Garage Door Spring Guide

So, you have a broken garage door spring? This guide is a great place to start! We want to help you get your garage door working again. Lets start by finding out what type of springs are on your door. Then we can explain the necessary details and show where to get replacement springs. Please be safe and do not try to operate your garage door with broken springs. As a note, the information here is focused on common residential garage door springs, not commercial doors.

Of course, the easiest way to fix your broken spring is allowing our professionals to help. We are experienced and stand behind our work. Call our Modesto Office or Sonora Office to get a quote to fix your garage door spring!

Identifying Your Garage Door Spring

The first step is finding out what type of garage door spring system you have. The most common are torsion springs, but they could also be extension springs, one-piece extension springs, or Torque-master springs. There are different types, but the majority fall into these categories. Look at the pictures and descriptions below to find your setup.

Torsion Spring System:

Left and Right Garage Door Torsion Springs

A torsion system is the standard for garage door springs. A twisting torsion spring powers the door through a shaft, drum, and cable. The right springs will balance the door throughout the opening process. The size and weight of the garage door determines what springs are needed. Here at Barton Overhead Door, we stock over 30 different sizes of torsion springs. If a garage door has more than one spring, they may not be the same size. The easiest way to determine correct springs is by measuring the existing ones, explained below. An alternate way is to calculate the weight of the garage door and use that to find the size of springs needed.

A torsion spring is identified by the wire size, length, and inside diameter. Counting the length of twenty coils and comparing it to the chart below determines the wire size. The length is the amount of spring between the cones measured without any tension on the spring. Keep in mind that a spring in use is stretched by a few inches from the winding process. The inside diameter of the coil is measured in the broken spring and is generally 1 3/4" or 2".

Torsion springs are rated in cycles, or opening and closings of a garage door. Higher cycles mean longer life springs. This is determined mostly by the spring length and wire size, but also depends on the quality of the steel. The same springs can be rated different cycles depending on the size of the door. Generally, a normal spring is 10,000 cycles, with upgrades ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 cycles. The basic idea is that a bigger spring lasts longer.

One-Piece Door Extension Springs:

One-Piece Door Spring

If you have a one-piece door, then your garage door springs are one-piece door extension springs. The power comes from the one-piece door spring being stretched, or extended, as the door lowers. These come in two different styles, Holmes or standard. Holmes springs are manufactured for a certain type of one-piece door bracket and are common. They have a unique rectangular end as shown in the picture. These springs work within the one-piece door hardware to lift the door without any extra track or support. The Holmes springs are measured by a single letter, number, and modifier, for example P-332. This means it is wire size 3 at 32" long. This number is either on a tag or imprinted on the spring end. Standard one-piece door springs work in the same way as a Holmes one-piece door spring but have many different ends and a different way of measuring size. We would be happy to help find a replacement for these, as they can be hard to find.

Extension Springs:

Extension springs work with the same principle as a one-piece door extension spring, but are used on a sectional roll-up door. This setup uses a series of pulleys and cables to extend the spring when the door goes down, providing the power required to lift the door back up. It is recommended to replace parts in the pulley system also. As shown in the picture, extension springs are located near the ceiling above the garage door tracks.

Extension springs are measured by the length of the spring, height of the door, and weight of the door. For example, an extension spring might be a 210lb. 27X42, meaning the spring is 27" long uncompressed, stretches an additional 42", and a pair lifts 210 lbs. This spring would be for an 8' opening, as the pulley system allows the spring to travel 1/2 of the opening height and 42" times 2 is 8'. It is very important to get the correct weight of door using extension springs, and they generally sell in 10 lb. increments.

Torque-master Springs:

The Wayne-Dalton Torque-master is a unique system designed to make garage door springs safer and easier to install. However, it does make finding and installing replacement springs much harder. The Torque-master system operates on the same principle as a torsion spring. The spring is contained inside the tube, making it a very small diameter and wire size. These springs are measured much in the same way as a torsion spring, using the inside diameter, wire size, and length. We recommend converting a Torque-master system to a standard torsion spring for longer cycles, more reliable operation, and easier maintenance. Often, a sticker on the Torque-master tube lists the spring size for replacements.

Buying A New Spring

You have several different options to fix your broken garage door spring. We recommend letting a professional technician from Barton Overhead Door replace the broken garage door springs. This is the safest and easiest route. Another option is trying to do it yourself. We don't recommend this, as garage door springs are under extreme tension with the potential for serious injury. Do not do any work on your garage door springs without understanding what you are doing.

We offer a 10-year warranty on the springs and quick service, generally the same-day. Our technicians install upgraded springs designed to last longer than the original springs.

Notes and Disclaimers

In the case of two garage door springs, we almost always recommend replacing both of them even if only one is broken. This is not to sell more. These springs are likely rated for the same number of cycles, meaning the next one is probably going to break soon. It is easier to replace both at once and safer to minimize the risk of a broken spring. The only exceptions would be when you know that the other spring is new or rated to last much longer than the broken one.

While we have not experienced this ourselves, several online garage door parts stores have noted a rise in cheap steel springs. If you ever decide to do it yourself, take some time to source quality springs from a good manufacture.

Be sure to perform basic maintenance on your garage door to keep it running smoothly. Our Guide to Garage Door Maintenance can help!


Barton Overhead Door can fix any type of broken garage door spring. We wrote this guide to explain your options and help you understand more about your garage door springs. To check our latest prices, please visit our garage door spring repair page. For any of your garage door repair needs, contact our Modesto and Sonora offices. We would love to help answer any questions, just give us a call at (209) 571-3667 or fill out the form! Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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