One thing to consider - assuming you have 2 springs and an opener, unless the other spring is quite new, you should replace it at the same time, first because it will probably break fairly soon anyway and changing two is only about $50 more than changing one, and because the springs on both sides should be of equal stiffness - if not, then the door will be unevenly weight compensated and try to open cockeyed, increasing wear and risk of damaging the motor. http://www.youtube.com/v/Z_eZc-kh40c
Both types of springs are loaded, or under tension, when the door is closed. This gives them stored energy to help lift the door as it's being opened. When the door is all the way up, the springs are relaxed, or relatively so—they still may be under some tension. The mechanical difference between extension and torsion springs is that extension springs are loaded by stretching, or elongating, while torsion springs are loaded by twisting, creating torque.
Because your garage door is a major entryway to your home, it is important to keep it in good working order for your own safety, security, and convenience. Choosing the right style and appropriate materials will lessen the amount of repairs that may arise. Additionally, investing in regular maintenance can be cost-effective in the long run. If your garage door is in need of major repair, it is best to call a professional garage door repair company for assistance. Typically, the company will charge for at least one hour for making a service call. However, the benefits of a professional repair job can well outweigh any costs, as a professional can ensure the safety, security, and proper operation of your garage door.
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Measure the length of the relaxed spring. Unfortunately, you can’t measure the springs while they’re installed as the tension on them would provide you with the wrong measurement. Now that you’ve removed the springs, use a tape measure to find the length of the entire spring, from one end to the other. You’ll need this information in inches to order replacement springs.
The spring system opens and supports the garage door. These springs are under heavy force, which allows the door to bounce back open and avoids overburdening the garage door opener with the entire weight load. If these springs are stuck or broken, the whole system is affected. Start by lubricating the springs with non-silicon-based lubricant. If this fails, disconnect the garage door opener from the garage door to manually open the door. If you experience significant resistance, the springs might need to be replaced; a job that requires a professional.