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How To Replace Garage Door Springs: Torsion And Extension

Garage Door Torsion Spring Replacement: How to by [Professional Tech]

Tips to Replace Springs Safely and When to Call a Professional

Kelly Bacon is a licensed general contractor with over 40 years of experience in construction, home building and remodeling, and commercial building. He is a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.

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  • Total Time: 1 – 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Cost: $40 to $120

Garage door springs offset the weight of a garage door and allow the door to be opened and closed easily, either by hand or with an automatic opener. The high-tension steel in the springs has a limited lifespan, and over time, the springs will lose their effectiveness and need replacing. Many homeowners choose to have this work done by a professional since working with springs under tension is potentially dangerous. It’s possible for a skilled DIYer to complete the job themselves, but without the proper safety measures and tools, this project is best left to the professionals.

How To Replace Garage Door Torsion Springs

The following instructions for replacing garage door springs are for do-it-yourself homeowners and for maintenance repair men who service their smaller commercial or industrial sectional overhead doors. These directions are designed for torsion springs mounted to both sides of an anchor bracket above the middle of the garage door as pictured above. Instructions for replacing a single torsion spring, for replacing garage door extension springs, and for replacing Wayne Dalton Torquemaster springs are linked to our DIY Instructions page above. You’ll also find a link for any other garage door parts you may need while repairing your door.

How much should a garage door spring replacement cost? The national average is between $200 and $300 for a professional to come to your house and replace two springs. On line sources suggest a higher price of over $700 and that you will save $500 or more by replacing springs yourself. This is simply not true. To find the cost for replacing springs in your area look for a reputable company through Yelp or the Better Busienss Bureau. If clicking a site’s BBB logo doesn’t take you to the BBB site, we advise purchasing your springs from a different company.

If your garage spring assembly is different from this, parts of these instructions may be helpful, but other parts may give dangerous, inaccurate directions which could cost you a lot of time and money should you attempt to replace the springs using standard instructions.

The Two Types Of Cables

There are two types of cables found in a garage door system. The first is called a retaining cable, also known as a safety cable. This cable serves an interesting purpose: it prevents the other, more dangerous cable from flying across the room in event of failure.

The dangerous cable is called the lift cable. This is the cable that does all of the hard work as it relates to your garage door opening. The tension it generates makes it possible to lift an entire wall of a room off of the ground.

Now you can see why we dont recommend trying to repair any sort of garage cable by yourself. With that amount of tension, the cables have serious power behind them, should they decide to fly across the room unexpectedly.

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Reduces Your Time And Maintenance Costs

When one spring breaks, the chances that the other spring will break increases. Before you know it, youre back on the phone scheduling another appointment.

Most companies will replace both springs to avoid inconvenience and reduce call-out fees when the other one breaks.

As with many things, the newer your garage door springs are, the less time and money you need to invest in them to keep them properly maintained.

While a spring repair will fix the current problem, its hard to determine how long this will last. And you never know what problem is waiting around the corner.

With replacement garage door springs, youll spend less time worrying about potential problems and safety hazards and more time enjoying your garage.

Gateway Door And Contractingyour Trusted Broken Garage Door Spring Repair Company

Garage Door Spring and Cable Repair (Project with steps)

Fixing a broken garage door spring is no small task. Added to that, doing so without proper knowledge or safety precautions can be incredibly dangerous.

Thats why its so important to let a professional garage door repair company take care of the replacement for you. And thats where Gateway Door and Contracting comes in.

At Gateway Door and Contracting, we take pride in offering superior service, upfront pricing, and skilled repair/replacement for any garage door repair job. Its our dedication to a job done right thats earned us 20+ years of exceptional customer reviews.

And if youre dealing with a broken garage door spring, wed love to help.

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Remove The Old Spring

Now you will start to remove the old spring from the main bar. This will require you to use a ladder to reach the springs and bar, but do it step by step, and you should be ok.

Lets start by unwinding the old springs.

  • Slot in your winding bar to the holes at the edges of the torsion spring. Use one hand to hold it. This will help you to control the springs unwinding.
  • On the other hand, use a socket wrench to loosen the springs held on the main bar. At this point, you should feel more tension on the winding bar.
  • Slowly move the winding bar down to rest on the door. Use another winding bar, and attach it to the other hole.
  • Use one of your hands to hold on to the new winding bar and remove the previous one resting on the door.
  • Move the other winding bar down until it rests on the door again.
  • Repeat steps 3 5 until the spring has been fully wounded. As you unwind, calculate how many times you turn the spring, as you will rewind the new spring with the same number of turns.
  • Repeat steps 1-6 on the other torsion spring.
  • At this stage, both your springs should be fully unwound and hang freely with the main bar inside them. You can now proceed to unbolt and remove parts from the main bar.

  • Start by unbolting the bolts between the torsion springs.
  • Go to the pulley at the end of the main bar. Unroll and detach the cable from the pulley.
  • As you disconnect the cable, please note how the cable ends attach to the pulley so you can reattach it confidently later.
  • The Two Types Of Garage Door Springs

    Extension springs are most common for residential garage doors. These springs are usually referred to as standard or early-set torsion springs.

    Steel rolling-door and torque-master springs can be used for residential homes but are most often used in commercial and industrial sites with much heavier garage doors.

    Choosing the right product for a garage door spring replacement is critical.

    Double-looped extension spring on a residential garage door.

    Double-looped extension spring on a residential garage door.

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    How To Approach Garage Door Spring Repair

    You should never replace any of the springs in your garage door yourself. Instead, you should hire a garage door technician that has the necessary training and can safely replace the springs.

    It is also important that you keep an eye out for broken or weak springs. Catching the problem early can keep you and your loved ones safe.

    You might be able to spot a gap in a broken torsion spring. Alternately, the door may not open it may close forcefully or look crooked. It could also only open a few inches before closing again.

    These same signs may indicate a broken extension spring. You may also see gaps in the coils or see misalignment in the doors.

    In addition, keeping your garage doors well maintained can keep the springs in good condition. Your spring system should be inspected and oiled annually. If you are in a colder climate, you should have this done twice a year.

    Check Out This Recent Review A Customer Left Us About Replacing Garage Door Springs:

    How To Replace Garage Door Torsion Springs

    Hello! I initially called to get a quote to replace/repair my broken garage door spring. When I explained how busy my schedule was and that my car was trapped in the garage, their dispatchers were super helpful and made every effort to work around my crazy schedule. Brian was my technician and based on his professionalism and friendliness in conjunction with the same experience with their dispatchers I will totally recommend this company to my friend and family. I will also be keeping their info for any further garage needs that may arise! Thank you A1 Garage Service for your help!

    Find more of our reviews We have a 4.8-star rating and 4,782+ reviews.

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    Should I Call A Professional

    Replacing the spring yourself can save some money, especially if you already have the necessary tools. The springs themselves usually cost around $30 to $100. If you don’t feel confident about replacing the spring, you should consider hiring a professional. Professional repairs may not cost much more than the price of materials. A botched DIY spring replacement can end up damaging the garage door or DIYer.

    Since were all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.

    How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Spring On A Garage Door

    If you have the skills and experience for DIY spring replacement and are buying the springs yourself, they can cost from around $20 for a pair of extension springs although it does depend on the type a single spring may cost more than $100. Extension springs are color coded according to the weight they can lift, so its important to select the correct springs.

    Expect to pay from around $30 for a torsion spring up to around $100 for a pair. Again, its vital to buy the correct type and size and, with torsion springs, orientation.

    In the UK, count on paying from around £20 for a single extension spring and from around £115 for a torsion spring.

    If you are calling in a pro, its preferable that they provide the materials as part of the job.

    When it comes to cost every type of spring is evenly priced however the cost can change significantly from installer to installer, says Dave Krzyzak. Before you hire a garage door installer shop around and make a few phone calls. This will ensure you get the spring installation done at the best price.

    For professional spring replacement, you might expect to pay around $200 for labor and materials if the job involves extension springs, and $300 for torsion springs. In the UK, count on paying around £60 to £100, depending on the spring type for replacement.

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    How Long Does It Take To Replace A Garage Door Spring

    A person with the right tools, parts and experience can replace a garage door spring in about one hour. However, this estimate doesn’t include time to study instructions or purchase parts.

    You must purchase a spring of the correct type and size, and getting the necessary tools may be tricky. For example, some older torsion springs require a winding bar that’s just slightly smaller than the current standard. If you have one of these springs, you’ll need to grind down a larger winding bar to fit.

    Removing The Old Springs

    Garage Door Spring Replacement and Adjustment Guide  How to Tutorial ...
  • 1Unplug the garage door opener and clamp the door to the track. Disconnect the garage door opener so the door remains closed. Use locking pliers or a C-clamp to secure the door to the track to keep it from opening when you release the tension on the springs.XResearch source
  • 2Loosen the set screws while holding each spring with a winding bar. Position a sturdy ladder to the side of the springs, rather than working directly in front of them, for safety reasons. Put on eye protection and leather gloves. Push a winding bar into the bottom hole of the winding cone on the outside of 1 spring. Use a wrench to loosen the 2 set screws. Keep a firm grip on the bar as the the spring will expand powerfully as the screws are released. Repeat on the other side.XResearch source
  • If you dont have winding bars, you can make your own. Purchase 2 pieces of 18 in long metal bar stock with a 12 inch diameter. To ensure the bars fit securely into the winding cone holes, file down the ends.
  • Using a screwdriver, pin punch, or plier handles to unwind the bars could result in serious injury, as these tools arent designed to hold the spring in place.
  • Avoid standing on a bucket or chair to reach the springs. Use a sturdy ladder to minimize the risk of injury.
  • 4Remove the nuts and bolts, then slide the springs to the end bracket. Using a wrench, remove the 2 nuts and bolts that secure each spring cone to the center bracket. Then, slide each spring toward the end bracket.XResearch source
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    What Exactly Is An Oil

    Its a spring that comes from filtered high-carbon steel wires. These wires go through multiple oil-tempered heating cycles until getting the robust, flexible, and long-lasting spring we see on many garage doors.

    Its a great option, but you must talk about it with an Apache Junction garage door companybefore purchasing it. Although common, this type of spring is recommended only for some garage doors.

    If Your Car Is Trapped

    If a spring or cable breaks while your cars are parked inside, the garage door wont open and youll be stranded. Getting emergency evening or weekend service from a garage door professional can easily cost $400. However, if you can get your vehicles out of the garage, you can postpone the repair to get normal weekday repair rates.

    If you want to do the repair yourself, get several phone estimates first, because rates vary widely among service companies. Most garage doors are heavy , so call in three strong friends to help you lift the door and hold it open while you lock it in the full raised position with a locking pliers. Then move your vehicles and have your friends help you lower the door.

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    How To Select The Right Garage Door Torsion Springs

    To select the correct torsion springs, simply observe the stripe color of the spring body and the color on the springs outer ends. The spring body color indicates the size and load, while the outer side body tells if the torsion spring is right winding or left winding. Simply purchase springs with similar colors to get a suitable replacement.

    Shopping for a replacement torsion spring is a little bit more complicated than an extension spring, but it is not rocket science.

    With extension springs, you only observe the color to determine the weight rating. But with torsion springs, you have two colors to observe.

    The first color was painted on the outdoor ends of the spring. You will only see two colors here, red or black. The colors here indicate the winding direction of the spring. Red means it winds right, and black means it winds left.

    White .218/.295/.406/.531

    You may see overlapping wire thickness ratings because each color may represent a different wire gauge. Therefore, you may see each spring color representing multiple wire diameters.

    For example, a gold-colored spring may come in four wire sizes. The thinnest wire may measure .177 inches, thicker ones measure .250 inches, .331 inches, and the thickest is at .461 inches.

    Thicker springs should handle heavier doors better. When in doubt, always place the old spring side by side with the new one to ensure they are similar to each other before purchasing it.

    Calculate The Wire Diameter

    How to replace garage door extension springs

    Family Handyman

    Grab a tape measure and press the hook between two spring coils and note the length of 20 coils. Then measure 40 coils. Convert the measurements to a decimal . Divide the two measurements by 20 and 40 to obtain the springs wire diameter. Heres an example: 4.50 divided by 20 = .225-in. wire diameter 9.0 divided by 40 = .225-in. wire diameter. If the two results match, youve measured correctly.

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    Clamp The Door To The Track

    Family Handyman

    Clamp a locking pliers or a C-clamp to the track just above one of the rollers. This will prevent the door from shooting up and breaking your nose when you wind the new springs during an overhead garage door repair. Also yank the cord and unplug the garage door opener before you start any garage door spring repair.

    Installing The New Springs

  • 1Slide the left spring onto the tube and add the cable drum. When your new springs arrive, put the new left spring 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.XResearch source
  • 2Install the center bearing and the right spring, then secure the cones. Slide the torsion bar to the left then add the center bearing. Slide the right spring onto the bar and press the bearing into the stationary cone. Connect both of the stationary cones to the center bracket with the nuts and bolts you removed previously. Remove the locking pliers or clamp from the center bracket.XResearch source
  • 3Thread the cables and tighten the drums. Run the lift cable between the roller and the doorjamb. Slip the lift cable stop through the cable slot on the drum. Then, attach locking pliers to the torsion tube to secure it in place. Spin the drum to wind the cable into the grooves, then tighten the set screws. Repeat on the other side, leaving the locking pliers in place.XResearch source
  • For the door to operate properly, you need the same amount of tension on both sides, so take care to tighten each side evenly.
  • Generally, youll need 30 quarter-turns for a 7 ft tall door and 36 quarter-turns for an 8 ft tall door.
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