Garage Doors: How to Adjust for Balance

Aug 12


Andrew Stratton

Andrew Stratton

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Single stall garage doors are fairly simple to maintain. When dealing with those that are larger and heavier (generally two-stall), its best to hire a professional to conduct the adjustment. Balance testing is easy to conduct and will tell you a great deal about future needs.

Testing for the proper balance of a garage door is an important aspect of house maintenance for safety reasons. Those that are off-balance result in extra loads for the opener and can cause failure over time. There is a simple test that can be completed by homeowners to ensure the relationship between the weight and the springs used to counter that weight is intact.

The Test

To execute the balance test,Garage Doors: How to Adjust for Balance Articles close the garage door and separate the automatic opener so it remains in its current position. From the center, lift it halfway and release. Make sure to grab the door in case of an unexpected movement. If it continues to rise, this indicates springs that have too much tension. On the other hand, if it drops to a lower point, the tension on the spring is weak. Ideally, it’s best to have little movement to ensure a proper balance.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are commonly found on two-stall garages. They run evenly along the header and were created to balance heavy loads. Given the weight they must support, torsion springs weaken after a few thousand cycles and must be replaced. Restoring them is not an easy job and should be handled by professionals. Since torsion springs hold hundreds of pounds of stored energy, they must be set properly to avoid safety issues.

Extension Springs

Extension springs look like a large Slinky that is used to hold lightweight objects. Therefore they are much easier to adjust than torsion springs. The average homeowner should be able to set the springs in a short period of time. The extension spring is pulled on when closed. Extension springs run parallel along the track and connect to a pulley system at the end. The adjustment is simple; when open, reposition the hooks. Although these are lightweight and easy to adjust, it’s always important to make safety your top priority.

The Third Option

In some instances, neither spring is enough to support the weight. The third option is to add a brace. This will support an additional 10-15 pounds. Braces reduce the flexibility, especially on wider objects. They also provide a grab location for physical actions.

While the balance test is easy to complete, for those heavier objects with torsion springs, it’s safer to have a professional adjust the springs. Extension springs are much better for those that are lightweight. If neither is working for your needs, braces can greatly assist. This area of the house can be simple to maintain given the correct knowledge and experience. When conducting these projects, always remember that safety comes first.