My Shortcut for Fixing a Broken Torsion Spring Safely

Accidents happen, even with garage doors. Recently, one of the torsion springs on my garage door broke, leaving the heavy door stuck halfway open. As anyone who has dealt with a broken garage door spring knows, this can be a dangerous DIY repair job if you don’t know what you’re doing. The springs are under massive tension and can cause serious injuries if they snap during the repair process.

Rather than risk my safety trying to fix it myself, my first instinct was to call a professional garage door repair company for help. However, the quotes I got for a spring replacement were quite expensive, around $250 or more. As a self-proclaimed “fix-it” guy, I didn’t want to pay that much if there was a safer way I could handle it myself. That’s when I came up with a simple method using common tools that allowed me to replace the broken spring quickly and easily, all while keeping myself protected from harm.

garage door spring repair Williamsburg

Section 1: Gather your Tools and Materials

For this repair, you’ll need:

  • Socket wrench set or adjustable wrench
  • Hammer
  • Electric drill with nut driver bit
  • Replacement torsion spring (get the right size for your door)
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Cardboard or drop cloth

Section 2: Prepare for the Repair Safely

Before starting any work on the springs, the first order of business is safety. Wear your safety glasses to protect your eyes. Consider using a face shield as an extra layer of protection too. Torsion springs contain an enormous amount of potential energy and small metal pieces could fly if the spring snaps, so eye protection is a must.

The next safety step is to relieve the tension on the springs before removing them. Here’s where my method differs from the standard repair process: Rather than using a winding bar to tension the new spring first as instructions typically recommend, I opted to relax both springs completely.

To do this, first loop a piece of rope or strap around each spring and tie it securely to temporarily hold the spring in place once the tension is relieved. Then, use a hammer to gently tap the track engaging the end of the spring while slowly unwinding it. Continue tapping as you unwind until the spring is fully relaxed with no tension. Repeat with the other spring.

Section 3: Remove the Broken Spring

Now that the springs are safely relaxed, you can get to the removal and replacement process. Wear work gloves for protection as you may encounter sharp metal edges. Place a large cardboard sheet or drop cloth on the floor below the door to catch any parts that may fall.

Remove the end brackets or springs plates securing the ends of each spring. These are usually held in place with 1 or 2 nuts that can be removed using a socket wrench or adjustable wrench. With the brackets off, the old springs should lift out easily without force since the tension has been relieved.

Place the discarded springs in the trash immediately to eliminate any further interaction or handling. Next, clean and prep the spring mounting points so the new springs sit properly when installed. Wipe away any debris, rust or old lubricant using a rag.

Section 4: Install the New Springs

Pick up one of the new replacement springs and position it in place at the bottom mounting point. Secure the first end into place with the bracket bolts or nuts. Use the electric drill with nut driver attachment to swiftly tighten them down, but do not over-tighten.

Repeat with the second end, positioning and securing the other half of the spring at the top mounting point. Double check that both ends are seated properly before proceeding.

Now it’s time to tension the springs. But rather than using a winding bar, I chose to relieve and reapply tension slowly and carefully using just a socket wrench. With the door still in the partially open position, loosen one of the spring brackets about 1/4 turn at a time while gently allowing the door to lower under its own weight. Continue loosening the bracket in small increments and letting gravity do the work until the door is fully closed and re-tensioned.

Repeat with the remaining loose bracket to ensure even tension front to back. Apply a drop of lubricant to each spring shaft and recheck all nuts are snug. You’re done! The whole repair took me less than an hour start to finish. And best of all, I avoided risky winding bars and remained safely out of the line of fire of those springs the whole time.

My method allows for tensioning the springs with control using basic hand tools instead of muscular force. It eliminates the need to pre-tension one spring before installing like the manuals instruct, which is where mistakes often happen. With a little care and prep work, this repair is very do-able yourself. Of course, for extremely heavy doors or if you feel uncomfortable, Garage Door Spring Repair in Williamsburg is always an option too. But I hope this gives DIYers more confidence to handle their own garage door spring replacements safely.

Dave's toolbox is his best friend. He's the repair maestro who can fix any garage hiccup, making your life hassle-free.

Related Posts