How to Check Garage Door Balance

Most homeowners don’t know how to check garage door balance.  This leads to poor overhead door performance and worn out parts like stripped nylon gears. Springs are calibrated by the size, weight and type of track on a garage door. When balanced properly, garage doors require little effort to open by hand or with the use of an automatic electric opener. Checking the balance of your door is a smart idea, especially if you have a wooden door prone to rot and moisture absorption. Checking door balance can be done in a short period of time and doesn’t requirement the use of any tools. If you use an electric opener and your door being out of balance, adjust the spring tension or contact a professional door service. This step by step process can be used to check for proper garage door balance.

  1. Close your garage door completely, pulling the red emergency release cable to disconnect the operator arm from trolley. Make sure you don’t have broken springs before pulling the safety release.
  2. Lift your garage door by hand until it is halfway raised in the opening. Once you have it halfway up let go of the door. Properly balanced torsion springs should keep the door in a fixed position. If the door moves up on its own or falls down toward the floor your garage door is out of adjustment. Extension or stretch type springs may cause the door to drift a few inches before stopping.
  3. Move the door by hand to an open position and let go of it. The bottom section should rise above the door opening without drifting down. If door drifts down from the fully open position you will need to increase the tension on your torsion springs.
  4. Lower the door to the ground in the fully closed position and let go. The bottom of your garage door should stay in contact with the floor. If the door begins drifting up off the floor you have too much tension on your torsion springs.

Note: After you have completed these steps press the wall control so your operator arm reengages with the opener trolley. If you find your door out of balance and have adjusted the springs with poor results, make sure you have the correct springs installed. Torsion springs that are improperly calibrated will result in an unbalanced door no matter how much the tension is adjusted.