Have you ever wondered how garage door springs are made? We’ll walk you through the process of garage door spring production, but first, let’s find out why your garage door even needs the springs to operate. An average garage door weighs over 100lbs, and lifting that door with no counter-balance mechanism would take at least two strong men.
Charles Augustin De Coulomb, who invented the torsion spring in 1777, wasn’t aware at the time that his invention would be used in almost any home in North America hundreds of years later. A torsion spring takes the weight off the door and allows anyone to operate the garage door easily.
It all starts with quality spring wire. Torsion garage door springs need to be tough and last long. Otherwise, the whole system wouldn’t be viable, and sectional garage doors wouldn’t become so popular. In North America, garage door springs are made with a high-tensile oil-tempered or galvanized steel wire, meeting the ASTM A229 standard. Wire diameter is an essential measurement, as it determines the “strength” of the spring. If you ever need to get your garage door springs replaced, the company you hire will match the new set of springs to your existing ones.
The most common residential spring wire sizes are:
.207″ .218″ .225″ .234″ .243″ .250″ .262″ .273″
The spring’s length and diameter are two other measurements needed to produce the right-sized springs, but wire diameter is the most important out of the three.
The spring wire comes in a huge roll that is threaded in a specialized machine. The machine then pulls the wire in, and bends it in a loop to create a pre-set spring diameter, also known as the “Spring ID.” Spring ID is the inner diameter of the garage door spring and is a crucial measurement if you need to match the spring size. The most common Spring ID or spring diameters for residential garage doors are 2″ and 1.75.”
Once the pre-set length of the spring is created, the machine then cuts the wire to size and continues to make the following spring. Every garage door spring comes in three components: a winding cone, the spring wire, and the end cone. In most production facilities, a special machine installs both cones onto the spring wire. Spring cones may be installed manually for a custom-made spring size, but the machinery does the dirty work for mass production. Once the spring wire has been cut and both cones are in place, the industrial printer prints the spring size on the coils, so the end-user doesn’t have to measure it manually to confirm the size.
It is important to note that garage door springs come in left and right-hand wound, meaning the direction of the spring coils is vital for the proper operation of the spring. For that reason, winding cones are marked with red and black paint, so the installer can quickly identify the correct side and install the garage door spring properly if the old one breaks.
As a final touch, the edge of the spring near the winding cone gets color-coded for quick size identification. Below we’ll list the most common color codes with the wire sizes:
This information might help if you need to get your garage door springs replaced and your garage door repair company asks if you know the size of your garage door spring. You can typically see the size printed on the broken spring, and providing this information may help you get a more accurate quote.
Most professional garage door repair companies will order pre-made garage door springs that are most common in their area and an un-cut spring wire that we usually call “the snakes.” The wire can be cut to the needed length to accommodate the door’s weight that can’t be balanced with the standard-sized springs. In this case, the garage door technician will cut the required length of the spring wire and install both cones manually. Some technicians are equipped to do it in the field, while others will have to go back to the shop and make the springs there. This will require rescheduling the spring replacement appointment.
Calgary Garage Door Fix Inc.
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