How To Measure Broken Torsion Springs On A Garage Door

by Grace Motley

You know you've probably broken a torsion spring on your garage door when you have to call for some help to get the door open. Torsion springs are mounted on anchor brackets and help to open and close your garage door. The springs can snap over time as they wear down from use. You'll need to measure the length of the spring, inside diameter of the coils, and the thickness of the wire to make sure you buy acceptable replacement springs.  Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to measure a broken spring on your own.

Step One:

Gather the tools you'll need:

  • Step ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Portable work lights

Step Two:

Disconnect the power by unplugging the automatic door opener if you have one. You'll also want to pull open the operator emergency release latch on the door to provide an extra measure of safety that the door won't open while you are working around it.

Step Three:

Remove any tension left in the spring to prevent it from suddenly twisting around the bar and potentially causing injury to your fingers and hands. You can remove the tension by loosing the set bolts at the ends of the springs with a wrench.

Step Four:

Measure the length of the broken spring. You do this by measuring each broken end one at a time. Measure the shortest end first and pinch your finger on the measuring tape where that spring ends. Slide your finger and tape over onto the longer broken end and spread the measuring tape to the far end of the spring. This should give you the total length of the spring you need to replace.

Step Five:

Determine the inside diameter of the spring. This can normally be done very easily by checking the cones on both ends of the spring – one is a stationary cone and the other is a winding cone. Imprinted on the cones is the diameter of the spring. Check both cones to make sure they list the same diameter size.

Step Six:

You'll need to measure the wire size. This is done by placing the measuring tape against the spring and counting out ten coils. For example, the length of ten coils might be two and a half inches long. Then count out the length of twenty coils and divide by two. You should get the same measurement as the ten coil length if you did the measuring correctly. Divide the measurements you took by the coil lengths to determine the wire size (e.g., 2.5" divided by 10 = 0.25).

Step Seven:

Go buy a comparable replacement spring to replace the one you've removed.

Measuring a broken spring isn't that hard; but if you feel you can't do it right, call a professional garage door repair service to make sure everything is done correctly and you can start using your garage again right away.