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Awww, Snap! Do I Have a Broken Garage Door Spring?

Garage Doors Door Maintenance

Mar 2021

You’re pulling up to the house after a long day and hit the garage door opener. Nothing happens. You try it again. Nothing. Batteries must be dead, right? So, you try the fancy app on your phone and/or punch in the code on your keyless entry pad. Still nothing.

Odds are your garage door has a broken spring.

Person opening a garage door from inside their car 

Surprise (!) garage doors don’t operate seamlessly forever. The spring literally does the heavy lifting and lowering of the garage door, and it only lasts so long.

Interior of garage door

Standard garage door torsion springs are centered above the garage door opening.

Garage door springs tend to break most often during cold weather (which makes the metal more brittle) and while the door is in the down position because that’s when it’s under the most tension.

If you happen to be home when a spring breaks, it will probably scare you to death because it makes a very loud and unexpected, POP-bang-gunfire sound. And when we say loud, we mean LOUD. Unless someone is setting off fireworks in your garage, more than likely the spring just snapped.

You can tell if your spring is broken by just looking at it. If you have a standard torsion spring, it’s centrally located over the garage door opening. Look up and see if the coil is physically separated into two pieces.

Broken Torsion Spring

A broken torsion spring splits into two separate pieces. Look for a distinct gap in the coil.

Extension springs are attached on the side of the door along the top of the track. They will be stretched when the door is closed or have uneven spacing.

Garage Door Extension Spring

An extension spring over the garage door track.

If your door has two springs, it’s possible that only one of them is broken. Both should be replaced at the same time for smooth operation and door longevity since they are “wear and tear” parts.

A Torsion Spring being installed

This 16' x 7' garage door has two standard torsion springs.

Most garage door springs are designed to last 10,000 cycles (One cycle = up and down).

Man winding a torsion spring

Standard torsion spring repair is not a DIY project. A pro can do it in about an hour.

Replacing a broken spring doesn’t take too long—a professional can have the job done in an hour. But do NOT attempt this on your own. Garage doors are heavy, springs are under great tension and this is a task best left to those with the proper equipment and expertise!

Coachman Design 11 REC13 Windows in White Finish

Save time and money by replacing the springs on your second garage door at the same time since they likely get the same daily use.

Have a two-car garage or more than one garage door that gets a lot of use? You should consider replacing the other spring(s) at the same time, especially if the doors are the same age. It could save you another repair call in the near future.

Find a local Clopay dealer for service and spring repair.

Garage door acting up? Find out why in our troubleshooting guide.


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