Garage Door Spring Repair or Broken Spring Replacement

When you are looking for a garage door spring repair or to replace your broken spring in Orange County, California, call Entry Systems garage door repair professionals. In most cases, we can provide same-day service.

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Replacing torsion springs are one of the most common services we provide, and most garage door spring replacement can be completed within 45 minutes. Every garage door spring replacement that Entry Systems completes includes a warranty, free maintenance and adjustments for your garage door and opener.

Garage door torsion springs often go unnoticed until there is a broken spring. Most two-car garage doors have two springs that run along the top of the garage door. Torsion springs counterbalance the weight of the garage door and assist in the operation of the garage door opener. New springs for standard garage door sizes are available on all our trucks.

This is a picture of a closed wood garage door with windows on a residential home.

Top 4 Signs Your Garage Door Spring Might Be Broken

  1. There is a noticeable gap, space, or a visual separation in the coil of the torsion spring.
  2. The garage door is very heavy and won't open and the garage door opener makes a weird grunting noise.
  3. The garage door is still too heavy to lift when the garage door opener is disengaged and it in manual.
  4. You press the button to open your garage door and it goes up a foot and stops.

How do I know if my garage door spring is bad?

You can tell your garage door spring is bad when you see a noticeable gap in the spring itself just by looking at it. The reason why there is a gap is that the spring has a stationary cone and a winding cone. The stationary cone is secured to the center bearing plate and when you wind the spring using the winding cone, the spring will stretch as it is wound up. When the spring is worn out and breaks, it will unwind, leaving both ends fixed in place. When a spring is wound it stretches, but when it breaks the two ends of the spring pull apart and it leaves a gap.

This can be confusing for homeowners, because when you look at a single car garage that has only one spring, you will see a break, but if you look at a two-car garage that has two springs, you may not realize that only one of your springs has broken because one is still intact. A garage door has a two-spring system when the weight requires a larger spring or can be converted to two smaller springs. It is actually better to have a two-spring system because it keeps the entire spring system, including the cable drum, torsion shaft, lift cables and other torsion hardware from shifting from left to right. Smaller spring sizes are also more commonly carried on the truck and larger springs typically are special order.

The reason why the garage door can begin to open a little with a broken spring is that the motor can usually muscle it about a foot before it realizes that there is too much weight for the garage door opener to lift and it feels resistance and shuts off. Many of the garage door openers today are smart motors that have an LCD screen that will diagnose itself with an error code such as "Excessive Opening Force," meaning that the opener tried to lift the door and realized that there is something wrong.

Often when a torsion spring breaks there is a lot of dead weight, and you literally cannot lift it. When the spring breaks, it usually takes a couple of people to get a trapped car out of the garage. However, one person may be able to muscle a light one-car garage door with a broken spring.

What do garage door springs actually do?

Garage door springs counterbalance the weight of the door so that it is lighter, balanced or neutral. When someone lifts a heavy door, it stays up and does not put extreme stress on the garage door opener when it is opening. To be safe, the garage door needs to be balanced and stay in any position you leave it in. You don't want it to have the tendency to fall quickly and be unsafe. Garage doors should be able to be lifted by almost anyone of any age or build, so no one should have to muscle it.

The motor is only designed to lift between 15-25 pounds, it is not designed to muscle extremely heavy doors. Even if you can program it to do so, you are cutting the life of the motor in half or less. Garage door opener manufacturers tell us that they make them stronger, knowing that the homeowners will put them on very heavy doors, but they will only last half as long as a professional model. This is because a professional knows putting a motor on a very heavy door creates problems.

Balance is important to us as professionals and when we come out, we check the balance every time, even if we are only there for a motor issue or maintenance. If your door is not balanced, it will crash if you were to accidentally disengage the motor when it is fully open. It can be very dangerous when the cord is accidentally pulled or snagged, and the door falls down very fast on whatever is below it. As a professional, our goal is for no one and for nothing to ever break, get damaged, or hit by the door. If the door hits a car or someone with the motor, it is designed to reverse to keep them safe. But if your garage door spring breaks and you disconnect that motor, nothing will stop the door from crushing what is beneath it.

This is a picture of a torsion spring for a garage door.

Can you repair a garage door spring?

No. Unfortunately, many people call and ask if a garage door spring repair is possible, however, torsion springs are not intended to be repaired. We always recommend replacing garage door springs instead of repairing them. This is because the reason why the torsion spring broke is not usually due to manufacturer failure or a homeowners' misuse of their garage door.

Most garage door springs break because of wear and tear and there is a number of cycles that the torsion spring is designed to lift. Standard torsion springs lift ten thousand cycles, which is ten thousand ups and downs of the garage door. Cycles are not an exact science, but more of a projection, and you can get springs that are projected for more cycles like our high-cycle replacement springs, which last around twenty-five thousand cycles or more. Even if it was possible to do a garage door spring repair, it would break at a different point in the coils, as the spring has been worn down and it is now brittle, so a garage door spring replacement is now necessary.

FYI: The torsion tube or torsion shaft is typically reused and is what the spring is mounted on against the header. They are not typically replaced unless they are worn out, rusted or painted over.

How long should my garage door torsion springs last?

This depends on the type of garage door torsion springs you have installed in your home because there are different types of springs. Read our descriptions below, and you can always contact us if you are unsure about which spring type you have.

Types of Garage Door Springs

Standard Garage Door Springs

Standard torsion springs installed on most homes are oil-tempered or galvanized and have the industry-standard rating of 10,000 cycles. The life cycle for standard garage door springs is approximately 5-7 years. This depends on how many times you open and close your door daily. Extension springs are used when you have a flip-up one-piece door, a DIY version of a spring system used on a sectional door, or if you live in the Midwest. Extension springs are not popular in Southern California anymore.

High-Cycle Springs

High-cycle springs are engineered by the manufacturer for heavy or high usage garages. This means that compared with standard garage door springs they are more powerful and can withstand higher degrees of pressure for longer time spans. Therefore, they are rated for a longer life expectancy. Traditionally, high-cycle springs have been used most often in commercial applications, such as communities with hundreds of residents, retail stores such as Costco, or service companies like UPS.

High-cycle springs use a larger wire size and the replacement spring itself will be longer in length, with more coils using less under pressure. Our garage door repair technicians carry 25,000 cycle springs on all of our trucks, which are roughly two and half times the life of a standard spring. Spending a little more money upfront on your new springs, as you do with premium vehicle tires or wiper blades, means that you don't spend as much in the long run and you won't have the inconvenience of a broken door as often.

Why would I need special order torsion springs?

Special order springs are typically needed for garage doors that are custom. Steel torsion springs are usually standard for the most part unless you have a custom home where you built the garage to a special height or width. Otherwise, we have the standard sizes on our technician's trucks. Custom is usually referring to wood door springs, because every time a wood door is built, it is then weighed, and the springs are custom made to it. Everything added to a custom wood door adds weight, including the bracing, hinges, glass, decorative hardware, or even painting it.

Therefore, each custom wood door weighs a different amount and needs the correct spring to match its weight. Otherwise, the door might be light on the top and heavy on the bottom. When we visit your home and see that there is a broken spring, we will measure and confirm what is needed and if it needs to be special ordered. There is a way for our garage door technicians to temporarily repair broken springs that need to be special ordered by using a tool that clamps the spring back together temporarily which may require additional labor.

How do you calculate the number of cycles I need my springs to have?

To calculate the numbers of cycles you first need to consider how many people live in your home and how often the door is used. Two-occupant households often leave and return at different times in the morning and evening. Each opening and closing of the door is a cycle, so a typical two-occupant household uses 4 spring cycles per day or 2 ups and downs per person per day. Using your calculator, take 4 cycles multiplied by 365 days in a year equaling 1,460 cycles a year. This would mean you would only get a little more than 6.85 years out of standard cycle spring.

What exponentially increases the cycle use is high-occupancy homes or using your garage as your front door or main point of access. Other factors to take into consideration are weekends, holidays, vacations, multiple people leaving at the same time and how many people live in your home. Your garage door springs will last longer if you use your garage door less, but we want to use our garage door freely. However, if you want your springs to last longer, we suggest high-cycle springs. If we know your garage door usage will be 10 times a day and you don't want to replace your springs for another 10 years, we would calculate 10 x 3650, which would come out to a 36,000-cycle spring.

Can you fix your own garage door spring?

No, we absolutely do not recommend that a homeowner replace or adjust a torsion spring themselves. This should be done by a trained garage door professional because springs can be very dangerous to work with. Entry Systems does not sell torsion springs to non-professionals to do a DIY repair. Many people are naive about the possible injuries that can occur if they do not know what they are doing. Working with springs is dangerous because they are under an incredible amount of pressure or torque, even the lightest of doors that are seven-foot-high door is wound up seven times. Our technicians use a winding bar to add or remove spring tension.

People often get hurt because they don't have the correct tools, they don't know the correct techniques in regards to how to hold the tools and how to stand, and they don't know where the power is coming from or where the dangers lie. Throughout the process of a spring replacement, we know how to be in control, but if you have never done it before you don't know where to control it and when the pressure is coming. One must be very cautious and confident while you are doing it as many people have been hurt trying to do it themselves over the years. One of the most common injuries is to one's hands, and we have even met people who had such bad nerve damage they were unable to practice their profession that required the use of their hands.

This is a picture of a garage door technician pointing to a garage door opener inside a homeowner's home.

How do I get my car out of my garage if there is a broken spring?

It is possible to get a car out of the garage with a broken spring by assisting the garage door opener. You must be very careful because this can worsen the situation and you can get injured. It is common for a car to get trapped in the garage because the spring will break after the door closes, not after the door opens. When an Entry Systems garage door technician comes out, we use the garage door opener motor to lift and the technician assists the motor by making up the difference of the lifting power of the broken garage door spring.

If there is only one broken spring, it is possible to muscle it with someone else and lift it up, but be careful because it will come down very fast. If there are two springs, the other spring is still wound even if one broke, so you still have half the power applied. Unless the door is extremely large or heavy, our garage door technician will make up the difference after the button is pushed, but it needs to be lifted at the right speed, not too fast or slow. This is because if you lift it faster than the motor it will stop because it will think that something is pushing against the garage door, and if you lift it too slow the motor will realize that the door is dragging.

Should I grease my garage door springs?

Yes, it is a good idea to grease your torsion springs. Once we install springs, we apply a lubricant to them so that they look nice and this also prevents friction when the springs wind and unwind. We also use garage door lubricant to lubricate hinges and rollers, the center bearing and end bearing plates, everything that pivots and turns to keep the door moving smoothly and quietly.