One of the questions that many homeowners ask us, especially those who handle their own repairs, for the most part, is if it is possible to use garage door springs of different sizes? At first to someone who does not repair garage doors, it may seem like a rather peculiar question. Obviously having two different size springs is a bad idea or a recipe for disaster? However, like everything else in engineering, it depends on the garage door, its age, type and most of all, how it was designed.
To understand why having a garage door springs of the same size is important, it is imperative to understand the role these springs play in the lowering and raising of the door You need to know what functions these springs perform before deciding either way.
What Does a Torsion Spring Do?
The term torsion spring is used for a spring that applies a balancing weight to the torsion pole. The pole we refer to is attached to cable drums that tend to wind up the cable that’s hooked on the bottom of the door. This happens to be the standard spring system on a rollup garage door.
Manufacturers design their garage doors with powerful springs, that are strong enough to offset the weight of the door it is designed to hold. At times the garage door may be designed to take advantage of two different size springs which ensure optimal balance. Torsion springs are available in many different strengths and sizes, so finding one that exactly meets the manufacturer’s specifications isn’t difficult. However, if the door is not balanced correctly, it will either open too much or too little. If the springs aren’t exerting enough tension, then the door is way to heavy to open, and it will slam shut each time.
The best and only way to get your door perfectly balanced is to know the precise weight of the entire door. So, you will want to take into account the sections and all the other hardware within it. When you add everything up, you have the exact weight once done; you can then use two different size springs if it yields optimal balance.
If you are a homeowner and the technician used two different size springs, don’t be alarmed. What matters is that the garage door is balanced.
Understanding Spring Dimensions
Now if you have two springs whose dimensions are not the same, you can switch to a pair that has the same dimensions. However, we specified above that it is perfectly fine to have two unmatched springs, but only if the garage door is designed that way or the technician has a reason for using two different dimension springs. In 75% of cases, you’ll want both springs to be the same dimensions; that way, they both wear out evenly and can then be replaced at the same time. Interestingly, the same size springs from two different manufacturers are sometimes different. So, if you are going to purchase a pair, make sure it is from the same manufacturer.
We don’t advise that you switch the torsion springs on your own even if there are currently two unmatched ones. If the door is balanced, we recommend you leave it as it is or ask a professional to take a second look.
Choose a Longer Life Torsion Spring
The standard torsion spring can last around 10k cycles. Any spring that fails under 10k cycles is either low quality or was overly stressed. Plus we don’t recommend that you use a spring that’s not purchased in a sealed box with a warranty. Secondhand torsion springs are always a bad idea.
The other thing you need to bear in mind is that if you are going to increase the wire size of the springs, you also need to increase the length so that it has the same torque and lift. On heavier and narrower doors, the technician may need to increase the diameter inside so that there is enough space for the springs to fit.
The garage door’s torsion spring is one of the most important mechanisms for raising and lowering it. The springs also keep the door balanced. We don’t recommend that homeowners deviate from the default spring size, thickness and other factors. Search for springs via their part number to find the exact fit.
If your technician is using different sized springs, ask them why? You shouldn’t tamper with spring sizes without a good reason, needless to say; it can ruin your garage door if not done properly.