Garage door springs carry a lot of tension, because they’re responsible for lightening the load of the door. When the heavy door lowers to the ground with gravity, it also pushes down on giant load-bearing springs that create tension. The tension in these garage door springs make it far easier for your opener to lift the door up again when the time comes.
Even if you don’t see or hear a spring break, you’ll know that it’s broken if your door refuses to lift with the opener or even by hand. With the lack of force that the springs provide, it weighs about twice as much. You can definitely replace garage door springs on your own, but it can be a bit tricky and dangerous, and the skill required depends a lot on the type of springs that you have. If the process doesn’t seem like something that you’re ready to take on, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we can get the new springs installed in no time at all.
How Do I Know If I Have a Broken Garage Door Spring and What Will it Cost?
Your first clue is that your garage door will not open properly. The door may try to go up, but will struggle, and only lift part-way. Many people immediately think this is a problem with their residential garage door opener, but actually it could be a broken spring. To identify this, go inside your garage, and look out. Look above the garage where the shaft is. If the springs are standard torsion springs, you will probably see at least one black coil, or spring. There could be two springs, one on each side. If you see a gap, or separation in the coil, then it is broken and will need to be replaced. If you have two springs,
we highly recommend replacing both springs at one time, as they are both ‘wear items’ (sort of like brakes on your car, you wouldn’t want to replace the left brake only, and not the right one). Broken garage door spring replacement is usually a pretty quick job and won’t take much longer than 1/2 hour, unless you have an unusual situation. Garage door spring replacement cost is typically between $150-$300, depending on the number (one or two) and the size of your springs. If your family uses the garage door as the main entry to your home, we can install high-cycle springs for you, which will cost a little more, but will increase their lifespan.
Identifying the Type of Springs on Your Garage Door
There are different types of springs on different garage doors, and there is a big difference in how easy these springs are to replace. There are extension springs and torsion springs. You’ll be able to easily identify what kind of springs you have by looking at your garage door. If you have a door system with long springs that run parallel to the tracks on either side of the door, those are extension springs. They are long and thin, up in the air. Torsion springs are fatter springs that sit on a metal rod next to the door opening.
If you have a really old door, a single piece that swings up in the air, then you may have vertical springs on both sides of the door. These are side springs, and they usually compliment additional extension springs in the air.
Now, both extension and torsion springs work in a similar way. They use the weight and gravity of the door to tense up and load when the door closes, which gives you a reserve of energy to move the door back up when it is being opened. The difference is that extension springs stretch to be loaded, so the energy is stored outward and wants to get back to center, while torsion springs are twisted when the door lowers, and they release energy by untwisting back in the other direction.
How to Replace Torsion Springs
Torsion springs, as you might have gathered from the name alone, are considered the more dangerous model to work with. While it is possible to work with torsion springs, it can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t pay careful attention to the process. These torsion springs store a lot of energy, and you want that bottled up and not lashing out in your general direction. They are under tension, and you’ll have to remember this at every step. We certainly recommend that unless you are 100% comfortable you call a professional—it’s just safer and easier that way.
If you’re going to replace torsion springs, then you’re going to need a winding bar, which can be used to easily twist and untwist the springs to adjust the amount of torsion. At the end of each torsion spring there is a winding cone. This is where the winding bar fits on and can twist the whole spring. You’ll have to slowly turn the bar while pressing the spring against the door to slowly release them.
When you replace torsion springs, you’ll need to have the door closed. There are usually only two torsion springs on a door, and if one spring is broken fully then you’re already halfway there! Once the springs are unwound and removed from the door, you’ll just have to wind up the new springs and put them in place on the door. For further instructions, it’s much easier to look up a video tutorial of how to precisely screw and unscrew the springs from the door.
How to Replace Extension Springs
Extension springs are generally considered much easier to replace. You can completely remove and replace the springs on your door without dealing with any amount of dangerous tension. Once you open the door, the springs will lose most of their tension and should be safe to work with. When you open the door and begin working on it, you should secure it with clamps so that it doesn’t slide down on you.
Simply disconnect the springs from the brackets, pulley, and cable, and install the new spring, attaching it to the pulley and the safety cable. That’s it!
Should I Replace Springs on My Own Or Not?
It depends on how confident you feel, whether or not you’re looking for a project, and what kind of springs you have on your door. If you’re pretty competent with DIY stuff, you have a whole day to set aside, and you have extension springs—you’re in luck! You might be able to handle things on your own. But for many of us, replacing our own springs on a garage door is simply not a headache worth having.
There’s always the possibility that you don’t get everything in place and the door isn’t usable. Also, if the springs are not installed properly, it can cause a safety hazard for the use of your garage door over time. It can cause tension on the door, causing it to break or causing the lifespan of the opener to be significantly shortened. Either way, repairing your own springs is a great way to save a few bucks, but make sure that you really know what you’re doing, otherwise it might be a great way to spend a few extra bucks getting everything fixed.
THE DANGERS OF GARAGE DOOR SPRING REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT
Did you know that depending on its thickness, size, and the materials used to make it, a typical garage door weighs between 130 and 400 pounds? Opening even the most lightweight garage door takes a fair bit of force. Luckily for us, garage door springs counterbalance the weight of your door and do all of the heavy lifting for you. Each time you open and close your garage door, its entire weight is transferred onto the spring system. For this reason, it can be extremely dangerous when a spring breaks, and it’s considered highly risky for homeowners to attempt to replace or repair springs themselves.
WHERE IS THE SPRING SYSTEM ON MY GARAGE DOOR?
The location of your spring system depends on the type of spring configuration your garage door has. You will either have a torsion spring or you can have two extension springs.
The torsion spring is a very large spring located just above the garage door. Extension springs, on the other hand, are two to four feet long (depending on whether they’re relaxed or compressed) and are located above the upper tracks on either side. Typically, new garage door models have a torsion spring. Torsion springs are preferable to extension springs as they’re sturdier, longer lasting, and considered much safer.
WHAT CAUSES SPRINGS TO BREAK?
Most of the time springs break due to simple wear and tear over time. However, if your garage is especially humid, rust may form on the spring system and decrease its lifespan (unless you have galvanized springs, which are protected from corrosion).
HOW LONG DO GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS LAST?
Springs are rated for a specific number of cycles. Each time your garage door opens and closes counts as one cycle. The average spring will last 10,000 cycles, or between six and 10 years. As homes continue to be built with attached garages, many homeowners are using the garage to gain entry into their homes and increasing the number of cycles their garage door experiences. Exceeding the cycle rating of your garage door springs can cause tiny cracks in the spring and decrease its lifespan.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SPRINGS BREAK?
Springs are wound tight which means that there is a lot of energy stored up in a garage door spring and why we advise that only a professional garage door technician should ever repair a broken spring. Many accidents, including lacerations, broken wrists or fingers, and head injuries have occurred when proper training or incorrect tools weren’t used for the job.
If your garage door uses a two-spring system and one of the springs breaks, the other spring will still be under considerable tension. A malfunctioning spring can also cause your garage door to slam shut unexpectedly, which is why it’s important to never walk directly underneath your garage door. Here are some additional safety tips you should be aware of to keep you and your family safe.
CAN I REPLACE MY GARAGE DOOR SPRING SYSTEM MYSELF?
No. Only a professionally trained garage door technician should replace/repair garage door springs, and you should never try to replace a torsion spring or extension spring. Given the extreme tension these spring systems are under, there are serious dangers involved in undertaking a repair or replacement without the proper knowledge, tools, experience, and technique. Please leave this job to a professional.
HOW DO I SPOT A BROKEN TORSION SPRING?
Sometimes you can tell that your torsion spring is broken just by its appearance. For instance, you might notice a visible two-inch gap in the spring indicating the spot where the break occurred. Alternatively, there can be various problems with your garage door’s functioning. Indicators that you have a broken torsion spring include:
HOW DO I SPOT BROKEN EXTENSION SPRINGS?
A visual check might reveal a broken extension spring and you may see gaps in the coils. Additionally, the same type of garage door problems mentioned above may indicate a broken extension spring. Furthermore, you should pay attention to your garage door’s alignment. If one of the springs has given out, the garage door won’t open well on that side and will likely hang aslant.
HOW DO I PREVENT MY SPRINGS FROM BREAKING?
The best thing you can do to keep your spring system in good condition is to get your garage door inspected and maintained annually. Those in colder climates should have their door inspected and maintained twice a year for optimal performance. A service professional will be able to spot problems with the spring system and may also apply oil or lubricant as needed. The technicians at Garage Door Spring Repair Maryland are expertly qualified to handle your garage door spring repair and to perform ongoing maintenance of your garage door system. Contact one of our service professionals to learn more about our planned maintenance services.
We take pride in our commercial door service with prompt and courteous professional specialists who will repair your problem, anywhere, any day, any time! All of our commercial door repair technicians are employees of Overhead Door Company of Colorado Springs and are trained to meet our very high quality standards. Ask about our warranties on all our commercial products. Join the hundreds of satisfied customers that have trusted Overhead Door Company of Colorado Springs.
© 2020 Garage Door Services. All rights reserved.
© 2020 Garage Door Services. All rights reserved.
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