If there are two things in homeownership that are 100% guaranteed, it’s that property taxes will go up and something in your home will inevitably break. And in all likelihood, a broken garage door spring is one repair problem you’ll have to deal with eventually.
For especially handy types, this may sound like a quick DIY project. But in reality, tackling broken garage door spring repair yourself is a seriously dangerous mistake.
This guide takes you through why it’s so important to entrust this job to a garage door repair specialist instead.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Garage Door Spring?
- Should You Repair Your Broken Garage Door Spring Yourself?
- A Quick Look at the Repair Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Gateway Door and Contracting—Your Trusted Broken Garage Door Spring Repair Company
What Is a Garage Door Spring?
A garage door spring is a counterbalance system for your garage door.
Most garage doors are pretty heavy. Single car doors start at about 130 pounds. Bulkier and wider doors can easily weigh as much as 350 pounds.
But if you’ve ever opened a garage door manually, it sure doesn’t feel that heavy. That’s because garage doors use springs to offset that enormous weight. These springs store an enormous amount of energy that’s then used to make opening and closing those heavy doors much easier.
Without these counterbalance systems, your door would likely be far too heavy for you or your garage door opener to open alone.
Identifying Your Garage Door Spring Type
There are two main types of garage door springs you see being used today.
Extension springs typically run along the sides of the garage doors parallel to the horizontal rails overhead. These springs connect to a system of pulleys and cables that lift the garage door from the bottom up.
Extension springs may have weight ratings as high as 180lbs in most cases. And with two springs per door, that’s a weight maximum of 360lbs.
Torsion springs are more modern than extension springs. These springs are tightly wrapped around a housing bar that runs parallel to the garage door itself and right above it. The image below is an example of a torsion spring system.
How Long Does a Garage Door Spring Last?
In general, you can expect your garage door spring to last about 10,000 cycles, with a single cycle being the opening and closing of a garage door.
Sounds like a long time, right?
Well, let’s break those numbers down.
If the average person opens and closes their garage three times a day, that comes out to a lifespan of around 9 years. However, improper maintenance, environmental factors, moisture, and more all impact just how long spring will last. What’s more, an extension spring will typically have a shorter lifespan than a torsion spring.
Should You Repair Your Broken Garage Door Spring Yourself?
The short answer here is no, you should not repair your broken garage door spring yourself.
Garage door springs store a lot of potential energy. And even the most careful DIY repairman can seriously injure themselves with this job if they don’t know exactly what they’re doing.
It’s also worth noting that extension springs are often considered to be much more dangerous in general than torsion springs.
Torsion springs have a ton of potential energy. But they’re also coiled around a housing bar. So if they break, they just unravel but stay on the bar. When an extension spring snaps, it can shoot chunks of the spring out at an extremely high (and extremely dangerous) velocity.
But when it comes to repairs for both types of springs, you have to worry about:
- Doors falling due to improper support
- Fingers getting caught in the railing
- Springs backfiring due to stored potential energy
- Tools and appendages being rapidly twisted
- Faulty installation that could put you at risk later
Given the complexity (and potential danger) of the job, it’s in your best interest to work with a trusted garage door repair specialist rather than tackling it yourself.
Garage Door Injury Statistics
It’s one thing to say you shouldn’t handle your garage door spring replacement yourself. But it’s another entirely to see the numbers behind why you should leave this to a professional.
As it turns out, garage door injuries are more common than most people think.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:
- About 20,000 to 30,000 injuries related to garage doors occur each year, landing many victims in the emergency room.
- More than 7,000 pinching injuries are reported, which may result in amputations or permanent disability.
- Over 2,000 Americans are crushed by the substantial weight of a falling garage door.
- About 800 lacerations come from improperly handling glass in garage doors.
It’s vital, then, that if you notice a problem with your garage door spring, you get it repaired by a professional as soon as possible.
A Quick Look at the Repair Process
When you work with an expert on garage door springs near St. Peters, they’re going to be able to get the project done quicker, safer, and with less hassle than if you go the DIY route.
Plus, the average garage door spring repair cost according to HomeAdvisor is only around $250 (a bargain considering the time savings and safety considerations).
In most cases, an extension spring (or set of extension springs) is the easier of the two types to replace.
All it takes is bringing the garage door up to relax the springs and working with it from this position. That way, you don’t have to worry about any dangerous tension that might lead to injury or an accident.
Once the door is in the overhead position, simply remove the spring from the brackets, pulley, and cable. Then, replace it with a new spring.
That being said, the job can become much more complicated depending on the type of connector the extension spring uses. For instance, open looped springs can simply be hooked and unhooked. But with other types (e.g., double looped, clipped ends), it can take some serious work disconnecting the spring from the other operation devices.
Added to that, incorrect or partial installation can lead to your door being unsafe or a higher likelihood of further problems down the line. That’s why it’s still important to work with a professional rather than tackling the job yourself.
Torsion springs are quite a bit harder to replace than extension springs. They’re also quite a bit more dangerous.
As torsion springs remain wound even when the door is closed, they hold on to a lot of potential energy. And if you aren’t careful as you replace the parts, you may unintentionally release that energy on yourself, resulting in serious injury.
This is especially important to remember since most garage doors have two torsion springs. That means even if one spring has snapped completely (releasing the potential energy), you still need to deal with the other spring before replacing the first.
For this job, you’ll need several winding bars, a ratchet, knowledge of proper safety precautions, and a fair amount of patience.
Once you unwind both the springs and disconnect them from each other, you can remove the cable drums and replace the old spring with the new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Spring On Garage Door?
Repairing a broken garage door spring is relatively cheap—on average about $250, according to HomeAdvisor. However, prices tend to range anywhere from $150 to $350.
Factors that may influence your final costs include:
- Whether you have a torsion or extension spring
- If pulleys and cables are also damaged
- How heavy and large your garage door is
- If your opening system needs any maintenance
Can You Manually Open a Garage Door With a Broken Spring?
The short answer here is yes, you can manually open your garage door with a broken spring.
That being said, you should never manually open your garage door with a broken spring.
A garage door spring acts as a counterbalance to the incredible weight of your garage door. Without it, your door will likely be very heavy. Not only will that make it difficult to lift the garage door at all. But it will also make your door exceptionally dangerous if it were to fall on you or your family members.
As such, do not attempt to manually open a garage door with a broken spring. Instead, call a garage door repair specialist to fix the problem immediately.
How Do You Fix a Broken Spring on a Garage Door?
You should never fix a broken spring on a garage door yourself due to the high tension and enormous amount of stored energy in the springs.
A repair specialist will fix the spring by:
- Lifting the garage door open.
- Removing the extension spring one end at a time from the mounting pin and pulley system.
- Attaching the proper replacement spring to the mounting pin and the pulley system.
- Testing the door.
- Keeping the door closed.
- Properly relieving tension from the torsion springs using the correct tools.
- Disconnecting the pulley from the housing bar.
- Removing and replacing the torsion springs.
- Reattaching the pulley system.
- Winding the torsion spring to build tension.
- Testing the door.
Gateway Door and Contracting—Your Trusted Broken Garage Door Spring Repair Company
Fixing a broken garage door spring is no small task. Added to that, doing so without proper knowledge or safety precautions can be incredibly dangerous.
That’s why it’s so important to let a professional garage door repair company take care of the replacement for you. And that’s where Gateway Door and Contracting comes in.
At Gateway Door and Contracting, we take pride in offering superior service, upfront pricing, and skilled repair/replacement for any garage door repair job. It’s our dedication to a job done right that’s earned us 20+ years of exceptional customer reviews.
And if you’re dealing with a broken garage door spring, we’d love to help.
Just get in touch to schedule your free estimate today!