How to test your Springs to make sure they are Balanced


The most important things that can be done for your garage door will be periodically check the balance of your respective garage door. This will likely tell you if the door is now ‘heavy’ over time, which can little by little destroy your current opener. It will tell you when there are virtually any obvious scrubbing points inside the door. In any other case, the garage doors opener may just perform overtime and you will not know before the opener stops working!

For the purpose of this exercise it is important to make sure that your garage floor is clear of debris (boxes, cars, lawn-mowers, etc.) around the door itself, allowing you to move freely across the length of the door. We are also assuming that you have an opener attached to your garage door that opens and closes it because if you don’t the only thing that will suffer as a result of a ‘heavy’ door will be your sore back!

When I talk about the garage door being balanced, what I mean is: how well are your springs counterbalancing the weight of the garage door? If they are old and worn-out the door will be heavier than if the springs were working perfectly. The problem with an automatic opener is that it will often times still open and close the door, even though the springs are bad and the door is heavy. This can cause the opener to strain/overwork and some of the plastic parts will strip or break.

That is why it is important to check the balance once per year, so that when the springs do start to go bad- you can have a professional come out and replace them. This will increase the life of your garage door opener.

So, let’s start to make sure that you garage springs are balanced:

  1. Pull the red-handled emergency release cord which should be hanging down 1-2 feet from the closed garage door. This cord will DISCONNECT the garage door from the opener so that we can move it by hand. This is the red cord you would use if you had no power or the opener is malfunctioning and you needed to open the garage door.
  2. Raise and lower the door by hand a few times to see if there is any excess friction (you can usually tell). Listen for any squeaking or squawking, which could indicate that your hinges need to be lubricated (also once per year).N
  3. Next, with the door all the way down, raise it up to until the bottom is up to about knee-high. What we are looking for is the second roller from the top to be in the radius of the track. This is the curved part of the tracks as they transfer from vertical to horizontal. Most of the door’s weight is wanting to come down with gravity, but if the springs are good they will keep the door’s weight from sliding down to the ground.
  4. If the springs are balancing the door, it should hover about knee-high from the ground by itself. It may slide down just a little bit, but not too much. If the door is really heavy or threatens to slam down- you need new springs pronto! Otherwise if your opener is not sensitive enough to stop on its own (the opener’s only way to tell you something is wrong) it will destroy itself trying to open and close your garage door.
  5. Finally, make sure you re-engage your garage door to the opener. If you are not sure how to do this, refer to your opener manual. You can also find a description with pictures (and video coming soon) at my website.

Typically, torsion springs can last anywhere from 5-15 years depending on their quality. Extension springs don’t usually last as long, not to mention most do not have safety cables.

To be safe and lower risks, it is best to hire a professional garage door specialist.  The specialist can determine and address the problems of your garage door and propose a feasible solution.  Feel free to contact us any time for help.  Call Yuval at (215) 805-9209 or visit – don’t forget our Awesome Amazon Local Deal!  Garage adjustment, reconditioning + safety inspection. and for another $34 we will replace up to 8 rollers!  Mention Code: Secure4Sure10 to get another 10% off your order!


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