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My Garage Door Spring Broke, What Should I Do?

    My Garage Door Spring Broke, What Should I Do?
    4 (80%) 1 vote

    A broken garage door spring can be frustrating and very inconvenient, but what should I do

    now that its broken?

    First do not try to lift the door by hand or using the opener as you can hurt yourself lifting a

    heavy garage door by hand and burn out the opener using it to try to open a door with a broken

    spring. Replacing garage door springs is not a do it yourself project, replacement requires

    special tools and techniques to prevent injury. Utilizing the wrong size spring or springs can

    cause serious damage to the garage door and its components including the electric garage door opener.

    broken-garage-door-spring

    There are several types of garage door spring systems including extension springs and torsion springs.

    Extension springs utilize springs that are mounted on the sides of the garage door. These

    springs attach to the track and through a series of pulleys and cables to the bottom bracket on

    the garage door. Extension springs provide the power to open the garage door while the cable

    and pulley system does the actual lifting. If any of the components is this system is not installed

    or adjusted properly, the system will not function safely or properly.

    extension-spring-garage-door

    Torsion springs utilize a spring or springs mounted above the garage door opening. These

    spring(s) are mounted on a spring bar/torsion tube above the garage door opening. The spring

    bar/ torsion tube also has drums at each end. Cables attach to the bottom bracket of the

    garage door and then wrap or wind around the drums as the garage door opens and closes.

    torsion-spring-system-dallas-tx

    There are also other manufacturers that use a modified torsion spring system, one is Wayne

    Dalton. Wayne Dalton utilizes an internal spring system that mounts above the garage door. In

    this system, the spring is inside the spring bar/torsion tube and the cables wind around plastic

    drums at the ends of the spring bar/torsion tube.  We highly recommend changing out to a standard

    torsion spring system, when replacement is required.

    torquemaster-spring-system-dallas

    It is my opinion and experience that the Wayne Dalton system is weaker and inferior to a

    standard torsion spring system. This modification would cost about $280-$400 depending on

    where you live. Another similar system is the EZ torque system. This system utilizes standard

    torsion spring(s) but applying torsion to the springs and cables is a different procedure than a

    standard torsion system.

    ez-set-broken-spring-system

    When determining how to proceed, there are choices the home owner has to make. If you have

    an extension spring system you can have the spring(s) replaced with new extension spring(s) or

    you can opt to upgrade to the safer torsion spring system. Extension spring(s) are more

    dangerous as when they break the spring can fly loose causing serious damage, even death.

    These springs have been known to fly loose and damage vehicles and other items in the garage

    and in some cases pieces of the broken spring have gone through sheet rock walls causing

    damage. These springs can become projectiles traveling at great speed when they break. Most

    extension springs today utilize a safety cable that is threaded through the extension springs to

    help reduce the risk of a broken spring becoming a dangerous projectile. A modification to a

    torsion spring system should cost between $350-$400 depending on where you live, this cost

    would include the new torsion springs and all the hardware for the modification.

    extension-spring-system-garage-door

    This modification is the best choice, but not the only choice as you can simply have the extension

    spring(s) replaced. Either choice would still require a trained garage door technician to perform

    If you have a torsion spring system, then you still have choices. Many builders utilize a single

    torsion spring system. A single spring system will work on lighter weight doors, but typically a

    two spring system is a better choice. Two spring systems provide for a more even distribution

    of the lifting power, which in turn balances out the stress on the other components in your

    two-spring-system-garage-door-dallas

    garage door system. This system in my opinion will reduce the wear on the garage door parts

    and even the garage door opener. Again this is just an option, and in my opinion a better

    option, but on lighter weight doors a single torsion spring will work and balance the door. A two

    spring system is also beneficial if one of the springs breaks, because you can still open the door

    manually since the one unbroken spring will assist you in lifting the door open.

    If you already have two or more torsion springs, you can opt to replace all the springs or only

    the broken one. In my opinion it is always best to replace all of the springs at the same time,

    but you can just replace the broken one. Remember, that since all of the springs were probably

    installed at the same time, they will all likely fail at about the same time. Again these are

    options available to you.

    two-spring-system-broken-spring-dallas-tx

    Many very heavy doors utilize multiple springs to provide the lifting force and balance the

    garage door. This could be 2,3,4 or more springs depending on the weight of the garage door.

    four-spring-system-garage-door-dallas-tx

    Understanding springs is important as well. Springs are rated on the number of life cycles the

    spring should last. One life cycle is one open and close of the garage door. Springs are usually

    rated 10,000-20,000-30,000 life cycles. If you use your door 3 times a day on average then

    that’s about 1,000 life cycles per year so a 10,000 life cycle spring should last 8-10 years. This

    does not factor in pitting that can occur to the metal spring or rust in higher humidity climates.

    Your spring could last longer or for a shorter period of time depending on climate and other

    external factors.

    torsion-spring-garage-door-life-cycles

    The weight of the garage door determines what spring or springs should be used on your

    garage door. The number of life cycles the spring is rated for is determined by the gauge of wire

    used to make the spring and the diameter and length of the actual spring.

    A garage door technician can weigh your garage door and provide you with spring replacement

    options. Again this is not a do it yourself project as garage door springs are very dangerous and

    require the proper tools and techniques to replace them. Spring replacement costs will vary

    depending on the weight of your garage door and the life cycle rating for the spring itself.

    Spring cost per spring should start around $89 per spring going up in price for larger springs and

    labor should start around $150 to install the spring(s). These prices are general and could be

    more or less depending on where you live.

    torsion-spring-winding-bars-dallas-tx

    Proper maintenance will improve the life of your spring and all of the other components of your

    garage door system. It is recommended that you oil the garage door spring, rollers and hinges

    at least twice per year using a good quality garage door lubrication. You can purchase garage

    door lubricant at your local home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes or from a

    garage door service company. We do not recommend using a standard WD40 type of product,

    but instead a product that is garage door specific.