Properly winding a garage door spring is crucial for the door’s functionality and safety. Knowing the right number of turns ensures the door operates smoothly, reducing wear and tear, and preventing accidents that could damage your door or injure you. 

how many turns on a garage door spring

Getting the right number of turns on your garage door spring might seem tricky, but it’s simpler than you think. With the right guidance and tools, you can easily determine how many turns are needed. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, so you can confidently handle this task or know what to discuss with a professional. 

We’ll cover how to read and use a spring chart, which is essential for getting the correct number of turns. Safety tips are also included because handling garage door springs can be dangerous if done improperly. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to ensure your garage door functions efficiently and safely.

How to Read a Garage Door Spring Chart

Garage door spring charts provide the necessary information to determine the correct number of turns for your specific garage door. These charts are essential tools that ensure your garage door operates smoothly and safely. By understanding how to read these charts, you can accurately adjust your springs, ensuring optimal door performance and longevity.

Key Components of a Spring Chart

Spring Size

The spring size is crucial for determining the correct number of turns. This includes identifying the wire diameter, spring length, and inner diameter. The wire diameter refers to the thickness of the spring’s wire, while the spring length is the total length of the spring when it is unwound. The inner diameter is the measurement across the inside of the spring. Accurately identifying these dimensions is the first step in using the spring chart effectively.

Door Height

Measure the height of your garage door to find the corresponding row on the chart. The door height directly impacts the number of turns required for the springs. Use a tape measure to get the precise height from the bottom of the door to the top. This measurement should be taken with the door in the closed position for accuracy.

Turns Required

Look at the chart to find the recommended number of turns for your spring size and door height. The chart will list different combinations of spring sizes and door heights, with a specific number of turns recommended for each combination. This ensures that your garage door springs are wound correctly, providing the right amount of tension to balance the door’s weight.

Interpreting the Data

Interpreting the data from a garage door spring chart involves cross-referencing your spring specifications with the chart data to determine the exact number of turns needed. First, locate the row that matches your new garage door height. Next, find the column that corresponds to your spring size. Where these two intersect is the number of turns required for your springs. This cross-referencing ensures you have the correct tension and balance for your garage door, leading to smoother operation and extended spring life.

Using a Garage Door Spring Chart

Once you have read the chart, applying the information is the next step. Here’s how to use the chart data effectively to ensure your garage door functions smoothly and safely.

Preparing Your Garage Door

Ensure your garage door is in the fully open position before making any adjustments. This releases the tension on the existing springs, making it safer to work with them. Disconnect the garage door opener and use locking pliers to keep the door open. This preparation step is crucial to prevent any accidental movement of the door, which could cause injury or damage.

Counting Turns

Using the chart, determine the exact number of turns required for your garage door spring based on your door’s height and spring size. For a typical residential garage door, the number of turns usually ranges between 7 to 9. Accurately counting these turns is essential to apply the correct tension. Miscalculating can lead to improper door function, causing either excessive strain or insufficient support.

Applying the Turns

Wind the springs the specified number of turns as determined from the chart. Use a winding bar to maintain control and ensure each complete rotation is counted accurately. For doors with a dual-spring system, it’s vital to wind both springs evenly to balance the tension. This uniform winding ensures the garage door operates smoothly and prevents uneven wear on the springs.

Important Safety Tips

Handling garage door springs can be dangerous due to the high tension they are under. Follow these safety tips to prevent injury and ensure a safe working environment.

Use Proper Tools

Ensure you have the correct winding bars and tools specifically designed for garage door springs. Avoid using makeshift tools, as they can slip and cause serious injury. Proper tools provide better control and reduce the risk of accidents during the winding process.

Wear Protective Gear

Always wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from potential spring recoil or debris. These protective measures shield your eyes from flying particles and your hands from sharp edges or snapping springs, reducing the risk of serious injury.

Disconnect the Opener

Before starting any work on the garage door springs, disconnect the garage door opener to prevent accidental activation. This step ensures that the door remains stationary and reduces the risk of unexpected movements while you are working, enhancing overall safety.

Call a Professional

If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing the task, it is always best to call a professional garage door technician. Professionals have the expertise and experience to handle high-tension springs safely and effectively, ensuring the job is done correctly without risking injury.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When working with garage door springs, avoiding common mistakes is crucial for ensuring safe and efficient operation. Missteps can lead to serious injuries or damage to your garage door system. Here are some of the usual mistakes homeowners do:

Over-Tightening or Under-Tightening

Over-tightening springs can cause excessive tension, leading to spring breakage or door malfunction. To avoid this, always refer to a spring chart for the correct number of turns and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Improper handling of garage door springs can result in serious injuries due to the high tension they are under. Always follow safety guidelines, such as wearing protective gear and using the proper tools, to minimize the risk of accidents.

Using Incorrect Tools

Using the wrong tools can lead to improper winding and increase the risk of accidents. Ensure you have the correct winding bars and other specialized tools designed for garage door springs to achieve precise and safe adjustments.

DIY vs. Professional Spring Adjustment

Deciding between DIY and professional spring adjustment depends on your skill level and comfort with handling high-tension springs. DIY adjustments can save money but require precise tools and strict adherence to safety protocols. Mistakes can lead to serious injury or further damage. Hiring a professional ensures the job is done safely and correctly, though it comes at a higher cost. Professionals bring expertise, proper tools, and peace of mind, making them the safer choice for those unsure about tackling the task themselves.

Additional Information

Understanding the nuances of your garage door system can help in maintaining its longevity and performance. Being informed about the components and their maintenance needs ensures your garage door operates efficiently and safely.

Spring Life Expectancy

Garage door springs have a typical lifespan measured in cycles, usually ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. Regular maintenance, such as lubrication and adjustments, can extend their life. However, due to the constant tension they endure, springs will eventually need replacement to maintain optimal door performance.

Signs of Wear

Look out for signs such as gaps in the coils, rust, or difficulty in lifting the door. These indicate that the springs may need adjustment or replacement. Regular visual inspections can help identify these issues early, preventing more significant problems and ensuring the safe operation of your garage door.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly lubricate the springs and inspect them for wear and tear to ensure they function smoothly and safely. Use a silicone-based lubricant and check for any signs of rust or damage. Consistent maintenance helps in preventing unexpected breakdowns and prolongs the life of the springs, keeping your garage door in top condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my garage door spring needs winding?

If your garage door is difficult to open, sags, or doesn’t stay open, it may need winding or replacement. Other signs include the door moving unevenly or making unusual noises. Regular inspection of the springs can help identify these issues early, ensuring timely maintenance and avoiding potential damage or safety hazards.

Can I wind the springs myself?

While it’s possible to wind garage door springs yourself, it’s recommended to have a professional handle garage door repair due to the high risk of injury. Springs are under significant tension and improper handling can lead to serious accidents. Professionals have the necessary tools and expertise to perform the task safely and correctly, ensuring optimal door performance.

How often should garage door springs be replaced?

Garage door springs typically last 7-10 years with average use, but this can vary based on door usage and maintenance. Frequent operation and lack of regular maintenance can shorten their lifespan. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the springs can extend their life, but eventually, they will need to be replaced to ensure safe and smooth door operation.

What happens if the springs are wound too tightly?

Over-tightened springs can cause excessive tension, leading to potential breakage or door malfunction. This can make the door difficult to open or close and increase the risk of the springs snapping. Proper winding according to manufacturer specifications is crucial to avoid these issues and ensure the longevity and safety of the garage door system.

Is it normal for springs to make noise?

Some noise is normal, but excessive squeaking or grinding indicates the need for lubrication or adjustment. Regular maintenance, including lubricating the springs, can help reduce noise and ensure smooth operation. If the noise persists despite proper lubrication, it may be a sign of wear or damage, requiring professional inspection and possible replacement.


Ensuring your garage door springs are properly wound is essential for the safe and efficient operation of your garage door. By understanding how to read and use a spring chart and maintaining a regular maintenance schedule, you can keep your garage door functioning smoothly and avoid potential issues.

End Note

If you encounter any difficulties or uncertainties while working on your garage door, it’s always best to consult with a professional technician. Handling garage door springs can be dangerous, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

At Lopez Garage Door and Opener, we prioritize your safety and offer expert services to ensure the job is done right. Proper maintenance, whether performed by you or a professional, is crucial to keeping your garage door in top condition for years to come. Regular inspections and timely repairs are key to preventing major problems. A well-maintained garage door not only operates smoothly but also enhances the security and convenience of your home. Visit our services page to learn more about how we can assist you in maintaining and repairing your garage door.

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