Common Garage Door Industry Terms to know in the Field for Dealers and Installers

We want to help you get familiar with some of the numerous industry-specific terms and definitions that you as a dealer/installer will need to know in the field. This glossary of terms will be looking at the most common terms you would use on a daily basis. 

Wire Size: The diameter of the wire used to manufacture a spring. To learn more about different wire types check out this resource.

Coil: A full circle of wire around the spring. A spring can be measured by the number of coils it has.

Inside Diameter (ID): The measurement from one inside wall to the opposite inside wall of a spring.

Outside Diameter (OD): The measurement from outside coil to the opposite outside coil.

Length: How long a spring is (typically measured in inches) and covers the overall length of a spring from end coil to end coil.

Torque: The amount of force a spring has when tensioned.

Inch-Pound Per Turn (IPPT): A measurement of torque or power delivered to the shaft for each turn of a spring.

Spring Life Cycle: The life expectancy of a spring in cycles. One cycle is a complete open and close of the door.


PRO TIP: Current regulations call for a minimum of 10,000 cycles for springs. At SSC, we ensure all of our springs meet or exceed this.


Headroom: The space from the top of the door’s frame opening to the ceiling.

Extension Spring: A counterbalance spring that is stretched to create torque and the recoiling of the spring creates the lift.

Hand/Wind: Springs can either be left-wound (clockwise) or right-wound (counter-clockwise) depending on the direction of the coils on the spring.

A simple way to understand the winding direction of a garage door spring.

A simple way to understand the winding direction of a garage door spring.


Torsion Spring’s Standard End (Crimp End): The end coil is bent up slightly to allow the installation of a cone.

Torsion Spring Growth: The amount (in inches) a spring can expand and grow while it is wound.


PRO TIP: This is calculated by (Number of Turns x Wire Diameter)


Cones: The die-cast aluminum cones that get installed into the torsion springs. Two types of cones (winding & stationary).

Duplex Spring: A spring-wound inside another spring; giving the spring and counter-balance assembly additional torque while also maximizing the space needed. Springs can also be wound with 3 and 4 together. These are known as triplex and quadplex springs respectively.

Counterbalance Assembly: The mechanism that allows the composition of torque to move and balance an overhead door. Learn more about counterbalance assembly here.


Winds on Springs: Method for determining the number of turns.

To Calculate:

Measure distance (in inches) from the torsion shaft to the floor. Divide by the circumference of the associated drum.


Extension Spring Single-Looped End: When an extension spring’s end has just one single wire coil as the loop.

Extension Spring Double-Looped End: Uses two coils of wire to create the double-looped end. One end holds the spring, the other end fastens to a pulley.

Track Pitch: The angle of the door’s track assembly in the door’s open position. There are 3 different types of track pitch.

  • Vertical Lift – raises the door straight up.
  • Semi-Vertical – Takes the door up and bends it at a slight angle.
  • Follow the Roof Pitch: Moves the door up and follows the pitch of a roof.

Spring Block (Repair): A small square block of steel that allows technicians to temporarily repair a broken torsion spring.  

Drums: Cast aluminum pieces that are secured to the torsion shaft and hold the cable in place as it is wound.

Torsion Spring: A counterbalance spring that is wound with torque, using the counter winds to create the lift.

Mini Warehouse Ends: When the standard ends are mechanically bent into another shape. Attaches directly to a manufacturer’s specific assembly.

Track Radius: The amount of space (in inches) that it takes to transition the door from closed to open.

This glossary of terms was brought to you by Solutions Education from SSC. To watch this full video and other helpful videos, be sure to check out all of the Solutions Education courses.

 Are you signed up for Solutions Education? All courses are free to garage door dealers and installers. Invite your employees by following this guide.

(*Must be a registered company of SSC to access Solutions Education - Register Here)

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