Determining Wind Direction for Torsion Springs

Replacement of torsion springs is among the most common garage door spring repairs performed by companies that specialize in garage doors. Each spring used in this manner has a particular wind direction: right-wound, left-wound or both. Using a right-wound spring where left-wound is needed will interfere with and perhaps prevent the operation of the door.

How to Determine Wind Direction

Note that if you have an owner’s manual available, you can find this information within. However, you can also determine it yourself by inspecting the spring even if that spring is damaged. The cue is the order of the springs from left to right. The right-wound spring will be located to the left of the cone—perhaps unintuitively—and the left-wound to the right. Furthermore, these springs should have colored markings near the end. Black indicates left-wound, and red indicates right-wound.

Why Wind Matters

In order to make a door open, each spring must turn in a particular way. Likewise, to make a door close, they must turn in the opposite direction. If a wrong-wound spring is installed on either side or both, the door won’t function. In most cases, it will be locked into whatever its current position is.

Determining Wire Size

When measuring a torsion spring, length alone isn’t enough information. You must also now the wire size. This is much easier to achieve that it may at first seem. Simply count the coils. You can then divide the total length by the coil count and compare that value to most wire charts.

Measuring a Broken Spring

There are tricks to measure broken and rusted springs, such as the paper-scrap measuring method. This involves using three scraps of paper and the gaps between the coils to determine total length. Another option is to contact the manufacturer or your local garage door repair company.