Your garage door's torsion springs are designed to support the weight of the door as it opens and closes. These springs require occasional adjustment, especially if you're having trouble opening or closing your garage door. It's a job that's normally done by the professionals. However, it's possible to tackle it as a DIY job as long as you have the right tools and understand the risks involved.
Before you get started, there are a few things you want to do to prepare for the task at hand:
- Make sure the garage door is closed. You'll need it in the closed position in order to carry out your adjustments.
- Next, make sure the garage door opener is either unplugged at its electrical socket or turned off via circuit breaker.
- Disconnect the garage door opener trolley from the door itself by pulling the emergency release handle.
- Locate the bottom roller on each side of the garage door and place a C-clamp above each roller to lock the door in place.
Making the Adjustments
After you've properly prepared your garage door, it's time to adjust the torsion springs. You'll need a set of adjustment rods to adjust the torsion springs. Refrain from using screwdrivers or other long tools to make the adjustments, as these tools may slip out of the adjustment collar, resulting in serious injury.
It's also a good idea to note which direction the garage door pulley cable runs, as you'll have to turn the adjustment collar in the same direction to increase the door's opening force and in the opposite direction to decrease the closing force.
- Locate the adjustment collar and set screw on the torsion spring shaft. The adjustment collar will have several holes measuring 1/2-inch in diameter.
- Insert one of the adjustment rods into the closest hole that allows the rod to be inserted at a 90-degree angle. Keep a firm grip on the rod as you loosen the set screw.
- Insert another adjustment rod into the nearest hole on the adjustment collar and turn the collar in 1/4 increments until you've achieved the desired setting.
- After making your adjustments, keep a firm grip on the adjustment rod as you tighten the set screw. You can remove the adjustment rod after you've made sure the set screw is firmly in place.
Recommended Adjustment Intervals
How often you should adjust torsion springs relies on the garage door's operation itself. If the door becomes unusually hard or easy to open and close, then the torsion springs should be adjusted, but only after ruling out other causes of garage door malfunction.
If you find yourself readjusting your garage door's torsion springs several times in a single year, then you may need to replace those springs altogether. The average garage door torsion spring is designed to last for approximately 7 years of regular use. It's usually a good idea to have an experienced technician replace the torsion springs when the time comes.
Safety Tips to Consider
There's always a risk that comes with adjusting torsion springs on your own. To prevent the possibility of serious or fatal injury, it's important to always keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Never use an unstable platform, such as a stack of books, chairs or crates, when adjusting the torsion springs. Always use a stable step ladder when making your adjustments.
- Keep your head and body perpendicular to the torsion spring as its being adjusted. Doing so will help you avoid serious injury in the event the spring suddenly unravels.
- Always adjust both torsion springs at the same rate. Adjusting the springs at different rates may prevent the garage door from operating properly.
These tips can help you stay safe as you adjust your garage door springs. Alternatively, you can leave the work to the professionals who already have the tools and experience necessary.