Garage door springs offset the weight of a garage door and allow the door to be opened and closed easily, either by hand or by an automatic garage door opener. The high-tension steel in the springs has a limited lifespan, and over time, the springs lose their effectiveness. Garage door springs come in levels of quality—they may be described as "10,000-use" or "20,000-use" springs, for example. This may sound like a very large number, but when you consider that a garage door might be opened four or five times a day, every day, every year, it becomes clear that there is a limited lifespan for these critical garage door parts.
The spring system opens and supports the garage door. These springs are under heavy force, which allows the door to bounce back open and avoids overburdening the garage door opener with the entire weight load. If these springs are stuck or broken, the whole system is affected. Start by lubricating the springs with non-silicon-based lubricant. If this fails, disconnect the garage door opener from the garage door to manually open the door. If you experience significant resistance, the springs might need to be replaced; a job that requires a professional.
If you have a Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster system (pictured below), the springs will be inside a tube. The only way to determine if one is broken is to lift the garage door manually. If the door is heavy (roughly 60lbs for a double car door), you most likely have a broken spring inside the TorqueMaster tube. Another way to tell if you have a broken spring in your Wayne Dalton Torquemaster tube is if the door goes up and won't go back down. http://m.www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_eZc-kh40c
7.4 Check to make sure the torsion hardware is secure. If needed tighten the lag screws that attach the spring anchor bracket to the header. If loose, replace with longer or thicker lags. Brackets for doublewide wood doors should have two lags on the bottom, because when the springs are wound the spring torque pulls the bracket from the bottom. Never touch these when the springs are wound. One of my customers removed the screws when the springs were wound. He broke his arm in 14 places and almost died. He spent a month in the hospital.
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If the door only goes up six inches and stops, or moves very slowly when using your remote, you could have a broken spring as well. Some customers will notice that the top section of their door is bent or that the door falls very quickly when lowering. Your door may be “crooked” or jerky when going up and down, and both of these signs indicate your torsion spring is in poor condition and very likely to break in the near future. Any time you hear a loud “popping” noise while operating, you should inspect your torsion spring immediately for signs of damage.
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Next, check to see if your garage door operator is the problem. Do this by pulling the emergency release cord when the door is in the down position (so the door doesn’t come crashing down in case there is a problem). Then, try to lift the door up manually. Does it open easily? If so, your opener is probably at fault. If it still doesn’t move, the problem likely lies with your tracks, springs, or rollers.
Test the door balance. A garage door should require only a few pounds of pressure to move it up and down. If springs wear out and lose their resiliency, a power garage door opener may need to work extra hard to lift the door. This can quickly wear out the motor on the opener. Replacing worn-out springs is usually a job for a professional technician.
Torsion springs are normally mounted horizontally above the opening of your garage door. When you pull the door down, cables attached to the bottom corners actually force the springs to wind up, in turn energizing the system. When you open the door, the springs then unwind and their energy transfers to the door, helping it to lift up and making it easier to open.
This technician was very competent and performed the services in an outstanding manner. He also suggested additional items needing work on our garage door opener so that it performs much better. It also appears I ordered the wrong door openers, but he was able to input the correct code so that we can use them. We were very satisfied with all of his services.
If your garage door is equipped with only one torsion spring, it will be much harder to get your door open. You will need to get 2-3 people to help lift the door up because the full weight can be anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds. We don’t recommend lifting the door when the spring break's due to the danger of it falling on someone. If you absolutely must get your garage door open, raw strength is what you need. When you get the door in the up position, use vise-grips or a c-clamp on the track below the bottom roller to hold the door in the up position.
Guest 9232954 -- check out the other answers for this question, and the links below the answers for even more - seems from $125-400 range from different contributors (should be replaced in pairs for balanced lifting unless one spring is quite new), about $200-250 or 300 seems a common charge. The springs themselves generally run about $20-50 each depending on lead they have to carry.
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Although garage door springs can break during any season and at any time, they most commonly break during the winter. This has to do with the temperature change. When the temperature sinks below a specific threshold, the metal will contract. This means it’s extremely possible for your door springs to shrink slightly during the winter months. This is hard on the springs and makes them more likely to break. https://youtu.be/Z_eZc-kh40c