Garage door springs are responsible for giving a full range of movement. If you hear extremely loud noises or can’t open and close the door, you’ve likely got broken springs. When the springs break, and they will eventually, you need to replace them as soon as possible. However, the finer mechanics of garage door springs aren’t in everyone’s DIY skillset. With that in mind, you’re probably thinking about hiring a professional and being done with it. If you’re struggling between learning a new DIY skill and calling for help, you’re in the right place.
Garage door spring replacement is a delicate procedure. You can do it yourself, but you need to understand the hazards of the job. To start with, you need to fully understand the inner workings of a garage door and have the correct tools to hand. When working with garage door springs, you can wind up snapping them and damaging yourself or your property. To ensure your safety, you need to analyze the entire job and weigh up the costs of DIY against hiring a professional.
How To Tell If Garage Door Springs Break
If your springs have snapped completely, you will hear the loudest noise and may see metal flying about the place. If the breakage hasn’t reached that extreme, you will feel more resistance when trying to close the door. To test the balance of the door, you should use the manual mechanism, which will confirm if there are any issues.
Types of Garage Door Spring
From the start, the process gets complicated because there are two types of spring to be aware of:
- You will find extension springs running along the horizontal tracks of the door. When the door is opened, these springs stretch. For the majority of doors with extension springs, there will be a series of safety mechanisms that kick into action when needed.
- Torsion springs are found directly above the door on a horizontal shaft and they will have an aluminum drum on either side. Depending on the size of your door, there can be up to four torsion springs. For your safety, there will also be a security system made up of cables and pulleys.
Replacing Torsion Springs
Torsion springs require some technical finesse and are more difficult to replace. You will need to use a C-clamp and ensure the door remains shut. If you have a door opener, unhook the system before you start.
At either end of the spring, you will find a winding cone that is used to release the tension in the spring. To do this, insert the winding cone and carefully unwind. After you’ve released the tension, you need to remove the springs. Before installing the new springs, remove the lift cables.
When it comes to putting the springs back on, you need to place them over the shaft and attach them to the cones. Then, just as you did before, you need to wind tension into the springs using the winding bar. Once you’re sure that the springs are in place, you can reattach the lifting cables and test the door using the manual system.
Replacing Extension Springs
Extension springs are the easiest set of springs to replace. However, the process doesn’t come without its hazards. To fit the springs, open the garage door and secure it in place using clamps. It’s important to take your time with this step because you don’t want your garage door falling on your head. Once the door is secured, you need to unfasten the springs at both ends of the bracket and remove the safety system as well.
Once you’ve removed the springs and the pulley system, you simply replace the springs and reverse the process to reattach the pulleys. When you think you have completed the job, you need to run some tests to ensure a full range of movement.
Single Garage Door Spring Replacement
If you’ve only got one broken garage door spring, you’re better off replacing both of them at the same time. If you are hiring a professional to do the work, it will be cheaper for you to get all springs done in one visit than have to call them out again later.
Cost of Replacement
If you’re brave and sure enough of your DIY ability, you are looking at paying between $20 and $100 for extension springs and $30 to $100 for a pair of torsion springs. If you’re hiring a professional to do the work, you will be paying around $200 just for the labor.
When your garage door springs break, you need to get them fixed as soon as possible. You can do it yourself but be aware of the hazards and understand the mechanics. If you feel unsure, you should bite the bullet and hire a professional.