A couple of days ago we lost power and I had to open the garage door manually. The door did not stay up as it is supposed to. It stay half the way so I had to shove a piece of wood to keep it up and move my car. We hardly ever loose power here (California, USA) so I never bother to look at the springs. Now I was looking at it to plan adding torsion to the springs so the door would stay up and I noticed that the left spring looks unwound (comparing green arrows). It also does not feel hard like the right one. You can see it a bit wavy? I installed the springs myself about 4 years ago. I can easily rewind it but I'm concerned what would happen when I loosen up the bolts (two bolts on each spring pointed to by red arrows). I tried to move the left spring by inserting the handle bar but it is not loose. It wasn't hard doing the install but adding torsion is not without risk.

Any chance the springs are slipping from the cups (ends)?



  • You might also want to look carefully for any evidence of a possible break. And you really should check the unpowered operation of your door once or twice a year, as well as checking the opener safety mechanisms twice a year.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 26 '20 at 13:52

The paint marks are used as a general guide to how tightly the spring is wound. In this case it's clear that the right spring is wound more tightly than the left one. Yes, it's possible that the left one has slipped or they were not evenly wound to start with.

The two springs should be tensioned the same and this is done by counting the turns as you wind them. The tension should be set so that the door is roughly "neutral". By that I mean that it can be moved up and down with minimal force from either the opener or from a manual operator if the opener is disconnected. At the top it should stay up when properly tensioned.

You are correct, however, that tensioning these springs can be very dangerous!! But using proper tools and methods and wearing safety glasses you can minimize the danger of personal injury.

Using the winding tool that fits snugly into the sockets on the hub, you take the tension off the setting bolt and then loosen it. Now using one of the tools (you will need two of them) you can wind or unwind it from about 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. Repeat until you have tightened to the desired tension or loosened it fully. DO NOT RELEASE THE HUB AND LET IT SPIN!! That is VERY dangerous!

If you find you are unable to do this yourself safely, please call a qualified overhead door service tech.

  • Re-emphasizing how dangerous this is. Do not use any old tools you have lying around. Buy proper garage door spring tensioner rods. People have died from trying to use their largest screwdriver as a spring tensioner bars, only to have it break in half and suddenly become impaled by the projectile. Also, make sure you watch plenty of videos on how to do this safely before attempting it. Nov 26 '20 at 13:31
  • 3
    I am an AVID DIYer, but garage door springs are one thing I will NOT mess around with. I highly advise calling a local repair shop.
    – Evil Elf
    Nov 26 '20 at 13:33
  • 3/8" ratchet extensions work perfectly, as do long 3/8" carriage bolts. Just be sure they're inserted fully and you have a good grip.
    – isherwood
    Nov 26 '20 at 14:03
  • I'm with @EvilElf This is one of those times where the potential for disaster outweighs any cost savings by DIY. 99% of the time, everything will be fine. But that 1% of the time you make a mistake, it can be fatal. Call a professional. Nov 26 '20 at 18:05
  • I can guarantee you they were wound correctly (both). I'm going to have to release the left spring (I still have the rods that came with them for installation) and check if the spring is loose from the cups. Yeah.... this is not going to be fun but the pros around here charge way too much and the chances of this spring being defective and exploding in my face is really miniscule. I'm pretty disciplined and I remember all those videos I watched 4yr ago to learn to install them. It only took an hour to change them. The fun part is when you get to the end of the tensioning ... scary. Thanks.
    – Rodo
    Nov 26 '20 at 18:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.