If there is a problem with your garage door springs, start with the following two steps:
- Determine whether your garage door springs are broken (and, therefore, need to be replaced) or just need adjustment (repair).
- Determine whether working on your own is worth the effort or you should better hire a repairman.
Both the steps are explained in the article below.
Replacement or adjustment (repair)?
Typically, garage door springs break with a very loud sound, which may even frighten you. Take a look at the springs. Is any of them broken in two pieces? If yes, then there is no doubt the door is broken. In this case you cannot even safely lift it as the weight of a garage door may exceed 350 LBS.
If at least one spring is broken, you will have to replace both, because the second one is probably worn out to almost the same extent.
If you have scrutinized the springs yet cannot find any problems, then they are probably not broken. Now you need to examine the cables. Do you notice one of them is loose or broken? Compare the cables on either side. Do they look the same? If you notice any problem with a cable, it means it needs to be repaired or replaced.
When replacing the springs by yourself is worth the effort?
To estimate the difficulty of the task and the possible financial benefit, consider the following three points.
1. Garage door springs of what type do you have?
Extension springs run alongside the overhead door track. You will notice a pulley and cable attached to them. Torsion springs are located above the door. They are connected to the sides of the door with the help of a round rod.
Extension springs are better for do-it-yourselfers as they require less effort and are less dangerous than torsion springs. Working with springs of the second type, torsion springs, involves a lot of risk. It cannot be recommended for people who do not have a good knowledge of how they operate. It is not that common for do-it-yourselfers to replace torsion springs.
2. How much do you save?
Typically, a repairman will charge $150-$250 for garage door spring replacement. The parts will cost you $30-$50. This means you will not be able to save the entire amount, just somewhere in between $120 and $200.
But there is a case when you save much more by doing the project by yourself. Some servicemen may try and talk you into buying more expensive parts than you need or even sell you a new door. Under these circumstances, trying to repair or replace your garage door springs by yourself becomes really reasonable.
3. Is it that difficult?
It may take several hours to replace extension springs. If it is your first attempt or you are not sure you have all the tools, you may need even several days. The hardest part is probably to get the cables for garage door extension springs hooked up. Prior to it, springs need to be unhooked, so you will have to deal with the entire weight of your door. Safety concerns are very real. One more issue is getting the right springs, which involves getting the weight of your door (possibly even weighing it).
Also, you need to have above average mechanical skills and a willingness to do things yourself. For you, a difficult project should be interesting in itself; you do it not just to save money.
Replacing garage door springs: step by step
Step One – Hiring a garage door repairman.
Step Two – Purchasing garage door springs.
Step Three – Removing broken garage door springs (including the instruction on getting the weight of your door).
Step Four – Installing extension springs.
Step Five – What if you have garage door torsion springs? This type of springs is usually left to repairmen, but if you have an understanding of how they work, it will be easier for you to talk to the tech.