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, 2020 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 1
    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, 2020 at 13:31
  • 4
    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, 2020 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, 2020 at 14:03
  • 1
    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, 2020 at 18:05
  • 1
    That is one thing I know how to do but will not. I was on a job where the pro got beat up bad because of some mistook or failed part while winding the spring. I figure a trip to emergency will cost me a lot more then hiring a pro. If the pro does it it has a warranty and insurance.
    – Gil
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:55

Why hasn't anybody realized how much easier it is to wind the tension rod with two pipe wrenches.wind or unwind so easy if you know how a pipewrench works💪

  • My father did it that way and one didn't grab correctly. He then called the garage door company after picking up the ladder.
    – Gil
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:56
  • why are you asking a question here? ... this is a place to put an answer to the question
    – jsotola
    Jan 25, 2023 at 8:38
  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 25, 2023 at 8:39
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – FreeMan
    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:26
  • In answer to your question, probably because doing so is A) more dangerous than using a steel rod, since the spring winders are designed for that, and B) because not winding one of those springs correctly can be deadly.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 25, 2023 at 13:58

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