Unlike torsion springs, replacing extension springs has long been given the "green light" for DIYers, primarily because you can complete the job without having to deal with spring tension. The general process is simple and safe: open the door to relieve the spring tension (and secure it open with C-clamps in the tracks); disconnect the spring from the track bracket and the spring pulley, and disconnect the safety cable from one end; install the new spring, reinstall the pulley, and reconnect the safety cable, and you're done. https://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=kp
A garage door with a broken torsion spring can fall rapidly and cause injury or death. However, the most common danger comes when your torsion springs break and you decide to undertake the repair/replace them yourself. Torsion springs can be very dangerous, and you not only need the exact tools for the job, but also need to have a good knowledge of the mechanics involved. Some of the parts involved in such a process can be life threatening, and must be handled with care and precision, which is why it is always recommended that you call in a professional, rather than trying to handle a replacement or repair by yourself. Failure to do so may leave you with injuries and/or damage to your property.

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4.4 Take the spring on the left and place it at the left end of the door as pictured here. Notice that the end of the wire points to the right toward the center of the door. This is a right wind torsion spring. It will go above the garage door on the left side of the spring anchor bracket. The winding cone at the other end of this spring is usually painted red.

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In most cases, only one spring breaks or wears out at a time, and you can get away with replacing just the failed spring. But this is a little like replacing old car tires one at a time. You'll get the best performance if all the springs are new and have the same strength. Extension springs are replaced individually, making it more tempting to replace just one. With torsion springs, you have to disassemble everything to replace either spring, so it makes sense to swap out both springs during the repair.
These instructions were first posted in 2005, and they were updated in August of 2008. I have been frank about the hazards of garage door repairs and about my own accidents incurred while replacing torsion springs. For what it's worth, you might be surprised to know that I, too, have benefitted from producing these instructions. I have not had any garage door accidents since we first published these on the web in 2005. And, in as much as I have helped keep other DIY-ers out of the emergency room, I consider myself somewhat of a medical practitioner.

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Since garage doors come in all weights and sizes, the right springs need to be installed in order to properly balance the door. If a technician puts the wrong spring on your door, not only will this damage your garage door system, but it will cause the garage door opener to do more work than it was built to do. This is why Precision technicians only install the right springs for the door's weight and check their work by performing a balance test.

Annual maintenance. Make an annual check of all nuts and bolts on rails and rollers to make sure they’re firmly tightened. Check the condition of all cables to make sure they’re not worn or frayed. Lubricate rollers and springs with a garage-door lubricant (see How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door for maintenance and problem-solving tips). The door should operate smoothly and be properly balanced. Check the balance by disconnecting the opener and lowering the door halfway- the door should hold its position. If it doesn’t, adjust the spring tension or replace the springs.
After removing the old batteries, make sure the plus and minus signs line up with the plus and minus signs on the inside of the transmitter. Otherwise, the new battery won’t work in the transmitter, and it could give you a false sign that something else may be wrong. Once the battery is in place, test the transmitter, and if it works, replace the transmitter door.
Measure area labeled headroom (5), which is the distance between the top of the door opening (jamb header) and the ceiling (or floor joist). 10" is required for the standard extension spring or EZ-SET® Extension Spring System while 12" is required for a standard torsion spring and EZ-SET® Torsion Spring System. If you have restricted headroom, special hardware is available. Additional headroom is required for installation of an automatic garage door opener. NOTE: If garage door height extends above the opening, the headroom measurement should be adjusted proportionately.
The Leading (scam) in the industry is the "LIFETIME WARRANTY". It sounds great when presented and seems fair and maybe even a good idea even though the initial cost seems pretty high (on average 450 - 700 dollars) what is not mentioned is the annual required cost (known as the required or annual door maintenance) to keep the warranty valid which if a standard 15,000 cycle spring/s is used should average Ten years, this annual service is usually 90 - 120 dollars. That would be another "900 - 1200" dollars invested in Ten years, that and the initial cost and you could buy two or more "complete new" doors in that time.
If you have two torsion springs on your garage door, the good spring will most likely keep the cables on the drums when the other spring breaks. This makes it much easier to lift because the good spring will be pulling half the weight of the garage door. You can also use the garage door opener to help assist while someone lifts the door and acts as the broken spring. Use extreme caution when doing this to prevent damage to your garage door or injury to a person. 

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10.2 Tape your winding bars if you have not done so already, not only to assure that you are inserting the bars completely into the cones as you wind the torsion springs, but more importantly to assure that the bar does not slip out of the cone when you stretch the springs at the end. This has happened to me several times. Professionals always stretch torsion springs after winding them because the shaft floats horizontally between the flexible end bearing plates as the door operates. Although this may be as little as 1/4", the binding of the coils as the garage door closes oftentimes keeps the door from closing completely, especially when the torsion springs and bearings are dry.
9.12 It is now time to secure the torsion springs in the middle. For various reasons, many installers will offset the center bracket several inches from the center of the door. Offsetting the bracket makes it easier to work around the opener bracket without causing any problems in the operation of your garage door, but offsetting the bracket is not necessary. If you have a slotted center bracket, remove the vise grip and lube the shaft where it turns inside the bushing. Position the shaft so it is the same distance from the header as it is at each end. The shaft should be straight and parallel to the header.

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Instead, try other methods that might break the frozen connection between the door and the floor. For example, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the ice and free the door. Standard de-icing products can also work. And if you are careful not to damage the door or the seal on the bottom of the door, you can use a flat shovel or similar tool to chip away at the ice.

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One of the best ways to care for your springs is to check them over for wear. You can certainly look at them for damage, but sometimes the damage isn’t something that’s visible. In these cases, try lifting the garage door up from the ground. About halfway up, let go. If the door stays, the springs are still working perfectly. If the door sags or drops at all, this could be a sign that your springs are beginning to weaken and will need replacing soon.

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These instructions were first posted in 2005, and they were updated in August of 2008. I have been frank about the hazards of garage door repairs and about my own accidents incurred while replacing torsion springs. For what it's worth, you might be surprised to know that I, too, have benefitted from producing these instructions. I have not had any garage door accidents since we first published these on the web in 2005. And, in as much as I have helped keep other DIY-ers out of the emergency room, I consider myself somewhat of a medical practitioner.

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For a scholarly introduction to torsion springs and for more information on how to install them I recommend you visit Richard Kinch's page, "How I Replaced Deadly Garage Door Torsion Springs and Lived to Tell the Tale." Richard is a brilliant engineer who has provided a wealth of technical information on fixing torsion springs along with valuable advice regarding some of the schemes unscrupulous garage door companies use to rip people off.

If you happen to be home when these break, you’ll hear a loud bang from inside your garage. This bang can be so loud that some people might think a firecracker went off inside their garage. That’s because garage doors can be very heavy and despite what most people think, it’s not the garage door opener that does the heavy lifting, but rather the heavy-duty springs of the door.
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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That sagging garage door is getting harder and harder to open. Garage doors, especially older, wooden models, are as susceptible to the ravages of time and gravity as the rest of us. If your aging doors are a little saggy, square them up with the tension rods positioned on the back of the door. The rods are placed diagonally from top to bottom corners and can be tightened at a turnbuckle to straighten out the door--do a little at time to allow the door to adjust to the change. If your door isn't already equipped with tension rods, you can buy them at home centers.
6.13 Lower the second bar to the top of the garage door as you did the first bar. If your shaft is distorted inside the cone, you may need to tap the bar with a hammer as you unwind the spring. Maintain a firm grip on the bar; keep it firmly inserted completely into the cone; and be prepared at all times for the cone to slip, break, explode or snap loose from the shaft and jolt the bar down.

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.
Garage door springs don’t require extensive care and maintenance. However, they also can’t be left entirely to their own devices. Spraying the springs with WD-40 is a good place to start. It’s also a good idea to check the balance of the garage door every year. To do this, simply lift the garage door up about halfway and let go. If the springs are in good working condition, the door should remain still. If the springs are beginning to weaken, the door might sag or fall. By taking these basic steps, you can preserve your door springs for longer.

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These instructions are for doors with cable drums and cables that look similar to those in the picture below. The next part beyond the end of the spring assembly is the cable drum. The drum is cast aluminum alloy 4" in diameter and 12.6" in circumference around the flat portion. Just beyond the cable drum is the end bearing plate. The cable unwraps off the back of the drum between the drum and the garage wall or jamb and travels down alongside the door, inside the track brackets and behind the roller stems as shown.
I went on Garage Door Nation website to look at the conversion chart from 1 to 2 torsion springs. For my 1 spring, size 2"/0.250ID/30.5" length, they recommended 2 of 2"/0.207ID/24" length. I got this kit from Amazon for $64 with $11 overnight shipping even though I could get free shipping through Prime over the weekend, but I couldn't wait for 3 more painful days. Installed it followed YouTube video. Worked better than my old one, a lot quieter. Check the video if you want to install one yourself. Professional installation costs hundreds of $$$:

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Usually, when a garage door spring breaks the door has already closed or come down. In some instances, however, a spring can snap while the door is closing or in motion, causing the door to fall rapidly. In these situations, the door can become a safety concern for you and your family, so you should keep your distance and call a garage door professional as soon as possible. Garage doors are very heavy and can cause injury if not handled properly. When a garage door problem occurs, call a Sears Garage Door expert to help.

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Install the stiffening strut on top of the top section of steel doors with the section lying flat. Then install the opener bracket that replaces the center bracket between the top two sections. While you’re working on the sections, protect them from scratches by putting carpet scraps on top of your sawhorses. Now, slide the rollers into the roller brackets.
Roberto was very courteous and explained the details of what he was doing. He also pointed out a repair I might consider having done (replacement of the bottom panel of my door) and asked the office to follow up with me on this. Someone did follow up with me and since replacement of the bottom panel is not an option and I would have to replace the door, I decided that I can wait.

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When one or both springs break, gravity takes over and you feel the full weight of the door when lifting or lowering it.  It may be possible to pull the door up by hand, although doing so will likely be very difficult. In most cases, two or more people are needed to raise the door high enough for you to drive your car out of the garage. While single garage doors can typically be lifted, double doors are nearly impossible to manipulate due to their excessive weight.
Test the garage door opener while the door is down. Push the wall button to operate the door opener. If the opener operates, the binding was setting the internal safety mechanisms off, alerting the opener not to close. Raise the door slightly and jiggle the emergency cord to lock the carriage back over the carriage base, and attempt to operate the door with the motor.

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