Your garage door is one of the most commonly used home features for many homeowners across the U.S. Whether you use your garage for car storage, as a workshop, or as another means of storage, your garage door is also an important feature.
Not only does it add to your home’s curb appeal and overall value, but your garage door is important for the safety and the protection of your home and your garage goods. So what happens when your door malfunctions and you need to replace garage door springs?
Do you call in the help of a professional or should you DIY this task? If you’re looking to save some money, here’s how to repair your own garage door.
Should You Replace Garage Door Springs Yourself?
So, the last thing you need is a garage door that is not working. It’s a hassle to say the least — maybe your car is trapped inside your garage or access to your home is limited? Whatever the case, you want to get your garage door springs repaired ASAP.
When you’re faced with this dilemma, you have a couple of options to think about. Yes, the easy route would be to call in the help of a professional. But if you don’t have upwards of $300 to spare on replacing your springs, you might want to take on this project yourself.
A Step-by-Step Guide on the Process
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to replace your own garage door springs, so long as you follow the safety checks beforehand and don’t rush the replacement. You can find a range of replacement parts here to set you up for the task: https://diy-garage-door-parts.com/.
Carefully follow the steps outlined below to replace your springs:
Step 1: Identify the Type of Garage Door Spring You Need
First thing’s first, you want to know which type of garage door spring you’re working with. There are two key categories of garage door springs:
An Extension Spring
You’re looking for a spring that is long and thin and runs parallel to your garage door’s horizontal tracks. Extension springs stretch when your garage door moves, and store energy this way. They are often clipped-end, open-looped, or double-looped.
A Torsion Spring
Some garage doors use torsion springs — generally between one and four springs depending on the size and weight of the door. Torsion springs are broad and sit on a metal shaft above the door opening.
On either end of the metal shaft, you’ll find aluminum drums, while the springs are wound up to a specific type of tension/torsion. Torsion springs range from standard, early-set, torque-master, or steel rolling door springs.
But when it comes to most residential garage doors, you’ll find that the most common type of springs is an extension spring. So for the sake of residential spring replacement, you want to look for the right extension spring.
Step 2: Source Your Replacement Springs and Other Tools
You shouldn’t have any trouble when trying to find the right replacement spring for your garage door. But before you start your search, you want to take measurements to ensure you choose the exact same spring for your replacement job.
Most of the time you can find an assortment of extension springs online, or in various hardware stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.
If you’re not sure which type of spring your garage door needs, you might want to take a photo of the current spring you have and ask for help at your local hardware store. Otherwise, the replacement job might be best left to a professional.
Make sure to purchase the right spring for the weight of your garage door, too. Most extension springs are color-coded to identify the weight they can bear/lift. Your existing spring should have a color reference you can refer to.
Once you’ve sourced your springs, collect the following tools for the job:
- A cordless drill
- An adjustable wrench or wrench set
- A socket wrench
- Winding bars
- A hammer
- A pair of locking pliers
- Hard-wearing gloves
- Safety goggles/ glasses
- A couple of old rags
You may also need a sturdy step ladder to ensure you can reach the railings of your garage door to replace the springs. The last thing you want is to strain your back with over-reaching.
Step 3: Secure Your Garage Door in Place
Extension spring replacement is generally quite simple and safe from here. This is because it does not involve the hazards of managing spring torsion, as with torsion springs.
But there is still some risk involved with regards to your garage door. You want to get that out of the way and secured before you proceed. Make sure to open your garage door to remove all the tension on your springs, then clamp it securely in place.
Once that’s complete, disconnect your garage door opener. You need to keep tabs on the placement of the pulley, so use a piece of tape to mark out its current placement, before its reinstalled
Step 4: Disconnect the Spring and Remove It
From here, your next step is to remove the spring from the garage door track bracket and its spring pulley. You’ll find that there is probably a safety cable holding the spring in place. You need to disconnect this safety cable from the bracket in order to remove the broken spring.
Step 5: Install the New Spring
Once you’ve removed the old spring, you want to thread the safety cable through your newly purchased spring and install it. Attach the spring to the track bracket. After that, you’ll have to reattach the safety cable and the pulley. You want to keep the pulley wire separate from the safety cable at all times.
Don’t forget to re-attach your pulley in the right spot — refer to your marked-out piece of tape. Do a once-over to ensure everything is in the right place. You can simply look at the opposite side of your garage door track for quick reference.
Then, remove the clamps from your garage door and reconnect your garage door opener.
Step 6: Run a Quick Test
Once you’ve reconnected everything, you want to do a quick test to ensure everything is operating as it should be. Look out for issues such as your garage door not closing all the way, or closing too quickly. This is usually a sign that the location of the pulley is incorrect or the spring is in the wrong place.
Home Improvement Hacks Are Just a Click Away
If you choose to replace garage door springs on your own just make sure you’ve got the right tools and springs for the job. You don’t want to cause any more damage to your garage door by doing a rush job!
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