Even though most of us are likely used to seeing this small spring in place on our garage door, we don’t often think too much about it, and we simply count on it working when we need it to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s best to be proactive and notice when it begins to look worn down before it actually breaks. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to open the garage door to drive to work one morning, only to find that the door won’t open because the spring is broken.

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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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A garage door with aging springs puts an enormous load on a garage door opener, so another sign of failing springs is when you hear the electric door opener begin to strain as it attempts to lift the door. At this point, it is time to consider replacing the springs. Aging door springs can also break suddenly, a situation that can cause the door to slam shut violently. If you happen to be present when a spring breaks, you will hear a very loud sound like a gunshot, because the break usually occurs when the spring is fully loaded—stretched or twisted to its full tension. When one spring breaks, the door will suddenly feel very heavy when you try to open it by hand, and an automatic garage door opener may no longer be able to lift the door at all.
Once the springs break, quite a bit of tension is put on the door cables, and they will often break next. When these cables break, they will snap and forcibly fly out like a broken rubber band. Think about how much it hurts to be snapped by a broken rubber band, and then multiply it by a hundred to account for the size and weight of the garage door cables. https://www.youtube.com/e/Z_eZc-kh40c

Slide the left spring onto the tube and add the cable drum. When your new springs arrive, put the new left spring (the 1 with the end facing up and to the left) on the torsion tube, making sure that the stationary cone on the end of the spring faces the center bracket. After sliding the new spring into place, replace the cable drum and insert the torsion bar into the left bearing bracket.[9]

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10.8 After the cone reaches the mark, continue pulling the bar off the garage door and back toward the middle of the door with your left hand. Tighten both set screws 1/2 to 3/4 turns each after each screw first meets the shaft. This is the point at which you will feel the screw meeting resistance. If the garage door spring snakes after tightening the set screws, repeat the process and stretch the spring half as much as before. Residential torsion springs are stretched 1/8" to 1/4". Larger commercial and industrial overhead garage door torsion springs are stretched as much as an inch.
Sears garage repair technicians are fast, with same-day, emergency repairs available in most areas. We can replace garage door broken springs, rollers, cables, hinges, sensors and weather seals. We can also adjust garage door tracks and springs to make sure your door operates smoothly. Having problems with your garage door opener? We can repair or replace that too. Check out our line of Craftsman Garage Door Openers. Craftsman is America’s #1 brand of garage door openers! 1
10.3 At this point you will wind the spring. Notice that the end of the spring on the winding cone points up when facing you. You will wind both springs up and counter intuitively as if you are trying to unscrew the winding cones from the ends of the springs. Begin by turning the spring up 1/4 turn until it meets resistance. This is your first quarter turn. Count "one." Next, insert the bar and raise it 90 degrees. Insert the second bar. This is "two." As you wind the spring it should grow in length the thickness of one coil for every turn. The cone should cover your mark after the first couple turns. Many garage door tradesmen mark the torsion springs with chalk or paint, but this often generates confusion.
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.

Typically, it will cost less to install a steel garage door without an opener than to install a custom wood door with a garage door opener. Recent innovations have also yielded high-tech doors with thick insulation and energy-efficient glaze, as well as finished interior surfaces and other significant upgrades. These are more expensive doors, but they are also extremely durable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=youtube_gdata
A garage door that has a broken spring has nothing to support its weight. The size of the door and the type of spring system determines how difficult opening the door will be. A garage door should not be opened until the spring is repaired. However, when you need to get your car out of the garage, it may be necessary if you cannot wait for the repairman. Use extreme care when opening a garage door in this manner.
7.2 If the spring bracket is slotted, vise grip the bracket to secure the shaft in the bracket. This will keep the shaft from possibly falling out and causing injury or damaging the garage door or shaft. You can also secure the shaft with a cable tie. Remove the bushing from the cone and leave it on the shaft next to the center spring bracket. Often the bushing gets stuck in the cone and customers will call us about getting a new bushing until they discover it is still in the cone of the spring replaced earlier. http://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c&feature=youtu.be

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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.
If you are not sure if your door had the correct springs, we recommend that you weigh your door using an analog scale. From my own field experience I would estimate that at least 10% of the doors have the incorrect springs on them. In addition to this, most manufacturers spring their doors using a 20 pound window. We like to improve the garage door balance.
I have 2 full house humidifiers that have stopped functioning right. There are new filters, fan runs, tanks are full of water but they are not empting into the base. They have worked for part of the winter and now nothing seems to help...I loosened the caps thinking I had them too tight..... nothing seems to work .I have had humidifiers for 20 years and this is the first time this has happened to me. The humidifiers are only 2 years old. Any suggestions??
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 got these replacement cables for my beach house garage door after the originals rusted and broke. These are twice the diameter of the OEM cables, and fit the door perfectly. The larger cables give piece of mind for both supporting the door and providing safety cables for the extension springs. Came with all the necessary hardware, and the installation was easy with the doors blocked in the up position.
Sears garage repair technicians are fast, with same-day, emergency repairs available in most areas. We can replace garage door broken springs, rollers, cables, hinges, sensors and weather seals. We can also adjust garage door tracks and springs to make sure your door operates smoothly. Having problems with your garage door opener? We can repair or replace that too. Check out our line of Craftsman Garage Door Openers. Craftsman is America’s #1 brand of garage door openers! 1
When a spring breaks on a garage door an immense amount of energy being displaced. Torsion springs are mounted over the garage door and they have a shaft running through the middle. When they break, the spring unwinds in less than a second and creates a loud noise due to the coils spinning on the shaft. Based on customer feedback, it can be quite startling.
From a big-box store, basic garage door cables can run between $8 and $20, depending on the product. Your pro may charge you a different cost if they provide the cables. Your cables may not need to be replaced if they have simply come off the track, but broken cables will need to be completely removed and replaced. In either instance, the pros will need to secure or take down the door; unwind the springs; reset or replace the rollers, cables, and drums; and then wind the springs once more. For example, a pro could reset cables that have come off the track for $129.99. The average national cost for a garage door repair specialist is $80 - $110 per hour and the typical cost to replace a broken garage door cable is anywhere from $130 to $200.
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I never heard of Oak Glen before, but do recognize the mountain names. I wouldn't expect to find any towering Sequoias and Redwoods there because neither species is native to that part of California, and they do take some time to become towering. And I've never heard of any overlapping of their ranges. A more suitable house for this location might get inspiration from the Monolithic Dome in Yucaipa which survived a direct hit from a wildfire.
If your torsion spring isn’t lifting your door or your door is stuck, it is best to not attempt fixing it on your own. Garage doors are very heavy and can be the source of great injury if not handled with care when a part is broken. At Advanced Garage Door Solutions, Inc., we are there for you to quickly fix the problem so that normal garage door function is restored. To learn more, call the Minneapolis office at 952-500-3921 or the St. Paul office at 651-769-7191 and request a free estimate.

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10.5 If the spring comes loose from the cone at about 6 turns, you are probably winding the spring backward because the springs are on the wrong sides. Switch the springs. Otherwise, after winding the torsion springs, you will need to stretch the springs and secure the winding cone. First, mark the shaft 1/4" beyond the winding cone with tape or with a file. We stretch the springs because the shaft floats horizontally between the flexible end bearing plates as the garage door operates. Although this may be as little as 1/4" the binding of the coils as the door closes often keeps the door from closing completely, especially when the springs and bearings are dry and need lubrication.
Garage doors are the largest moving object inside your home. If you have a problematic garage door, it compromises the safety of your family and home. Ankmar Denver is a professional company you can count on. We provide you with quality service at a reasonable price. We offer FREE estimates on replacement garage doors and are spring replacement specialists. 24 hours a day 7 days a week we are your number one garage door repair service.

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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 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.

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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.
Would have appreciated the technician to have explained in better detail about the quality of the first doors we received in our home. The garage doors that were installed recently were an upgrade. I would have selected the better quality of doors with the first installation if it had been explained in better detail and time of decision with the first doors. But, I really love the doors that were recently installed! Explained much better with the new doors. Time was well spent on my decision making and the technician this time was very helpful and knowledgeable. Thank You! Cathy Walsh
To install a single new garage door it should cost between $500 and $800. They demonstrate that the average homeowner can usually tackle such a project in a nine hour time span and a professional will be able to complete it in roughly five hours. Should it be a DIY project? Not really, most housing experts point out that it is a two-person job, requires advanced carpentry skills, and even knowledge of household electronic systems.
While it would be wonderful if door springs lasted forever, the reality is that the simple act of opening and shutting the door multiple times every day isn’t easy. It’s hard on the springs, even though they’re built to do it. Most springs will last for a while, but they won’t last forever. The regular wear and tear of endlessly opening and shutting the door breaks them down and eventually, they’ll need to be replaced.

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Your decision on whether to try and replace a broken spring may depend on what type of springs you have. Garage door springs come in two main types: extension and torsion. Identifying which type you have is easy. If your door system has a long, skinny spring running parallel to each horizontal door track, then you have extension springs. If your door has one or more beefy springs on a metal rod parallel to, and directly above, the door opening, then you have torsion springs. Both of these springs are found on standard sectional garage doors. If you happen to have an old one-piece, swing-up door with vertical springs at both sides, you also have a variety of extension springs, sometimes called side springs.

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From a big-box store, basic garage door cables can run between $8 and $20, depending on the product. Your pro may charge you a different cost if they provide the cables. Your cables may not need to be replaced if they have simply come off the track, but broken cables will need to be completely removed and replaced. In either instance, the pros will need to secure or take down the door; unwind the springs; reset or replace the rollers, cables, and drums; and then wind the springs once more. For example, a pro could reset cables that have come off the track for $129.99. The average national cost for a garage door repair specialist is $80 - $110 per hour and the typical cost to replace a broken garage door cable is anywhere from $130 to $200.

Sometimes, people unplug their power source and then wonder why their garage door opener fails to work. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it does happen. Make sure that your garage door opener is plugged into a working outlet. Outlets sometimes go out without warning, so you can check to see if the outlet is working by plugging another working electronic device into it. Also, check your circuit breaker, fuse, or GFCI.
Replacing torsion springs is done with the door closed. You start by carefully unloading all of the springs (most standard-size doors have two; any broken spring will already be unloaded), using the winding bars. Then, you unbolt the springs from the central rod bracket, disconnect the cables from the pulleys, and loosen the pulleys and slide them off of the rod. Next, you swap out the springs, reinstall the pulleys and cables, and secure the inside ends of the springs to the central bracket. Finally, you wind up both springs (securing them with two setscrew bolts on the winding cones) and test the door for proper spring tension. Often, springs need an extra quarter-turn or two to get the door balance just right.

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If you pull the red emergency release rope on your automatic opener and you still can’t lift the garage door, you probably have a broken spring. The counterbalance spring is what lifts the garage door, not the garage door opener. If the spring is broken, the door is dead weight. A garage door can be lifted, but it is going to require some muscle to get it up. It is also important to lift the door evenly so it does not jam in the tracks.
The national average for garage door repair cost is between $80 and $110. Some of the factors that affect your garage door repair cost are the type of springs (most often torsion or extension), the size and weight of the door, and the door material. Many garage door pros will charge a service fee to visit your house and determine the problem. Often, the service fee includes a set amount of labor. One example of this is an $80 service fee that includes the first hour of work plus testing and inspecting your garage door and garage door opener, while another pro may charge $150 for the same standard service call.   

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There are lots of ways your garage door can suffer damage. The tracking might be rusted or broken, the weatherstripping might need to be replaced or the door itself might actually be broken or have a hole in it. After all, garage doors are sturdy but not unbreakable. One component of your garage door in particular that will likely need replacing every so often is the spring.
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.
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.

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The two main garage door operating mechanisms are sectional roll-ups or tilt-ups. Garage door repair services can fix single-car, double-car or RV-height doors. Your garage door may be made of wood, steel, aluminum, masonite, vinyl, fiberglass or another material. The type of garage door repair you need really depends on the type of garage door you have and the issue at hand. Garage door repair pros often charge a flat service call fee to diagnose the problem and provide an estimate. For customers who choose to have the repair done, the service call fee may be applied to the first hour of labor (including time to make the diagnosis). If your garage door is under warranty, the repair may be free of charge.

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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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&app=desktop

2.4 The same is true of Older Overhead, BarCol and Raynor torsion springs that have winding cones with inconsistent hole sizes. If you insert a 1/2" X 18" bar in some of these holes you can move the opposite end of the bar over four inches. Bars in newer cones move less than 1 1/2". I've had many of the older cones spin loose from my bars, the last one generating an $1800 emergency room bill. If your cones are like any of these, or if they have more than 2" of play, leave the job of installing torsion springs to a professional garage door mechanic.
"Our garage door wouldn’t shut on sunny days and the tech came out. He explained my options (swap the “seeing” sensor with the other, or replace them). He tried swapping and it was still an issue so he replaced them. In addition, he adjusted the spring because the company that installed it last year did not adjust it properly. He was here for about two hours and charged us for only the sensor replacement. Will definitely be using this company again! Highly recommend them. "

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Step 2: Check the tracks with a level to make sure they're properly aligned. Horizontal tracks should slant slightly down toward the back of the garage; with roll-up doors, the vertical sections of track should be exactly plumb. Both tracks must be at the same height on the garage walls. If the tracks are not properly aligned, loosen but do not remove the screws or bolts that hold the mounting brackets, and tap the tracks carefully into position. Recheck the tracks with the level to make sure they're in the right position; then tighten the screws or bolts at the mounting brackets.
With over 300 independently moving parts, your garage door is a deceptively complex piece of equipment. To help prevent malfunctions and break-downs, it is a good idea to occasionally perform a garage door tune-up to keep all of these parts in good working order. A regular tune-up service by a Sears professional can prevent unexpected door problems and prolong the life of your existing equipment.

Garage door problems don’t have to mean the end of the world. Garage door repair is typically a one-day process and can be done for only a few hundred dollars. Common garage door repair requests include fixing slow or erratic garage doors, addressing strange sounds coming from the garage door or motor, fixing cosmetic damage such as dents or scrapes, repairing broken doors that are stuck open or closed, and troubleshooting inoperable doors.


Garage doors cause injury and property damage (including expensive damage to the door itself) in several different ways. The most common causes of injury from garage door systems include falling doors, pinch points, improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, attempts at do-it-yourself repair without the proper knowledge or tools, and uncontrolled release of spring tension (on extension spring systems).

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Garage door manufacturers typically produce garage doors fitted with torsion springs that provide a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles and are guaranteed for three to seven years. One cycle is a single opening and closing sequence. Most manufacturers offer a 30,000 cycle spring. However, it is important to remember that if the weight of the garage door is increased by adding glass, additional insulation, or even several coats of paint, the life of the torsion spring may be greatly reduced. Additionally, springs at highly humid environments, such as coastal regions tend to have a significantly shorter cycle life, due to the corrosive cracking.

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9.8 Twist the garage door shaft to tighten the cable on the drum. While twisting, vise grip the shaft as shown to keep the cable tight on the drum. The top of the vise grip should be tight against the garage header. This will keep the cable snug on the first drum while you install the cable on the other drum and position it in place. It also keeps the shaft from turning and the cables peeling off when you wind the springs. That one grip can save many hours of walking back and forth and having to level and re-level the garage door after winding the torsion springs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata&v=Z_eZc-kh40c


Standard torsion springs (about $40 each) have a service life of 7,000 to 10,000 open/close cycles. However, you can buy double-life (25,000 cycles) replacement springs for about $65 per spring. If you have a two-spring setup and one spring breaks, the second spring will break soon. So replace them both at the same time. To get the right springs for your door, you'll have to provide the supplier some details. Here's how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eZc-kh40c&app=desktop
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