September 28, 2020
It’s incredibly important to make sure your garage door stays up and running. Increasing the cycle life of your garage door torsion spring is a valuable way to ensure your garage door continues to function longer. The standard torsion spring lasts approximately 10,000 open and close cycles, which is about 7 years of everyday use. Increasing the cycle life of your torsion spring will not only limit the possibility of injury or damage but prevent you from having to replace it sooner than expected. In this article, we will go over the different variables that make up the cycle life of a garage door torsion spring. Upgrading to a longer-life torsion spring will change the dimensions of the spring employed. We at Garage Parts Plus will do our best to make sure your torsion spring fits perfectly and last for years to come.
What is IPPT and Why is it Important?
To start off, you need to understand the importance of IPPT(Inch Pounds Per Turn). IPPT is the torque/power delivered to the shaft for each turn of the torsion spring. This, along with your garage door opener, will determine how strongly or weakly your garage door opens and closes. When replacing or substituting your torsion spring you need to make sure the replacement spring has an identical IPPT to the one you currently have, or as close to it as possible. If the IPPT is too strong or weak it could lead to potential damage, injury, or premature replacement of your torsion spring. You must also make sure that the new spring has at least as many Maximum Turns as the original spring. A spring’s IPPT is determined by dividing the spring’s constant (change in torque required to twist the spring through an angle of 1 radian (approx. 57.3 degrees)) by the number of active coils. In order to upgrade the lifecycle of your torsion spring while maintaining the same IPPT, we must consider how the wire gauge, inner diameter, and coil-to-coil length will need to be adjusted.
Upgrading Spring Dimensions
The variable that affects your torsion spring’s cycle life the most is its wire gauge or thickness. A higher wire gauge means a thicker wire and an overall stronger spring. Increasing the wire gauge will increase the durability of the spring causing it to last longer. Although increasing the wire gauge will make your spring stronger, there is more to upgrading your torsion spring than increasing wire gauge. That is because, as previously stated, we need to keep the required IPPT in mind. In order to do this, we need to think about the spring’s coil-to-coil length when switching to a higher wire gauge. When a spring’s wire gauge is increased the overall length of the spring must also be increased to have the same IPPT. For garage doors with a long enough shaft, these should be the only adjustments needed to increase the torsion spring’s cycle life, but for garage doors with limited shaft length, another adjustment may be needed for the inner diameter. Increasing the inner diameter of the spring will allow you to increase the spring's wire gauge but still be able to fit the spring on the shaft. In other words, increasing the inner diameter will shorten the length of the spring. Having a spring that fits properly on your garage door is extremely important, so we must be careful not to install a spring that is too long or too wide.
Below is a chart that shows how a garage door torsion spring’s cycle life can be upgraded by adjusting its wire gauge, inner diameter, and length while maintaining the same IPPT and Maximum Turns.
If your goal is to increase the cycle life of your garage door torsion spring, DURA-LIFT Door Hardware has everything you need. The new or replacement spring may fit differently than your original spring. However, if the wire gauge, inner diameter, and coil-to-coil length are adjusted to the same IPPT as the original spring (or close to it), then your garage door should give you many years of dependable service.
September 28, 2020
September 28, 2020
When your torsion springs break, you're left unable to open and close your garage door, which can be a big inconvenience to you and your family. Fixing your broken garage door springs by yourself can save you the time and money of waiting for a professional.
Torsion springs should be replaced with springs of the same size and specifications as the existing ones. Do not try to overcompensate with a different wire gauge or length. Learn how to select the right torsion springs for your door here.
Once you have your new torsion springs, you're ready to install them. We recommend hiring a professional, but if you feel comfortable doing so by yourself, be sure to follow all instructions carefully, take all safety precautions, and use proper tools. We are not responsible for any accidents, injuries, or damage that may result from this process.
Learn how to install your new torsion springs with our step-by-step guide below, and check out our video tutorial for further instruction.
You will need:
- DURA-LIFT torsion springs
- 2x winding rods
- Socket wrench
Step 1: Disengage the opener
Disengage your garage door opener to ensure that the door won't open by itself during installation.
Step 2: Unwind set screws and loosen old torsion springs
Using the winding rods, unwind the torsion spring until you can easily access the set screws. Use a socket wrench to loosen the set screws enough so that they are no longer gripping the torsion spring.
Continue unwinding the the torsion spring quarter turn by quarter turn using the winding rods. Repeat until the spring is completely unwound and no longer has any tension.
Step 3: Unbolt stationary cones from bracket
Once both springs are unwound, use a drill to unbolt the stationary cone of each spring from the center bracket.
Step 4: Loosen cable drums from rod
Use a wrench to loosen the set screws on each cable drum. Disconnect the cable from the drum at the top of the door and the bracket at the bottom of the door.
Slide the drum off of the torsion bar and set to the side. Remove the old springs from the torsion bar by sliding the bar slightly out of the bearing plate. Repeat on each side.
Step 5: Slide new torsion springs onto the torsion bar
Slide each torsion spring onto the torsion bar the same way you removed the old springs, with the stationary cone toward the center.
Then, slide the drums back onto the torsion bar and place the bar back into the end bearing plate. Use a wrench to tighten the screws on each drum.
Step 6: Bolt springs together at center plate
Use a drill to bolt the stationary cones of each torsion spring to the center plate.
Step 7: Tighten the springs to the torsion bar
Use the winding rods to tighten the springs to the torsion bar. Torsion springs should be wound four quarter turns per foot of door height, plus an extra two turns.
For example, if your garage door is 7 feet tall, you would wind each torsion spring 30 quarter turns (7 feet x 4 quarter turns plus two extra turns)
Step 8: Tighten screws on torsion springs and test tension
Once you're done winding your springs, keep a winding rod resting on the garage door header and tighten the set screws on the spring with a socket wrench.
Test the tension of your door to make sure that the springs have been wound the correct number of times. This is important in ensuring that your garage door can open and close properly.
To do this, lift the door to the halfway position. If the door moves up on its own, the torsion springs have been wound too much. In this case, unwind each spring one or two quarter turns and test again.
If the door moves down on its own, the springs haven't been wound enough times. In this case, wind each spring one or two more quarter turns and test again.
When the springs are wound correctly, the door will balance in the halfway open position, as shown below.
Once the door is balanced, reengage the operator and test the door the make sure that it opens and closes properly.
Congratulations! You have successfully replaced your garage door torsion springs. If you need further assistance, contact us with any questions or concerns. Be sure to check out our other tutorials for more garage door resources.
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