Garage Door Torsion Springs Repair and Replacement
Garage door torsion springs are essential for opening your garage door. When the torsion springs are broken, it’s almost impossible to use your garage door because it’s very hard to lift the door. Replacing the torsion springs might be simple for experienced users but for the newcomers, this can represent a real problem which needs some thinking and experience.
For that reason, we’ll give you our two cents on how to safely replace garage door torsion springs and avoid the potential injury.
Garage Door Torsion Springs
Before we move on, we need to see what are garage door torsion springs. Beware that not every garage door use them but for those who do, there’s usually a long, cylindrical spring connected to the metal shaft that’s located across the front wall, just above the garage door. Recognizing a broken torsion spring is easy – the spring is broken into two pieces right at the place where the break occurred.
Above the center of the garage door frame, there’s a fixed mounting plate to which one end of the torsion spring is attached. The other end is attached differently. Here, we can see an adjusted collar that is attached to the shaft with the large set screws.
Garage Door Torsion Springs Function
Just a minute ago, we mentioned that the garage door becomes very difficult to lift once the torsion springs are broken. Why does that happen? Here’s an explanation. Above the door, there is a shaft and at each end of this shaft, we can see the round cable drums. These drums are connected to lift cables, which then wrap around drums if the garage door goes up and unwrap when the garage door goes down.
These lift cables run along the sides of the garage door all the way to the bottom of the door, where they attach to the lift bracket. The shaft above the door, alongside the cable drum, start turning thanks to the twisting force of the garage door spring, which puts tension on the cables thus helping to lift the garage door.
The maximum number of torsion springs in your garage door is two. This depends on the size of your door. You can have only one torsion spring or two springs mounted to the shaft, located above the door. Depending on the manufacturer and the service that mounted your garage door, the torsion spring(s) can be mounted either in the center or to the sides. But, the important thing is that they all do the exact same thing. To put it simply, torsion springs twist and help lift the door. Logically, if the torsion spring breaks, it’s more difficult to lift the door in the upper position.
What to Do if Your Garage Door Torsion Spring Breaks?
At the beginning of the article, we said that replacing the torsion springs can be potentially dangerous and you could get injured. Some people prefer to change the torsion springs manually but this is a long-lasting process that will last a couple of hours, depending on your experience. In our opinion, it’s much better to pay someone to do that for you, as it will save your time and you avoid the risk of being injured altogether.
Since we opted for this quicker and less painful option, we need to to evaluate the total cost of this replacement.
Garage Door Torsion Spring Replacement. How Much Does it Cost?
Let’s cut to the chase and start churning out some numbers. A replacement spring costs around $15 to $30 per piece plus shipping. If you plan to change your torsion spring by yourself, this is the exact price that you’ll pay. But, having in mind that you’ll probably pay someone to do it for you, you can expect to pay an additional $75 to $100. The total cost of this repair can cost anywhere from $125 to $225, depending on the number of torsion springs you have.
Let’s clarify that this is the approximate price of this operation and for that reason, we suggest that you ask the service for the price before you make a decision. Not all companies want to make it cheap for you. Some companies will charge you a couple of hundreds of dollars and some will do it for less than two hundred bucks – I’m not exaggerating! Once again, don’t let some companies fool you by telling you that their work is worth more than it actually is.
How Long will Garage Door Torsion Springs Last?
Garage door torsion springs’ durability depends mostly on your garage door size and weight. No torsion spring lasts forever, as some companies love to state. Approximately, they can last anywhere between 3 and 20 years. Some companies will offer you a lifetime warranty but don’t fall into this trap, as you’ll end up paying a lot more for the service that isn’t worth that much.
Why is Replacing the Torsion Spring so Dangerous?
Replacing the torsion spring on your garage door can be a devil’s business. Some smaller garage door allows for the easier replacement, while some big garage doors will make your life a living hell. The danger comes mainly from the presence of cone holes with inconsistent sizes accompanied by a winding bar that doesn’t fit well in the holes. To avoid any further confusion, we need to explain what is a cone hole.
If you look at the torsion spring, there’s a winding cone, a part that’s located at the end of the torsion spring. In that winding cone, there are shallows holes in which the winding bar is placed. This winding bar helps you turn the spring to loosen it up or tighten it. The winding bar might not fit well into the hole and when you use it to tighten up the spring, it can slip out, causing an instantaneous release of the spring’s tension. This can produce some serious injuries which can be deadly to some.
We’ve seen that replacing the garage door tension spring isn’t that expensive but when trying to do it alone, it can be very dangerous. I know some of you want to save money but just think about your own safety. Is endangering your safety worth less than $200? I don’t think so. Our recommendation is to look for the cheapest garage door service, pay them, and have your garage door tension spring replaced in a matter of two days.
If you still want to do it by yourself, we suggest that you take it slowly and do it with caution. Read more about garage maintenance.