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What does red mean on torsion spring?

Torsion springs are an important component in many mechanical devices. They are coils of metal that provide torque or rotating force when twisted. You may notice some torsion springs have colored markings or paint on them. So what does a red marking indicate on a torsion spring?

The Meaning of Red on a Torsion Spring

A red marking on a torsion spring typically indicates that it is a right-hand wound spring. The direction of the winding is important when installing torsion springs. Right-hand wound springs need to be installed differently than left-hand wound springs in order for them to function properly.

Springs are wound in a spiral pattern. If you follow the spiral in the direction it is winding, a right-hand wound spring moves in a clockwise direction. Following a left-hand wound spring spiral moves in a counter-clockwise direction. The red marking clearly identifies it as right-hand wound so installers know how to orient the spring.

Why Proper Winding Direction Matters

The direction a torsion spring is wound affects the torque it applies when twisted. If installed improperly, the spring will unwind instead of winding tighter. This results in the spring failing to provide the necessary torque.

The winding direction also impacts how stresses are distributed in the coils when under load. If the stresses are oriented wrong, it can lead to premature spring failure. Matching the winding direction to the installation ensures proper operation and longevity.

Other Color Meanings

In addition to red, other colors are sometimes used on torsion springs to convey specific meanings:

  • Blue – Indicates a left-hand wound spring.
  • Green – Identifies a spring made of a special alloy.
  • Yellow – Used on springs that require additional lubrication.
  • Purple – Signifies a spring wound with a special pitch or spacing between coils.

However, red is the most common color used to mark right-hand wound torsion springs from the factory. The vibrant red makes it easy to distinguish winding direction during installation.

Installation Tips

Here are some useful installation tips for torsion springs labeled red:

  • Mount the spring so the red marking is facing outwards and visible.
  • Ensure the spring coils will turn in a clockwise direction when tension is applied.
  • Double check the winding direction before securing in place.
  • Verify proper spring operation after installation.

Taking extra care to install red-marked springs correctly will ensure safe and reliable operation. The visible red marking eliminates any guesswork related to proper orientation.

Inspection of Red Marked Springs

It is also important to periodically inspect red marked springs. Check that the color marking remains bright and undamaged. Fading or chipped paint can make it harder to identify winding direction. Touch up paint should be applied if the red color is significantly degraded.

Also examine the spring for signs of wear or cracks forming. If a red marked spring has become deformed or is damaged, it should be replaced. Never attempt to repair or rewind a worn out torsion spring.

Reordering Replacement Springs

When it comes time to reorder a replacement for a red marked spring, take note of the winding direction. Convey that you need a right-hand wound spring to match the original red color marking.

You will need to provide the replacement spring dimensions and specifications. This includes the wire diameter, coil diameter, length when relaxed and number of coils. Having this information on hand makes it easy to order the correct replacement spring.


A red color marking on a torsion spring is a visual indicator that it is right-hand wound. This allows installers to quickly orient the spring properly so it functions as intended. Red markings eliminate confusion and make torsion spring installation straightforward. Periodically inspecting red marked springs helps ensure reliable performance and long service life.

Understanding the meaning of color codes allows proper identification and handling of torsion springs. So next time you work with a spring marked red, you can confidently proceed knowing it winds in the clockwise direction.