How to Fix a Garage Door Spring
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Supreme Garage Door Repair

An Essential Guide On How to Fix a Garage Door Spring

The garage door springs are some of the most important components in a garage door. These springs act as a force opposite the door weight, making it easy to open and close the door. However, like all mechanical parts of the garage, the springs can wear out or even break one day. That way, you can repair a garage door spring on your own, and then seek garage door spring services only if the situation warrants it. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the following:

  • Understanding Garage Door Springs
  • Signs Your Garage Door Spring Needs Fixing
  • Safety Precautions Before Fixing a Garage Door Spring
  • How to Fix a Garage Door Spring
  • How to Replace a Garage Door Spring
  • When to Call a Garage Door Professional
  • How to Install a Garage Door Spring
  • How to Fix a Broken Garage Door Spring
  • How to Repair Garage Door Spring

Understanding Garage Door Springs

Before diving into how to fix a garage door spring, it’s important to understand the different types of springs and how they work. There are two types of garage door springs: extension springs and torsion springs.

  • Extension Springs: These are found on either side of the garage door, stretching alongside the horizontal tracks. They expand and contract to balance the door’s weight.
  • Torsion Springs: These are positioned horizontally above the garage door opening. They store mechanical energy by twisting. When the door opens, the springs unwind, helping to lift the door.

Both types of springs are under high tension and can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Signs Your Garage Door Spring Needs Fixing

Identifying the problem early can prevent further damage to your garage door system. Here are some signs that your garage door spring might need fixing:

  • Difficulty Opening the Door: If the door is heavy and hard to lift, the spring might be broken or damaged.
  • Visible Gap in the Spring: A visible gap in a torsion spring indicates that it is broken.
  • Loud Bang: A loud noise like a gunshot can mean a spring has snapped.
  • Door Closes Too Fast: A door that closes rapidly might have a broken spring, making it unsafe.

Safety Precautions Before Fixing a Garage Door Spring

When dealing with garage door springs, safety is the most important consideration. Here are some safety precautions to follow:

  • Disconnect the Garage Door Opener: Ensure the door opener is unplugged to prevent accidental activation.
  • Use Proper Tools: Only use tools designed for garage door repairs.
  • Wear Safety Gear: Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from potential injuries.
  • Work with a Partner: Having someone to assist you can make the process safer and easier.

How to Fix a Garage Door Spring

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before starting the repair, gather all the tools you’ll need:

  • Winding bars (for torsion springs)
  • Wrenches
  • Clamps
  • Ladder
  • Replacement springs (make sure they match the specifications of the old springs)
  • Safety gear (gloves and safety glasses)

Step 2: Secure the Garage Door

Open the garage door fully and secure it in place using clamps or locking pliers. This ensures the door won’t come crashing down while you’re working on the springs.

Step 3: Disconnect the Opener

Unplug and detach the garage door opener from the door. This is a crucial step to prevent the opener from activating during the repair.

Step 4: Release the Tension (Torsion Springs)

For torsion springs, insert a winding bar into the winding cone and slowly release the tension by turning the bar in the direction opposite to how the spring was wound. Do this carefully to avoid any sudden releases of tension.

Step 5: Remove the Old Spring

Once the tension is released, remove the old spring from the shaft. This usually involves loosening set screws and sliding the spring off the shaft.

Step 6: Install the New Spring

Slide the new spring onto the shaft and make sure it’s properly centered. Tighten the set screws to secure the spring in place.

Step 7: Wind the New Spring

Using the winding bars, wind the new spring in the correct direction. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the number of turns required. This step requires precision to ensure the door operates smoothly.

Step 8: Test the Door

Once the spring is wound, remove the clamps or locking pliers and reconnect the garage door opener. Test the door many times to confirm it opens and closes properly.

How to Replace a Garage Door Spring

Replacing a garage door spring is similar to fixing it but with a focus on ensuring the new spring matches the specifications of the old one. Here’s a brief overview of how to replace the garage door spring:

  • Measure the Old Spring: Measure the length, diameter, and wire size of the old spring to ensure the new one matches.
  • Follow the Safety Steps: Disconnect the opener, secure the door, and release the tension as described earlier.
  • Remove and Replace: Remove the old spring and install the new one, making sure it’s centered and secured.
  • Wind the New Spring: Wind the new spring carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test the Door: Reconnect the opener and test the door to ensure seamless operation.

When to Call a Garage Door Professional

How to Fix a Garage Door Spring

While DIY repairs might save money, some circumstances necessitate professional assistance. Here’s when you should call a garage door professional:

  • Complex Repairs: If you’re unsure about the repair process or if the springs are in a difficult-to-reach location, it’s best to call a professional.
  • Safety Concerns: If you’re concerned about your safety or the safety of others, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
  • Multiple Spring Systems: Some garage doors have multiple springs or complex systems that require specialized knowledge.

How to Install a Garage Door Spring

Installing a garage door spring involves similar steps to fixing or replacing one, but here’s a more detailed look at how to install a garage door spring:

  • Select the Right Spring: Ensure you have the correct type and size of spring for your door.
  • Prepare the Area: Clear the area around the garage door and gather all necessary tools.
  • Disconnect and Secure: Unplug the opener and secure the door in an open position.
  • Install the New Spring: Attach the new spring to the shaft or track, ensuring it’s properly aligned.
  • Wind the Spring: Carefully wind the spring according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Reconnect and Test: Reconnect the opener and test the door to ensure proper operation.

How to Fix a Broken Garage Door Spring

If your garage door spring is broken, the repair process involves several steps:

  • Identify the Break: Determine which spring is broken and what type it is.
  • Secure and Disconnect: Secure the door and disconnect the opener to prevent accidents.
  • Remove the Broken Spring: Carefully remove the broken spring, following the steps for releasing tension and loosening set screws.
  • Install the New Spring: Install a new spring that matches the specifications of the old one.
  • Test the System: Test the garage door to ensure it’s functioning properly.

How to Repair Garage Door Spring

Repairing a garage door spring can be a complex task, especially if the spring is severely damaged. Here are the general steps:

  • Assess the Damage: Determine the extent of the damage to the spring.
  • Secure the Door: Make sure the door is securely in place to prevent accidents.
  • Release Tension and Remove the Spring: Follow the steps for releasing tension and removing the damaged spring.
  • Replace or Repair: Depending on the damage, you might need to replace the spring entirely.
  • Test and Adjust: Once the repair is done, test the door and make any necessary adjustments.

Conclusion

Garage door spring repair can easily be one of the most tedious tasks that a person can embark on. When you follow this guide, then you will feel confident in approaching the repair process. Safety is key; always refer to this guide, and if anything is unclear, it would be wise to contact a professional garage door technician. In either ‘how to repair a garage door’, ‘how to replace garage door spring’, or, ‘how to install garage door spring’, you need to know how it works and approach it with precautions that are required so that the garage door functions as it should.

FAQs

1. Can you fix a garage door spring by yourself?

Yes, a garage door spring can be fixed by an individual but this will require skills together with necessary tools for the job. However, since these are highly tensioned springs, one ought to be very cautious. But if you are in doubt, it will be advisable to seek the services of a qualified professional.

2. Can you fix a broken garage door spring?

Of course, it is possible to repair a garage door spring if it has been damaged. This often entails using a new spring to function as the replacement for the defective one. Read the instructions contained herein to safely remove the broken spring and put in a new one before proceeding.

3. How to open a garage door with a broken spring?

When a garage door has a broken spring, one can open the door with a lot of ease by pulling a cord that disconnects the door from the garage door opener and then lifting the door with the help of the spring. This will be hard and must be done carefully, particularly because the door can be extremely heavy and the springs are no longer present to help. It is safer to let a professional repair the spring first, as it is not easy to install.

4. Can I replace just one garage door spring?

Yes, it is quite possible to change just one of the garage door springs. Still, if the system has two springs, most professionals advise changing both springs simultaneously. In addition, it provides even tension and makes the garage door system more durable and lasting.

5. Is it safe to manually open a garage door with a broken spring?

Do not open a garage door with a broken spring with your hands because it is dangerous to do so. A door can be very massive and sometimes hard to maneuver, creating the possibility of harming the door operator when closing it. You should try to tighten the spring first before you go for the door to unlock it.

6. Is it common for garage door springs to break?

Yes, it’s common for garage door springs to break over time. They are under constant tension and stress, which can cause them to wear out and eventually snap.

7. What is the average life of a garage door spring?

The average life of a garage door spring is about 10,000 cycles, which typically equates to 7-10 years of regular use. High-cycle springs are available that last longer, up to 20,000 cycles or more.

8. How long does it take to fix a spring on a garage door?

Fixing a garage door spring typically takes about 1-2 hours for an experienced person. This includes time for securing the door, removing the old spring, installing the new spring, and testing the door’s operation.

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