The following procedures are based on my 30 years in the garage door industry. In spite of my high mechanical aptitude, even after 18 years in the trade I lost the end of my left index finger. A few years later I had five stitches in my right thumb, and a year later five stitches in my left thumb. In 2004 emergency room staffs dug steel out of my eye and sewed up my ring finger with eight stitches. The best I can do is help you minimize the risk of injury; that's all I can do for myself. I am not so naive as to think that I have made my last trip to the emergency room. Repairing garage doors, particularly replacing torsion springs, is dangerous work, whether you are a do-it-yourself homeowner or an experienced technician.
If one of your door springs just broke and you are looking for instructions to decide if you can change the spring or springs safely and correctly, this page should help. DO NOT OPEN AND CLOSE YOUR GARAGE DOOR. Wooden garage doors are heavy and will probably damage or ruin the opener. The tops of steel doors often bend when operated with broken springs.

10.13 Slowly pull down on the winding bar until the garage door rises 3" and the roller hits the vise grip on the track. The door will usually drop back down and raise the bar. If it doesn't, lift the end of the bar until the door closes. If the door comes up by itself when you hold the bar lightly, the springs are either over wound or they are too strong. You may need to remove 1/4 to 1/2 turns from the springs. If the door comes up on its own, you either have to many turns on the springs or you have the wrong springs. This can be very dangerous. We recommend getting professional help. Removing the winding bar could cause the garage door to knock you off the ladder.


The low rating on the CS is due to the fact that inwas out of town and my wife called because the garage door wouldn't open. We had repairs to the only other exit, and the CS said because it could be opened manually, it was no emergency. She was stuck in the house for over Sixteen hours. No emergency crew came out. Steve, a tech who came out the first time, fixed the door. It is not his fault CS took their sweet time to help a 45 year customer. I commend Steve. I do NOT have anything good to say about CS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_eZc-kh40c

Does your garage door stop when it is going up? Did you hear a loud bang, similar to a gun shot? Do the torsion springs above your door seem separated? If so, you might just have a broken torsion garage door spring. Torsion springs are located above the garage door and they are what lift the actual weight of the garage door. Most doors weigh between 150 to 250 pounds and without working springs, the garage door opener cannot lift the door. Attempting to use a garage door opener to lift a garage door with a broken spring can cause numerous parts on the opener to break.


If your garage door goes up and down in a jerky motion, you might have one broken spring on a two spring system. Some garage door openers are strong enough to lift a door with only one good spring. The “herky jerky” motion is especially common with garage doors equipped with extension springs. It might be something as simple as lubricating your garage door pulleys, hinges, and rollers. When in doubt or if something doesn’t feel right about your door, call a service company to have it serviced.

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A typical version of an overhead garage door used in the past would have been built as a one-piece panel.[1] The panel was mounted on each side with unequal parallelogram style hinge lifting mechanism. Newer versions of overhead garage doors are now generally built from several panels hinged together that roll along a system of tracks guided by rollers.[1] The weight of the door may be 400 lb (181.4 kg) or more, but is balanced by either a torsion spring system or a pair of extension springs.[2] A remote controlled motorized mechanism for opening garage doors adds convenience, safety, and security.[3]
Another scenario is the garage door goes up very slowly when using the automatic opener. Some garage door openers have DC motors that start off slow when opening and then kick into a higher speed. If you have a broken spring, the opener might stay in the slower speed due to the heavy weight of the garage door. If this happens to you, close the garage door and pull the emergency release rope. Next, try to lift the door. If it is really heavy, then you most likely have a broken garage door spring.
Garage door springs come in two styles: torsion (see above), which mounts on the header above the door, and extension (Photo 1), which floats above the upper roller track. In the past, extension springs were safer to install but didn’t have containment cables running through the center of the spring. Without cable, these springs become dangerous, heavy whips when they break. They also tend to be noisier than torsion springs, and we recommend you use them only if you don’t have the 12 in. of headroom above the door that a torsion spring requires.

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After you’ve ordered your new garage door, we’ll perform a site inspection to confirm your door size. We’ll contact you to schedule the installation, and our professional installers will do the rest. They’ll deliver your door, take down the old door, reconnect your opener if there is one, seal your perimeter and provide a final walk-through where they’ll clean up the area and haul away your old door. Additional fees for haul away may apply in some markets. We are happy to provide answers to questions you may have at the time of your garage door and opener installation.

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6.10 If the garage door comes off the floor when you pull down on the bar, and if the cone still won't loosen, tap the bar next to the cone with a hammer to force the cone beyond the swollen portion of shaft. 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 break free from the shaft and yank the bar down. https://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=share

If you use the correct tools and follow our instructions, you can rebuild the entire torsion spring system in just a few hours, without any side trips to the ER. We won't cover how to replace garage door extension spring systems in this story. But we'll show you garage door spring replacement on the more common torsion springs, the kind that mount on a bar above the garage door. http://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=share
The tricky parts of the job involve you carrying the tension of the spring. Replacing a spring requires that you first unwind the spring to relieve the tension, then wind it back up and secure it while it's under tension. Winding bars are used for all winding and unwinding actions—don't try to save a few bucks by substituting long screwdrivers or pieces of rebar for the real winding bars. Substitute tools are much more likely to slip, or they may bend or break under the load of the spring.
Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University. https://youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c
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