Automatic Garage Door Spring

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by rburt5, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. rburt5

    rburt5 Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    The overhead spring on my automatic garage door broke. The opener is an older model. I already replaced the gears inside it a few years ago. Am I better off replacing the whole unit, or just replacing the spring?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Openers have a very long life span, especially if you keep the DOOR adjusted and lubed properly.

    Assuming you are talking about an overhead torsion spring, installing that is NOT a DIY job. The distributors I know of won't sell one except to a garage door contractor. You can get hurt REALLY bad messing with those. I would think for well under $200, you could get someone to come out and replace the spring.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Jimbo has made the right call. Those springs are extremely dangerous for a novice and should be left to the pros. Repair or replace? Why not have the door people give you their opinion? It's a pretty good bet that all it needs is a few parts and servicing and you'll be good as new.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    If the spring is one of the long coils, then yes, you can replace them fairly easily and cheaply.

    The best thing to do is to first weigh the garage door. You can do that by taking your bathroom scale and setting it under the door, after removing both springs. they make the springs in different strengths. After a bunch of coats of paint, the door is probably a lot heavier than it was...get one designed for what you currently have.

    replace both springs even if the other one looks fine. You want the tension and strength to be even side-to-side. Also, if they don't come with them, buy the safety cables that go through them to prevent the spring from getting loose and maybe hurting you or breaking something (people have been severely injured by a broken garage door spring).

    All new garage doors come with the safety cable.

    The new openers also have several safety features, so a new opener might be in order while you're working on things. Most also have a remote that is much harder to clone or steal and gain access to your house.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    JAD........ we don't know for sure, but it sounded like he was referring to a TORSION spring, which is what my reply addressed.

    The EXTENSION springs along each side....yes, they can be done safely by a DIY with some common sense.....such as you have to get the door UP and PROP IT UP with a 2X4 BEFORE you disconnect the door from the traveler! A double wide door, supported only by the spring on one side, cannot be lifted by the average guy alone,, at least not safely.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    torsion spring

    A friend of mine disregarded my advice to have a professional change his spring. He was thrown off his ladder and the tool he was using tore up his face, when he missed a stroke while tensioning it.
  7. rburt5

    rburt5 Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    Thanks for all the advice. I wasn't planning on replacing the torsion spring myself. I've heard too many bad stories (like getting the spring coiled under the skin of your forearm from wrist to elbow). I just like to know as much as I can before calling the door guy. I don't want to end up replacing more than is necessary. I called a door company and they gave me a rough estimate of about $120 to replace the torsion spring (labor, tax, and parts). That's much more reasonable than I expected.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    spring

    Whatever it costs, it is usually a good bargain.
  9. douginteg

    douginteg Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
  10. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    I'm glad I do not have a garage. Sounds like a dangerous thing to have to me.

    I'll just keep parking on the street thank you.
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