How to Balance a Garage Door

Garage doors are meant to operate smoothly when they are in ideal balance, which is when they are neither too heavy nor too light and hang at the level you choose. Unfortunately, too many perfectly good garage doors deteriorate because their owners fail to do routine maintenance. It's critical to check your garage door balance on a regular basis and make any necessary adjustments. In order to perform properly, your garage door may require garage door spring replacement.

Please note that adjusting a garage door with torsion springs can be a dangerous undertaking, so if you have any concerns about doing so, call your local garage door installer. To achieve a fully balanced door, you may need to use a carpenter's level or anything similar.

Garage Door Balance Inspection

You must first determine which way your garage door is out of balance before making any adjustments. To do so, detach your garage door from the opener and assess how effectively the door hangs on its own. Run the door up and down a few times to make sure it moves freely in its track; you'll need to address any other issues before adjusting the balance.

Run your garage door up to about halfway in the tracks and then let go. Is it stationary, falling to the floor, or sliding upward? Your door is out of balance if it moves more than a little. Most doors fall down because their springs have lost tension, so that's what we'll talk about. For over-balanced garage doors, follow the same steps, but be sure to reposition the spring in the other direction.

An Extension Spring Door's Adjustment

The goal with an extension spring door is to remove all tension from the door before even reaching a spring. You can do this by fully opening the door and supporting it with a ladder. Place a clamp on the track on both sides to keep the door in place and open it as wide as you can without hitting the garage door opener's stop bolt.

Before loosening the springs itself, remove any safety cords from the springs. You might wish to replace them if they have a lot of give. Otherwise, just remove the spring from the garage door bracket opposite the hanger and place it in the hole closest to the hanger. Before testing, do this on all sides; spring sets should always be adjusted uniformly.

Now is an excellent moment to loosen the clamps and place the door on the ladder below. Move the door up and down again to check the balance once you're securely away from the springs. From here, you can determine whether you need to tweak the springs further or merely fine-tune them. Use the S-hooks at the end of the pulley cables on either side of the door to make smaller adjustments. If you still need extra tension, move the cable to a lower hole and tighten it.

Torsion Spring Door Adjustment

Because an extension spring door isn't under nearly as much tension as a torsion spring door, they're considerably easier and safer to install yourself. If you're not paying attention while working with torsion spring doors, you could injure yourself severely. You'll start by disconnecting the door and checking its balance, just like with an extension spring door, but that's where the similarities end. You'll begin by working with the door in the down position.

Place a set of c-clamps on the tracks slightly above the lowest pair of rollers for maximum safety. This will keep the door from lifting while you adjust it, which is something you'll desire. Climb a ladder and position yourself off to the side of the adjustment collar of the spring you're tweaking with a set of winding bars and an open-ended wrench sized for the adjustment screws.

Push one of your winding bars into the bottom of the adjustment collar's most vertical hole until it snaps into place. This will assist you keep the spring tension so you can remove the screws safely. While holding the first winding bar, loosen the set screws with a wrench; you'll notice increased tension as the screws are removed.

Bring the first winding bar up to a 90-degree angle with the garage door, which is a quarter turn, to adjust a door that won't remain open. To help you hold everything in place while you return the set screws to the holes and tighten them down snugly, place the second winding bar in the hole that is now facing the floor and vertical to the door.

Before removing the c-clamps and testing the door, remove the winding bars and repeat the process on the other torsion spring. It may take a few trips up the ladder, but resist the temptation to tighten your door too rapidly; this can result in damaged springs and serious harm. It'll only take a quarter turn at a time.

Little annoyances with your garage door don't have to be permanent, especially if you've learned how to adjust your door as it matures. Check it on a regular basis to see if it needs to be adjusted, but as long as your door is stable at half-mast, you should be fine.

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