if not treated properly. Up a ladder is not the place to learn/figure out how they operate, what is proper tension and how to adjust them.
On another note, I cannot see 1.5" foam adding enough weight to effect the door operation. Total weight of that foam cannot be much.
I would look to see if the foam boards are binding somewhere as the door goes up. More likely that two foam boards are contacting as the door makes the turn on the upper rails.

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks all. The spring is located above the door. I guess I will have to find someone. Where should I look to find someone? Yellow pages? Google? Go to sears? I'm pretty handy, but then again i realize there may be a risk with a high tension spring.

The foam board might have added 50 lbs to the door, and thats propably being generous. But there is no binding. The way it is installed in the lip of each of the garage door panels, there is no way for what I did to cause it to bind. This picture also shows the cable wind up reel. See:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs968.snc4/76129_824283317574_11312217_45863634_2966794_n.jpg

LEVE
11-08-2010, 08:55 AM
Is that a Wayne Dalton door? It looks like one. It looks like the two Wayne Dalton doors I installed/adjusted in my garage.

Yes that much weight can change the way the door open/closes. That spring provides the balance for up and down forces. The adjustment on this type of spring isn't hard. What your facing now is not really knowing where the tension is at... you need a starting point.

I'd consult the manufacture of the door and look at their manual. Go HERE (http://www.wayne-dalton.com/wayne-dalton_contact.html) for the Wayne Dalton manuals. Let me know if I can help.

BPJOOP93
11-08-2010, 08:59 AM
Please call someone who knows what their doing. those springs are very dangerous.
i used to be an installer i have heard too many horror stories about people getting hurt or killed.

930dreamer
11-08-2010, 08:59 AM
A co worker thought he could do it himself, he was wrong(hand crushed). After watching a door person do it you'll have a better idea.

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 09:11 AM
Is that a Wayne Dalton door? It looks like one. It looks like the two Wayne Dalton doors I installed/adjusted in my garage.

Yes that much weight can change the way the door open/closes. That spring provides the balance for up and down forces. The adjustment on this type of spring isn't hard. What your facing now is not really knowing where the tension is at... you need a starting point.

I'd consult the manufacture of the door and look at their manual. Go HERE (http://www.wayne-dalton.com/wayne-dalton_contact.html) for the Wayne Dalton manuals. Let me know if I can help.

Yes actually it is a Wayne Dalton door. Thanks for the post and for that link. I look on their website, read up on what I can and if I dont find a relative in law or someone who has messed with them before to help me, then I'll ask that manufacturer for recommendations of installers I can call to get someone ele to adjust it. I like having both my hands for the rest of my life. I find them usefull for day to day tasks :bounce:

PAToyota
11-08-2010, 11:15 AM
It is fairly straightforward, but a lot easier to demonstrate than to try to explain. Once you've seen it done, you can do it yourself.

kbs2244
11-08-2010, 11:30 AM
I have to disagree with all the paranoia about torsion springs.
After watching the monkeys that can hardly put a sentence together put in many doors I figured it can’t be that hard.

You do have to respect the forces involved, but a little deep reading will do the trick.

A good place to start is here:
They have a whole library of garage door tutorials.

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/

If you ever need parts you cannot find locally, these guys are good.

http://www.diygaragerepair.com/Garage-Door-Parts-s/350.htm

scott37300
11-08-2010, 11:42 AM
Yes it is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing so if you don't feel comfortable than by all means hire someone to do it.

That being said it also is like everything else in life, if you do your homework so you know what needs to be done and also realise the risks involved and treat it with respect it can be done safely. It's like using a chainsaw, very dangerous if you don't know what your doing but many people learn how to use one right and trim their own trees every year. Any situation in the garage can be very dangerous if you don't respect the safety aspect and do your homework. Working on a car can be just as dangerous as adjusting the tension spring if you don't know what your doing.

I have installed about 6 garage doors in the last 10 years or so. There are 2 different types of spring adjustments, one that you use two pipes to wind it and one that has a allen hole that you use a special bit you put in a drill and wind it. I can't tell from your picture what kind it is. The ones that wind with a drill are a lot safer than the older ones that wind with two pipes.

Get a copy of the installation manual from the manufacturer and read the instructions. If you understand the instructions and feel comfortable to do it then proceed with respect for the danger that the spring has. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR DON'T COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT THEN BY ALL MEANS CALL A PROFESSIONAL SO YOU DON'T GET HURT.

jstroede
11-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Please show a picture of where the spring is. It looks to have a winding mechanism installed, but I cannot tell for sure.

Yes, adding insulation will change the springing weight of a door. Extension springs come in 10 pound increments, while torsion springs may change in approximately 5 lb increments. Simply adding a quarter or half turn to your current spring may not be the answer. Yes, that will help it to get off the floor, but in the area that you said it works fine now, it will want to take off. How big of a door is this?

John

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 12:27 PM
I will have to take a closer look at it all tonight when i get home from work. It is a single 2-car garage door.

Thank you everybody for the responses and links.

Possum
11-08-2010, 02:00 PM
Looks like its the type of door has the torsion spring you can "wind" with a drill or such. You could definitely adjust that door with out a pro if you find the manual.

Falcon67
11-08-2010, 03:56 PM
On another note, I cannot see 1.5" foam adding enough weight to effect the door operation. Total weight of that foam cannot be much.

I put 2" pink hard foam on my 8 x 7 single door. Very light stuff. However, to get the door operating as before, I had to stretch the springs to the next retaining hole on both sides. I could easily feel the difference in weight even on that small a door. I imagine that when I do the 16x7 door it'll take maybe 1/4 turn on each side to balance the door. The instruction links posts give some good info on how to swag what might be required to rebalance the door.

pattenp
11-08-2010, 07:25 PM
If its a Wayne Dalton where the spring is inside the drive tube then there should be a dial indicator on one or both ends. There is a locking screw that you need to loosen and then with a wrench turn the adjustment screw to increase the dial indicator up to a higher tension. Example if the dial is set at 14 then increase to 16. Increase by two steps on first adjust and test door and adjust one step on each additional test until you get the balance correct. If you have two adjustment dials be sure to set them both to the same number.

z28toz06
11-08-2010, 07:43 PM
I bought 2 8x10 torsion sprung doors used. the guy that sold them to me was taking them off their original location. He took the top three sections off first. When he started removing the bottom panel, the panel, still sprung on the spring, came flying up, taking his nose almost completely off his face. the only thing holding it on was the skin flap on the left side of his nose. I was gonna beat him up on price, but after I learned this I said fvck, it. I only paid 800 for both doors, openers and all the hardware.

moral, don't mess with them unless you know what you're doing. and even then wear a football helmet!

scott37300
11-08-2010, 08:53 PM
I bought 2 8x10 torsion sprung doors used. the guy that sold them to me was taking them off their original location. He took the top three sections off first. When he started removing the bottom panel, the panel, still sprung on the spring, came flying up, taking his nose almost completely off his face. the only thing holding it on was the skin flap on the left side of his nose. I was gonna beat him up on price, but after I learned this I said fvck, it. I only paid 800 for both doors, openers and all the hardware.

moral, don't mess with them unless you know what you're doing. and even then wear a football helmet!

I agree with don't mess with them unless you know what you are doing OR ARE WILLING TO LEARN AND USE A LITTLE COMMON SENSE! Anybody that would take all the weight off the door before undoing the spring is lacking some common sense. What do you think is going to happen? It's just like changing struts and you have to relieve the coil spring, simple task to do if you treat the spring with respect and do things in the right order. Big mess if you just loosen up the nut and let things fly, kind of the same as your story! You have to be willing to do your homework when attempting to do something you have never done before. If you read the installation manual and use a little common sense there is no reason you can't adjust or take a door down.

The moral to this story is if you haven't done something before do you homework and think things threw and be safe.

DzNuts
11-08-2010, 09:05 PM
Yes it is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing so if you don't feel comfortable than by all means hire someone to do it.

That being said it also is like everything else in life, if you do your homework so you know what needs to be done and also realise the risks involved and treat it with respect it can be done safely. It's like using a chainsaw, very dangerous if you don't know what your doing but many people learn how to use one right and trim their own trees every year. Any situation in the garage can be very dangerous if you don't respect the safety aspect and do your homework. Working on a car can be just as dangerous as adjusting the tension spring if you don't know what your doing.

I have installed about 6 garage doors in the last 10 years or so. There are 2 different types of spring adjustments, one that you use two pipes to wind it and one that has a allen hole that you use a special bit you put in a drill and wind it. I can't tell from your picture what kind it is. The ones that wind with a drill are a lot safer than the older ones that wind with two pipes.

Get a copy of the installation manual from the manufacturer and read the instructions. If you understand the instructions and feel comfortable to do it then proceed with respect for the danger that the spring has. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR DON'T COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT THEN BY ALL MEANS CALL A PROFESSIONAL SO YOU DON'T GET HURT.

Well said Scott. I love all the hypocrites on here. 95% of this forum is filled with DIYers (including myself), and when it comes to someone else wanting to get their hands dirty, for one reason or another, all eveyone can say is 'its too dangerous for You to do'.
I say read up, do your homework on the subject, then try your hand at it if you feel comfortable. Don't let the negative nelly's turn you away from something they would try themselves if they were in your situation.
Good luck! And as always, be smart and safe about what you do.

KustomZ
11-08-2010, 09:21 PM
Just installed a Wayne Dalton door with the same type of adjusters and it was really easy to adjust. I find they are a little light on their recomendations for number of turns on the springs though. All you need is a wrench or a ratchet to adjust the springs.

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Boy am I glad I DIDNT call in a pro to do this job. I can't think of anything I have ever done to my house that was easier then this. I tried researching on the manufacturers website....I couldnt find the installation manual for what looked like mine. I kept finding the installation manual describing what user pattenp described above, but nothing that looked like mine. Upon visual inspection I could only find one thing that made sense to wrench on. So...I grabbed a 5/8 socket wrench, turned the knob picture below (next to the orange tag) and made the spring click 12 times (I guess 1-1.5 complete revolutions) and suddenly the door works perfectly again.

Thanks for the help and support all. But I have to say, I would have been ashamed, embarresed, and poorer if I had called someone to come do this for me. Some of you on here offered very good advice. For those of you who said to not try it yourself, well...I guess you arent the do-it-yourself type. I do realize though that I guess I am lucky with the type of garage door opener it is, It looks like mine is the safest compared to the other configurations.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e211/xtucking22s/IMG_20101108_195358.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e211/xtucking22s/IMG_20101108_195333.jpg

jhelrey
11-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Why not just turn up the torque on the garage door opener? Mine has a setting so I can turn it up or down.

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 09:28 PM
edit: nevermind

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 09:30 PM
Why not just turn up the torque on the garage door opener? Mine has a setting so I can turn it up or down.

It doesnt have an adjustment as far as I know :headscrat
And isnt that the job of the springs

1969
11-08-2010, 09:49 PM
"For those of you who said to not try it yourself, well...I guess you arent the do-it-yourself type. " I'm not sure that statement is accurate. I can only speak for myself and advising you that you might be better served the first time by getting someone familiar with the process was and is good advise. I will say that the wind up mechanism on your door is not what I envisioned as mine is more like a commercial product. I have not worked on that type , but I am somewhat familiar with the design. I trust you now have it fixed to your liking.

xtucking22s
11-08-2010, 09:55 PM
I'm just saying that everyone has the capacity to research, ask questions, learn and do something theirselfs. I am not saying someone should just go at something with no common sense or research. I research the hell out of things before i do anything. if my door wasnt as apparently easy as it was, i would have continued to research and read. That is why I am admiting that I guess I got lucky with the type of door mechanism I have, so it made the job super simple. But this only applied to me in this one case.

scott37300
11-08-2010, 10:13 PM
Glad you got it done :beer:

America was built by people doing things themselves and being self dependent. I agree there are some things that you need to know your limits so you don't end up hurting yourself but sometimes people are a little to quick to call someone else to do something they could do themselves.

mpire
11-08-2010, 10:31 PM
Your spring is different than the ones most people have I guess.

My spring you have to put a bar into it and turn. Keeping one bar in the spring adjuster at all times so it doesn't unwind and end up hurting the person adjusting it.

So it looks to be simpler to adjust yours than mine.

jstroede
11-08-2010, 11:05 PM
Yes, that is a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster spring. It works pretty decent and is a little more DIY friendly than standard torsion spring setup, but for an experienced installer they are a bit of a pain and somewhat expensive, and not nearly as versatile as standard torsion springs. Glad it worked out for you.

John

bobadame
11-08-2010, 11:10 PM
What is so hard about this? You need 2 round bars and a crescent wrench and at least half a brain.

jstroede
11-08-2010, 11:42 PM
It isn't that it is hard, but I will say I have talked to guys that have installed for 10 years that have had mishaps with springs. I deal with torsion springs quite often and am always very cognizant of what can happen it I am not careful. When they bite, it hurts.

John

mpire
11-09-2010, 01:34 AM
What is so hard about this? You need 2 round bars and a crescent wrench and at least half a brain.

The half a brain part is the challenge for most people.

KustomZ
11-09-2010, 10:32 AM
Did you adjust the springs the same number of turns on both sides?

xtucking22s
11-09-2010, 10:33 AM
Did you adjust the springs the same number of turns on both sides?

it only turned on one side. The other side wasnt turnable.... :headscrat