How to Fix A Broken Garage Door Spring?
Your garage door is made up of many moving parts and mechanisms, all of which are essential for your garage door to operate. If you garage door springs are broken, you can’t use your garage door. Broken Springs or cables are bad news if your car’s trapped inside the garage and you need to get it out. Here’s how to fix a broken garage door spring.
What Your Garage Door Spring Does
The springs on your garage door are very important components of it’s opening and closing mechanism. The springs are what gives the garage door the tension it needs to open up and stay open while you operate it. It should be easy to tell if you have a broken spring because you’ll have difficulty getting inside your garage. Here’s how to check for a broken spring on your garage door.
How to Know Your Spring Is Broken
There are two ways you’ll know that your spring is broken. Firstly, if you go to open your garage door and it’s not working, that’s a sign that the spring has broken and won’t lift your door anymore.
The second sign is a loud banging sound from your garage. As the spring holds so much tension, you’ll see that it snaps with a lot of force. If there’s a cable running through it then this should be safe.
Be aware that although the door isn’t opening, it may not be the spring that’s at fault. Here are a few things to check if you can’t see a problem with the spring:
- Check the batteries in your garage opener remote
- Make sure your garage door opener is still connected
- Take a look at the cables and make sure they’re still in place
- The door has been locked manually
- Garage door track could be misaligned
Most of these issues are easily handled, so if it’s not the garage door spring, you should still easily be able to handle the problem.
Safety And Broken Springs
Before you start work on your broken garage door spring, you need to ensure your safety. A broken spring is a dangerous piece of equipment. As they break, they have a lot of tension behind them so they can spring off in any direction. If you’re lucky, this will just damage your car, but if you’re in the garage at the same time it can seriously hurt you.
If you have a cable running through the springs, then these will help keep you safe. If the spring snaps, it will simply fall down the cable, as it prevents it from launching off the garage door. If you don’t have cables on your door currently, it’s a very good idea to add them in now as you replace the spring.
If you’re at any point unsure about fixing the spring or aren’t confident in doing it yourself, then don’t worry. You can always call on a garage repair technician to come and handle it for you. This is often the safest option, as they have a lot of experience in repairs. They’ll be able to handle it safely, and you’ll have a working garage door again in no time at all.
Gather all the tools:
Before starting the repairing, gather all the tools or supplies that are required for the job such as:
- One or two 10” vice grip
- Adjustable wrench
- Two 1/2*18 winding bars
- Socket wrench
- Rag for cleaning hands
- Properly guaged Garage Door Torsion Springs
- Garage Door Cables
Before replacing, measure old and new spring:
Step 1: Measure your spring’s length and diameter
This will ensure you get the right spring for your garage door. You may also need to check your lift cables to see if these need to be added or replaced. When you’re shopping for springs, look for double life springs. These will be stronger than regular springs and last a lot longer before needing to be replaced again.
How to measure the old or new spring?
The step by step method of measuring your spring is given below:
Measure your old and new spring to make sure both of them are equal in size. Do not touch the inner winding cone of the spring because some of the springs move by the touch of your hand. Place the two springs on a board and hold it from the outside.
Measure the lengths and inner 20 coils to for wire size. Measure the inner winding on both springs.
Stand both springs side by side in the direction pointing at you. Take a close look at both of the springs.
Take the new spring and put it at the left side of door. You will notice that the winding of the torsion spring will point in the direction of right centre of the door. This is the right torsion spring that will go in the upper left bracket of the door.
Take the next spring and place it on the right side of the door. You will notice that the winding of the torsion spring will point in the left center of the door. This means it is a torsion spring that will go on the upper right bracket.
Step 2: Clamp the garage door down
You want to ensure that the door won’t shoot up as you repair the spring, so use a pair of locking pliers or a C clamp to hold the door in place. It’s also essential you unplug the garage door opener, for the same reason.
Step 3: Unwind your broken spring
Ensure that you have a pair of winding bars to do this. Some try to use other tools, such as screwdrivers, to do this job. However, it’s incredibly dangerous to do so. Stand on a ladder off to the side of the spring, so you’re not standing head-on if something goes wrong.
Remove the old spring:
If the spring is not broken and still on the cables then the next task will be to remove the old spring.
Never touch the screw set without properly inserting the iron bar. It is also critial that you never wind or unwind the torsion spring with the help of screw drivers. It is incredibly dangerous to do so.
To safely remove the spring, always use a wind bar that is 18” long.
Before loosening the spring, test the fit of the winding bar on the cone. Move the cone down and make sure the set of screws are positioned tightly. Place a ruler between the winding bar and garage door. The distance should be between 2 inches. If it is greater than 2 inches then either call someone else to remove the spring or ask someone to hold the bar for you.
To save you from any inconvenience, it is advised to mark the winding bar with tape before removing the torsion spring. Taping your bar will help you to clearly see how much of the bar is penetrating the cone and will help you wind the new spring.
Now it is time to unwind the old spring. Position yourself on a firm ladder beside the garage door. Insert the winding bar into one of the holes of the cone. It should click when the winding bar will hit the core. Now grasp the other end of the bar and with the help of a wrench, loosen the set screws. The torque will transfer to the bar.
Even a properly tightened spring will loosen with just one turn of cone. After one set screw is loose, keep the bar in one hole of the cone at all times until the spring is unwound.
If you have removed all the set screws and the spring is still on the cone then pull down the bar. Be prepared because the spring will get loosened at any time.
If the garage door has fallen off on the floor but the cone still doesn’t move then use a hammer and hit it on the swollen part of the shaft. Keep the bar firmly inside the cone. The cone may break, explode or fall down from the bar due to hammering.
When the cone is free from the bar then lower the bar and let it sit upon the garage door.
Now it is time to insert the second bar in the hole of the cone. With one winding bar in each hand, raise the bar enough to pull out the first bar from the cone.
If your shaft is out of shape then you may need to hammer the winding bar to unwind the spring.
Repeat the above steps by inserting a winding bar in each hole of the cone.
Unwind the other spring if it is still wounded in the spring and not broken.
If you do not feel confident about replacing the spring it is advised that you seek out professional assistance. Your personal saftey should always be a priority. Do not put yourself at risk of injury!
Step 4: Disconnect hardware
Disconnect the nuts and bolts that are holding the springs in place on the center bracket. You will then be able to slide them off, ready for replacement.
Step 5: You’re now ready to replace the springs
Get the new springs, and reassemble the brackets ready to be reattached to the garage door. Once they’re in place, wind the springs. You’ll see that the manufacturer will recommend how tight they need to be, so follow those guidelines. If you don’t get any guidelines, perform 30 quarter turns for a 7-foot tall door, and 36 quarter turns for an 8-foot tall door.
Step 6: Lubricate your springs
Place some cardboard between the spring and the door, and then saturate the spring with a garage door lubricant spray. Don’t use a spray like WD40, as this isn’t actually designed to be a lubricant. With this, you should be done. Try the garage door to ensure it opens and closes correctly, and if it does the door is ready to be used again. As you can see changing out the garage door spring is an involved job, but one that is possible to do yourself. You’ll need to take the right precautions, but you can do it safely. If you’re not sure, always call on an expert to help you.
Get an Estimate from a Professional
If you’re interested in getting the job done quickly and professionally, contact My Garage Door – a family-owned service provider available throughout Mississauga and The Greater Toronto Area.