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How to Replace a Broken Garage Door Torsion Spring: The Complete Guide


Do you know how your garage door works? What happens when it goes down or up? What drives such a cumbersome structure into motion? And that’s what all the garage door springs are responsible for. You can see them at the top of the door. They are the ones that ensure the smooth opening and closing of the door. So, the flawless operation of the garage door directly depends on the proper condition of the springs.

What’s a bad thing that can happen if the springs break? Let’s find out. There is colossal tension on the garage door torsion springs. That is why their malfunction can cause garage door opening and closing problems. The consequence of these issues can be a complete breakdown of the garage door. In the worst cases, it can cause harm to your car, people, or pets.

However, you can promptly replace the garage door cable torsion spring and prevent such horrible situations. In this article, we have given detailed instructions on how you can detect a garage door torsion spring failure. We have also written up step-by-step garage door spring replacement instructions. Moreover, you will also find information about garage door torsion spring replacement costs for doing it yourself or calling a professional.

When is garage door torsion spring replacement necessary?

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Garage door torsion springs are located at the top of the garage door horizontally. When the door is closed, the spring winds up, and it unwinds when it is opened. The wind springs mechanism helps lift that heavy garage door, which usually weighs between 70 and 120 kilograms.

But sometimes, the springs fail to work. And this can lead to serious danger. Below, we’ll tell you why this happens and how to understand if a spring is broken and replacing up and over garage door springs is needed.

Why do torsion springs break?

A torsion spring is a durable mechanism. But what can make it vulnerable? The causes of breakage can be different. In our garage door spring replacement guide, we have described the most common ones:

  • Wear and tear

Even such garage door parts as torsion springs can’t live forever. Sooner or later, they simply get worn out. The average garage door spring lifespan is 10,000 cycles. It means the more often you use your garage door, the faster the springs will deteriorate. Therefore, if you open and close your garage door several times a day, you need to be prepared that the springs will weaken after several years of usage, and the garage door spring torsion replacement will be necessary.

  • Corrosion

Torsion springs can fail due to rust. Rust causes friction on the tracks. Because of it, the springs become weak. Fortunately, this is easily preventable. Just apply lubricant to the garage door springs several times a year.

  • Lack of maintenance

You should conduct a technical inspection of your garage door several times a year. This will allow you to fix minor problems before more severe damage occurs. Checking, adjusting, and lubricating your torsion springs regularly will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. If you don’t know how to adjust garage door springs, you can invite a technician.

If you have noticed some breakages, corrosion, or deterioration during the garage door maintenance, learn how to replace a broken garage door spring in this guide and fix it yourself or call our technician from STI Garage Door.

How do I know if a torsion spring is broken?

How do you know if something is wrong with a garage door torsion spring? We recommend that you pay special attention to the following signs:

  • The door doesn’t open with the garage door opener.

This is the most important and alarming sign of a torsion spring failure. Sure enough, you’re about to drive to work and find that your garage door won’t open. The situation is unpleasant. By no means should you try to open the door yourself – it can be dangerous. If you cannot open the door with the garage door opener, call a garage door repair company right away, and they will replace the broken torsion spring garage door.

  • The door closes on its own.

It could also be that you can’t leave the door half-open; it still comes down. Most likely, the torsion spring is damaged. Either way, this is unsafe. If this has happened, you can’t put off repairing the torsion spring until later. You, someone in your family, or your pets could get hit by a falling door. To prevent it, replace the torsion springs as soon as possible.

  • The door feels heavier.

Has the door started closing faster and seems to have gotten much heavier? There is likely a problem with the torsion springs. Inspect them carefully. In case of breakage, you can try to repair the spring yourself, but we advise you to call the experts.

  • Door jerking.

If the torsion springs are okay, the door will open and close smoothly. If you notice that the door jerks when closing, making a sharp jerk, the first thing you should check is the springs. They are probably where the problem lies.

  • The door is misaligned.

Both sides of the garage door should be at the same level when lowered. The door skewing to one side may indicate that one of the springs has weaker tension than the other. This can be caused by mechanical damage or torsion spring wear.

  • Loose wires.

If your garage door is working perfectly, all the wires should be tight. However, if the cables begin to sag and become slippery, this could indicate a broken or loose torsion spring. You can inspect the torsion springs and, if necessary, replace them. If you’re wondering, “How much does it cost to replace the torsion spring on the garage door?” submit a request on our website, and our experts will give the detailed information and help to do it.

  • Loud noise.

If you hear a loud pop when the door is closed, check the springs. This sound can occur when the spring breaks. This is very dangerous because the spring is under a lot of tension.

So you found one or more of these signs. What do you do now? The problem needs to be fixed. You can try to do it yourself. But remember that the spring is very tight, and the garage door is weighty. So you should only take on this job if you’re confident you know how to change garage door torsion springs.

How long does it take to replace garage door springs?

One of the questions people ask is, “How long does it take to replace garage door springs?” An important factor here is who will do it.

An expert can replace a garage door torsion spring in 30 to 60 minutes. The time required for the job depends on the garage door’s type and size. If you have a new garage door, it will take the technician less time to replace the torsion spring. In cases with old doors, this task can take up to three hours in some cases. If, however, the spring does not need to be replaced but needs only some adjustments, the technician can do it in 10 to 15 minutes.

Note that the time to replace the torsion spring that we have mentioned is needed for someone who has a lot of experience repairing garage doors. If you are doing it for the first time, and want to understand how long to replace a garage door torsion spring, consider more time for preparation. After all, you will still need to figure out the garage door’s mechanism. Plus, you’ll need to spend time preparing tools and selecting and buying a torsion spring. Overall, if you decide to replace the garage door torsion spring yourself, you can spend your entire weekend on this task.

What tools do I need to replace a broken torsion spring garage door?

If you decide to replace the torsion spring yourself, the first thing you need to do is to buy a spring. You can buy a torsion spring yourself by ordering it online or buying it from a professional store. In addition, you will need some tools and protective equipment. Check if you have the following tools needed to replace the garage door spring:

  • Two Winding Bars
  • Vise Grips
  • Wrenches (9/16, 1/2, 7/16)
  • 8 Point Socket
  • Garage Door Lubricant
  • Step Ladder
  • Safety Glasses
  • Safety Gloves

If you have all of these items, you can begin work. The following section will tell you how to replace a torsion spring on a garage door.

How to replace garage door torsion spring: step-by-step instruction

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So, make sure you have all the tools you need and are ready to start replacing your torsion springs. Now we want to focus your attention on the essential features of different torsion springs and describe the step-by-step process of replacing garage door torsion springs.

How to choose a torsion spring

As we said before, there is no problem buying a torsion spring on your own. But how do you know what garage door spring to buy? We want to highlight the different types of torsion springs so that you can pick the right ones for your garage door.

First, let’s take a closer look at the torsion spring design. A standard garage door can have from two to four torsion springs. This usually depends on the size and weight of your garage door. Torsion springs are mounted above the door opening on metal shafts. Depending on the type of attachment, there are the following types of torsion springs:

  • Standard torsion springs. These springs are used for lighter garage doors. As a rule, one (in rare cases two) standard torsion spring for a garage door is attached.
  • Early-set torsion springs are also used for lighter garage doors. The peculiarity of these torsion springs is their attachment in the middle of the torsion shaft.
  • Steel rolling door torsion springs are used for large and heavy garage doors. These springs are equipped with a torsion barrel inside which the spring is located.
  • Torque-master torsion springs. These springs have a torsion shaft and a winding cone at the end of each torsion bar. The winding cone holds the torsion spring in place.

For large and heavy commercial garage doors, steel rolling-door and torque-master springs are a considerable choice. However, if you want to replace the garage door torsion springs of your own home, you will most likely need to choose standard or early-set torsion springs. This article will teach you how to replace a single torsion spring garage door.

When choosing a garage door torsion spring, you can also look at oil-tempered, galvanized, or powder-coated torsion springs. Galvanized springs are perfect for humid areas because they have a protective zinc coating. However, these springs need to be checked and adjusted every year. Oil-tempered and powder-coated have a fairly long life. They are also easy to care for.

How do I measure torsion springs?

Different torsion springs may have different lengths, wire size, inside diameter, and winding of the springs. These parameters are vital to consider when selecting a torsion spring because the wrong size springs can cause the garage door to malfunction.

As a result of measuring a torsion spring, you need to get the following parameters:

  • Length

Measuring the length is very easy. You will only need a measuring tape. Measure the distance between the two opposite ends of the torsion spring.

  • Inner diameter

As a rule, it is 2-5 cm. You can also use a tape measure and a caliper to measure the inside diameter accurately.

  • The size of the wire

To get this value, measure a few turns with a tape measure. Divide this value by the number of turns. This way, you can calculate the gauge of one turn.

Now you know what size torsion springs you require.

  • Wind direction

You can ignore this parameter if your garage door has only one torsion spring. But if the design uses two torsion springs, pay attention to the winding direction of each spring. When the garage door is opened, the left spring must wind clockwise and the right counterclockwise.

How can I replace the garage door torsion spring by myself?

The procedure is simple: remove the old, damaged torsion spring and install a new one. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to replace the spring on the garage door.

  1. Close the garage door. The torsion springs should not be changed when the garage door is open. Use C-clamps to keep the garage door in the same position.
  2. Disconnect the garage door opener to avoid uncontrolled activation.
  3. Locate the winding cone on the edge of the torsion spring. Use a stable ladder to climb up.
  4. Insert the winding bar into the winding cone. This way, the spring should be locked in place.
  5. Loosen the screws.
  6. Hold the winding bar in the cone while you loosen the screws. This will protect the spring from falling.
  7. Lower the winding cone to the top of the garage door and then insert the second winding cone.
  8. Pull out the winding cone you inserted first.
  9. Lower the second winding cone to the top of the garage door.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 in turn until the spring tension is completely gone.
  11. Unscrew and remove the torsion spring mount.
  12. Remove the torsion spring, wires, and cable drum.
  13. Install the new spring on the torsion tube. When doing this, make sure that the winding cone points toward the center bracket.
  14. Install the cable drum.
  15. Install the middle bearing and secure the cone.
  16. Pull the wires through. Check that the tension is the same.
  17. Tighten the drums.
  18. Use the winding bars to wind the spring to the opposite side of the unwinding.
  19. Tap the winding bar with a hammer to stretch the spring.
  20. Tighten the screws on the winding cone.
  21. Lubricate the spring with garage door grease.

After completing the garage door tension spring replacement, remove the clamp from the garage door.

Now you need to check how your garage door works. Open and close it several times with the opener. Notice if the garage door makes any strange noises or skews.

This manual will help you replace defective torsion springs yourself. But before you get to work, remember to observe safety precautions. Wear protective gloves and goggles. Make sure your ladder is stable enough. We advise you to have a helper who can back you up.

Still, remember that garage door opener torsion spring replacement yourself is quite a dangerous job. Therefore, it is best if experienced professionals perform it. The technicians of STI Garage Door are very experienced in repairing and replacing springs. That is why you can trust this work to us.

How can I calculate garage door torsion spring replacement cost?

You can replace the garage door torsion spring yourself or have the job done by professionals. The answer to the question “How much does garage door spring replacement cost?” depends on several factors. Do you call an expert or want to conduct this work without third-party help? What spring types do you need? Do you need to replace a single or a double torsion spring?

Replacing the torsion spring yourself will cost you considerably less. First, you will need to purchase a torsion spring. On average, they cost between $15 and $100, depending on the type and size. Also, add the cost of tools and extra materials to this amount if you don’t have them now. You will need to buy protective gloves and goggles, a ladder, and C-clamps. But consider that you will need to spend a lot of time on this task. Moreover, this job is not always safe, and you are putting yourself at risk of getting injured.

The professional torsion spring replacement service will cost considerably more. Expert services usually already include the cost of the torsion spring and additional tools. In total, you will need to pay a technician between $140 and $270 for the garage door single torsion spring replacement. This cost includes $30 to $70 for the new spring and $110 to $200 for the technician’s work.

If your garage door has a two-spring system, but only one spring is broken, you will still need to replace both. First, double garage door spring replacement costs less than replacing each spring individually. Second, it is necessary to ensure that both springs have the same tension. Different spring tension can negatively affect the balance and function of the garage door. If you need to replace two torsion springs, the price will be $50 to $100 for the two springs and $150 to $250 for the labor. In total, the garage door double torsion spring replacement will cost you about $200-$350.

An employee of our company will be able to tell you a more accurate price after personally inspecting your garage door, identifying the problem, and determining the specifics of your door.

As you can see, such services are not very cheap. But the biggest benefit you get is saving you time and security for you and your loved ones.

Consider STI Garage Door Your Trusted Partner

Garage door torsion spring replacement is not a difficult but quite dangerous task. After all, torsion springs are usually hefty metal springs with strong tension. During work on the torsion spring, a metal part can fly off as a result of the spring breaking, the garage door can fall, or the opener can suddenly get activated. In addition, you may accidentally cut or bruise yourself.

Therefore, it is wise to ask somebody who knows how to replace the tension spring on the garage door for help. Bypassing the task of replacing the torsion spring to the STI Garage Door company’s technicians, you will not only avoid all the risks associated with repairing such a heavy structure, but you will also save your precious time.

If there is a problem with your garage door and it needs urgent repair, you can submit a request on our website at any time of the day or night. Our operator will contact you and arrange when the technicians can come to your place.

An expert from our company will carefully study the issue. After that, he will be able to make a plan for the necessary work and estimate how much replacing the garage door torsion spring will cost you. After your approval, the technician starts the repair. In the meantime, you can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Using our company’s services is very convenient because we are available in almost every state in the United States. This means that we will fix your garage door quickly, no matter where you live.

Whether you need the garage door of your home or a commercial facility repaired, we’ll take on any job. In addition to the garage door spring repair service, you can come to us with these tasks:

  •   Garage door installation, repair, and replacement
  •   Garage door opener installation, replacement, and repair
  •   Garage door maintenance
  •   Insulation of garage doors

The main advantage of our company is our extensive experience. For over five years, we have been dedicated exclusively to garage door maintenance. This has allowed us to learn very deeply about all sorts of garage door problems and get the most experience in solving these problems.

Final Thoughts

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Broken garage doors can ruin your plans for the day, and sometimes they can even pose a danger to you and your family members. That’s why you should take issues like a damaged torsion spring very seriously. Inspect your garage door springs regularly, adjust them if necessary, and have them replaced on time. Of course, you can fix some of these issues without any help.

In this article, we have described how to replace a garage door torsion spring in great detail. But remember about safety. A garage door is a pretty heavy thing. It’s better not to over-risk and to call in professionals. Turning to our company, you can be calm. We appreciate our customers and guarantee the quality of our work.

Operating in the garage door industry for over 25 years, STI Garage Door is dedicated to quality service and excellence in everything.

The company is a proud partner to the top brands in the field — LiftMaster for commercial door openers and Amarr and Clopay for residential and commercial doors.

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faq man

Can I replace only one garage door torsion spring?

It depends on how many torsion springs your garage door has. If you have two or more springs, but only one is damaged, you still need to replace both. Even if the second spring doesn’t have any severe damage, its tension becomes weaker over time. This means that if you replace only one spring, its tension will be stronger than the second spring, which is still functioning. As a result, when you open and close the garage door, the force applied to the opposite sides of the door will be different. As a consequence, the door will be unbalanced.

How often should a torsion spring be replaced?

The torsion spring is a strong metal part. Such parts last quite long, and you don’t have to replace them often. On average, a garage door torsion spring has a lifespan of 7-12 years. But still, we recommend inspecting the torsion springs regularly and replacing them if necessary. To extend the life of the spring and prevent possible damage, you should lubricate them twice a year.

Can I replace a garage door torsion spring myself?

In our article How to Replace a Broken Garage Door Torsion Spring: The Complete Guide, we have given a lot of helpful information on how to replace a garage door single torsion spring yourself. But you should be very careful because this garage part weighs a lot. In addition, you may not notice some breakages. As a result, you risk your health a lot when carrying out such an operation independently. Therefore, if you find that your garage door operates in an unusual way, it is better to contact professionals.

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Maryland 3015910991

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