If you have a spring-assisted garage door, eventually, one or more springs will fail and require replacement. If you’re present when a spring gives way, you’ll know it broke by the loud snapping noise it makes. If not nearby when a spring breaks, you’ll know one has by the weight of the door when you lift it or the noise of the extra work put in by the electric opener lacking spring-assistance.
The following information covers the process of replacing a spring for a garage door. We should note that working with springs under tension is dangerous work and people without serious DIY or similar professional skills should leave this task to a garage door repair expert.
Step One: Determine the Type of Springs Your Garage Uses
There are two main types of garage door springs – torsion and extension.
Extension springs are long and installed parallel to the horizontal door tracks.
Torsion springs are larger, coiled around a metal rod, and positioned above the door opening.
While both types of garage door springs are under tension, how they derive their energy is different. When the door is closed, extension springs are stretched out and loaded – ready to assist with lifting the door’s weight. Torsion springs become loaded by twisting or, in other words, torquing to create tension.
How to Replace an Extension Spring
Extension springs are the easier of the two types of garage springs to install due to not contending with tension in the spring.
First, relieve the spring’s tension by opening the door. For safety, use C-clamps in the tracks to prevent the door from moving back down.
Next, locate where the spring and the track bracket meet, disconnect it, unhook the spring pulley, and separate the safety cable from the end.
Finally, install the new spring and make sure to reconnect the bracket, pulley, and safety cable.
How to Replace a Torsion Spring
Torsion springs are far more dangerous to handle than their extension spring counterparts. These types of springs are best left for professional garage door repairers. However, with the right tools and attention to detail, you can attempt this repair independently.
The first process in replacing a torsion spring is to unwind it to relieve the tension, then wind it up again to put it back under tension and secure it under this state. Winding bars are purpose-built for this activity and should be used for safety.
To complete this step, you’ll need to identify the winding cone, insert a winding bar into one of the many winding holes, turn it, then insert the other winding bar into the next hole, turn it, and repeat about 30 times until fully unloaded. Note that if your spring has broken, it will already be unloaded.
Next, with the door closed and the tension released from the springs you are replacing, you can unbolt them from the central rod bracket. Remove the pulley cables to loosen them and allow for the springs to slide off.
The final steps involve sliding on the new spring, reattach the pulleys and cables, and bolting the inside ends back to the rod bracket.
Wind the spring back up to load them with tension and secure it with the winding cone setscrew bolts.
Garage Door Spring FAQs
Below is a collection of the most frequently asked questions we receive in regards to garage door springs. If you have further questions, please reach out to our team.
If you are a seasoned DIYer with the right tools, you can most certainly replace garage door springs on your own. For most weekend warriors, garage door spring replacement is best left to professionals as torsion springs are dangerous to remove and install.