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Is it OK to use your garage door when you have a broken spring?

Garage door springs provide the needed force to counter balance the weight of your garage door

making your garage door easy to open and close.  The spring(s) work within the garage door system

providing the force while cables and drums do the lifting in a torsion spring system and in an extension

spring system the cables and pulleys do the lifting. Other components in the garage door system include

rollers, hinges, tracks and the automatic garage door opener(if one is installed). Each component has its

job and if any single component fails it puts additional stress on the other components in the garage

door system.


Using your garage door when any of the components is broken or failing can lead to premature failure of

other components and can cause the door to go off track. A door off track is when the door is hanging

sideways in the door opening. A door off track can be an expensive repair and when the door goes off

track it can cause significant damage to many of the components in the garage door system.  A garage

door can go off track for many reasons including a broken spring or the door closing on an object. When


a door goes off track at least one of the cables comes unwound from the drum. In the situation with one

cable unwound from the drum, that side of the door will try to fall toward the ground while the other

side, with the cable still attached to the drum, will be trying to pull the door open. When this occurs, you

may see damage to the garage door tracks, jamb brackets, hinges, rollers and to the cables and drums as

well as to the garage door panels/sections. In some case the door going off track can even damage the

automatic garage door opener.


In the case of a broken garage door spring, it is not recommended that you attempt to open the garage

door. While it is possible to open the garage door with a broken garage door spring, the garage door will

be very heavy to raise. If raising the door is absolutely necessary, then it should be lifted from the center

of the garage door making sure you keep the door level as the door goes up. The door probably will not


stay open without support so again be careful to keep the garage door level while the door is open. The

door should only be opened to get your car out and then carefully close the garage door, again making

sure the door stays level during the closing process. If the garage door gets unlevel during the opening

or closing process, then you are at risk of the door going off track. It most cases it will require more than

one person to open and close the garage door when a spring is broken.


If your garage door has two or more springs, and only one spring is broken, then opening and closing the

door may not be too difficult and the automatic opener may still open and close the garage door. We

still only recommend opening and closing the door to get your car out. You must still use caution when

opening and closing the door to make sure the door stays level. We do not recommend using your


garage door opener with a broken spring as the extra weight of the garage door with a broken spring

can burn out the motor, capacitor or other parts of the automatic garage door opener.

We recommend having a garage door service company repair broken springs on the garage door before

the garage door is used. Replacing the broken spring(s) will keep your garage door system working

properly and help to prevent more costly repairs to the garage door system.

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