How Do I Know What Garage Door Spring to Buy?

The springs are undeniably the unsung heroes of your garage door. In essence, they do all the heavy lifting while the garage door ‘opener’ functions as a regulator and subsequently facilitating smooth and pleasant downward or upward motion. While these components are remarkably durable and rugged, even the toughest of them will wear out and require replacement after continual usage over the years. 

If you want to replace your garage door springs, you must understand the basics that go into getting the right spring(s). So, how do you know what garage door spring to purchase? In this excerpt, you will discover how to assess and determine the right spring(s) for your garage door. Let’s get started.

About Garage Door Springs

garage door springs

In essence, there are two types of garage door springs, mainly extension springs and torsion springs. Each of them operates distinctly, and it is, therefore, necessary that you understand their mechanisms of operation. 
This is so that you can adequately determine whether or not a garage door spring needs replacement or not and how to identify the specific spring you need to buy.

  • Torsion springs:these are stiff springs usually mounted to the metal rod that runs parallel to the garage door, just directly above its opening. Torsion springs basically sit against the wall over the door. They store energy through tightly coiling as the garage door opens and closes. When you close the door, these springs save enough energy; and when you want to open the garage door, the springs facilitate it by uncoiling and subsequently releasing the energy.
  • Extension Springs:these are light-weight, long springs that run perpendicular to the garage door. They are usually mounted above the door tracks’ horizontal portions. Extension springs are located between these tracks and your garage ceiling. Often, these springs store enough energy through extending as the door closes and subsequently releasing it as the door opens.


right garage door spring

Now that you understand what garage door is and how they function, you can now identify when they are not working correctly and need replacement. If you want to replace your garage door spring, getting the correct extension or torsion spring is an essential thing.

Luckily, this guide has everything you need to get the correct one. These guidelines outline four necessary steps that will help you know what garage door spring to buy, every time…as quickly as saying 1…2…3!


1. Determine the wind direction

Check out the garage door springs from inside your garage. Usually, most garage doors will feature two springs, which are separated by a divider situated at the door’s midpoint mainly: the left and right springs.

The spring whose endpoints in a clockwise direction is a left-wound spring while that whose endpoint in anticlockwise direction is a right wound.


2. Measure the wire size

Measure the length of ten or twenty coils of the particular spring, which needs replacement (in inches), and compare this measurement to wire size measurement charts to establish the correct size of the wire.


3. Measure the Overall length and (IOD) inside diameter of the spring

Measure the IOD of the springs to the nearest 1/6 inch and also measure the spring’s overall length to the nearest ¼ inch.

4. Identify the color-code of the spring

Although measuring the various dimensions of the spring will surely help you buy the right spring, you can use another easier process-check it’s color-code. Are springs color-coded? Yes. Ideally, garage door springs boast a distinct color strip on them. 

Therefore, all you need to identify the right spring is to locate this stripe and convey it to the garage door supplier. This color will give them everything they need to identify the spring.



For virtually everyone who owns a garage door, springs are an essential part of your everyday life. Several times every day, you activate your garage door wither as you head to and from your workplace, shopping, or to school.

Therefore, the mechanical components which enable your garage door are, of course, utilized continually. Consequently, your garage door springs will inevitably wear out with time eventually. 

With every activation, the garage door spring coils are pulled out and subsequently wound up. And although the springs are designed to endure this sort of activity, the effects of continual movement eventually take their tool. Ultimately, this makes it necessary that you change or adjust your springs.


How to Determine the Wind Direction of a Garage Torsion Spring:

Just before you set out to buy a garage door spring, you need to know the exact direction in which the spring is wound. This way, you will effectively decide on whether you should replace a right-wound spring or left-wound spring, or even both.

Typically, in comparison to all the necessary details, you must compile before buying your garage door spring, this step is by far the easiest. Essentially, the order of your garage door springs from right to left will tell you all that you should know. If you check the inside of your garage door, you will probably see two distinct springs along the opposite sides of the bar, which hangs above the door.

Usually, these two springs are separated by an exclusive stationary cone. While this might initially seem confusing, the doors left-wound spring is situated to the cone’s right while the subsequent right-wound one is located on the left side. This rule is only inapplicable if your garage door utilizes a reverse spring system.

So, how do you tell if a garage door spring is a left or a right spring on your garage door: check where the end of the spring is pointing and identify the wind direction. If its endpoints in a clockwise direction, then it is a left-wound spring and vice versa.

You need to get the wind direction of the spring right since it is vital to how the garage door operates. Ideally, for the door to raise or lower, every spring should turn in a particular direction. If you buy a wrong-turning spring, your garage door will malfunction.


How to Determine the Wire Size on your garage door Springs

Typically, once you measure your garage door spring, you need not just take a measuring tape and write down the length from side to side. Essentially, you should identify the wire size also.

While this may appear tricky to understand, measuring the size of the wire is basically as simple as running your tape measure along the distinct distance between 10 and 20 coils. These two measurements should then be compared to a standard wire size chart.

The internet is a good source of these comparison charts, which you can utilize to resolve the actual size of the wire as per your initial measurements. In case your spring is broken, you can still find about ten coils which are well spaced and can yield accurate measurements.


How to Measure the overall length and Inside-Diameter (ID) of a spring

One vital component you need to know before going to shop for a garage door spring is the diameter of that spring that needs replacement. Usually, this is an easy process since most garage doors have this measurement engraved on them.
When you look at the stationary or winding cone, you may spot a number such as 2.0 or 1.75. If you see the former, this means that the spring has a 2-inch diameter.

Nonetheless, if you see no such figure, you will have to do the measurement yourself. With that spring positioned on a flat place, run a measuring tape or ruler along the spring’s inside diameter. That measurement is the spring’s diameter.

The other important measurement of your garage spring is its overall length. Usually, the length of the spring is vital to its overall winding capacity. For instance, if your garage door is large, getting a small garage door spring will obviously not provide the necessary lowering and lifting power.

How to Determine the Color Code of Your spring:

Garage door springs are color-coded. The color code is a system that helps in the correct identification of the spring for replacement and repair purposes. Ideally, it does not have any impact on how the garage door functions and is simply a technical identification system.

It is purposed to help the professionals servicing your garage door to determine the weight and size of the spring. 
With extension springs, in particular, the color-coding system is designed to assist the professionals servicing your garage door effectively determine the overall lifting power the springs offer. This is vital since doors have varying weights, and for them to function correctly, they need to have the appropriate and necessary lifting power.


Below is the lifting power/color correlation:

  • Tan color: 100 lbs.
  • White color: 110 lbs.
  • Green color: 120 lbs.
  • Yellow color: 130 lbs.
  • Blue color: 140 lbs
  • Red color: 150 lbs
  • Brown color: 160 lbs
  • Orange color: 170 lbs
  • Gold color: 180 lbs
  • Light blue color: 190 lbs


This color sequence subsequently repeats itself with 200 representing tan and 220 representing the green, and so on.
As for the torsion springs, this system applies a little differently. With torsion springs, the color code demonstrated whether the spring is a ‘right wind’ or a ‘left wind.’ Usually, black represents a right-wind while the red color represents a left-wind garage door spring. 

Besides this, the color code system for torsion springs is also purposed to help technicians determine the gauge or thickness of the wire. As such, the technician servicing your garage door can quickly establish the spring’s gauge without proceeding to measure it.

What’s more, these springs also feature a distinct straight line that goes across it. This line helps the technicians to effectively determine the spring’s overall state. In essence, this unique color system can help the technicians working on your garage door effectively establish how tightly wound a garage door spring is.

How do you adjust the tension on a garage door spring?

As earlier mentioned, garage door springs come in two major varieties, mainly torsion and extension springs. When it comes to torsion springs, they are effectively tensioned or loaded with a distinct twisting action.

Once you close your garage door, the cables attached to the door’s bottom corners on pulleys subsequently turn the door rod. This rod then twists these springs and generates tension. On opening the door, these springs unwind and facilitate the lifting of the door.

On the other hand, extension springs are essentially tensioned through stretching out and using pulleys and cables like torsion springs. Unlike torsion springs, these springs are simply suspended between two brackets. As such, they must feature a safety cable that runs through every spring. In essence, this aids the springs in case of breakages.



What Should It Cost To Replace A Garage Door Spring?

Undeniably, the spring is a vital component of an overhead garage door. It basically works to help either mechanized or manual closing or opening of the garage door. Whatever the case, garage door springs are an essential component of the garage door system and are independent of the automatic garage door unique opener. 

When you are preparing to buy a garage door spring, you need to also take into consideration the overall cost of buying or replacing your springs. Generally, the average cost of buying or replacing your garage door spring can usually range from approximately $50 (if you do the job yourself) to as far as $400 (if you hire professional technicians to do the job).

Nonetheless, while it is easy to be enticed by the cheaper DIY option, you must consider every little aspect of the process.

Usually, how much it costs to replace/repair a garage door spring is dependent on various factors. Some of the common factors include, what condition your garage door is in, what types of springs are needed, what is your garage door type, which professional firm is doing the job, as well as where you are living among many other factors.

The national average cost of having a professional firm repair or replace your garage door springs approximately ranges from between $200 to $400. Just like with any other type of service work, when it comes to replacing or repairing your garage door springs, the overall cost for repair and replacement is influenced by demand and supply.

In essence, where there is cheap labor, and there are multiple firms/companies that offer this service, the overall costs will obviously be lower.

You should also take into account that even when one spring is damaged, garage door springs are usually mounted in pairs. As such, if one of your garage door springs is faulty, the odds are that the other spring might also be damaged or worn out and therefore needs also to be replaced.

If you want to determine a precise cost, you can get in touch with several different garage door repair firms within your locality and compare their quotes.

All in all, the cost of replacing or repairing your garage door springs is not constant. As such, when you are trying to establish how much it will cost you, be sure to take into consideration the numerous different factors as aforementioned.

Although you may actually manage to do it yourself for a relatively lesser cost, it might be better if you choose to hire experts. Why? While it might seem somewhat costlier (and it is rightly so), you will enjoy guaranteed service quality and convenience, all at a significantly shorter time.


You cannot take garage door springs measurements when the garage door is active. For instance, when your garage door is moving, the length of the springs increases by a coil more with every turn. As such, springs on an otherwise open garage door (whether partly or entirely opened) will not result in an accurate measurement.


What to Know When Buying garage door Springs

Before you go on to purchase a garage door spring, ensure that you have accurate and necessary details. This way, you will be sure that the springs you get will expertly match your distinct needs. 

Ideally, you must have correct measurements for the diameter, wire size, and length of the spring, not to mention the wind direction for every spring that needs replacement or repair. This way, you can get the necessary assistance from the experts you consult to find the right garage door spring to suit your needs.



During the time you reside in a particular household, it is inevitable that you will need to do some repairs on various components of your garage door. This is mostly due to wear and tear over time, of course. Nonetheless, whether it is the right spring or left spring that you need to change, you need to gather essential and accurate details. 

This will help you get the proper spring replacement. Even if this is a new thing for you, this unfamiliar experience will be invaluable. Ideally, it will prepare you to cope with any garage door related issues that may arise later.