While there are times you may be able to fix the problem yourself, there are many reasons it may be best to leave the garage door repair up to the professionals. Knowing what’s wrong with your garage door may help you to determine if it is a problem you can tackle or if it’s time to call someone for assistance. To help you troubleshoot your garage door issues, here are the top 10 reasons your garage door won’t work.
Springs are one of the primary components in all garage door systems. Torsion springs are usually mounted horizontally over the door opening. As the door closes, cables add tension to the springs and as the door opens that tension is released. The opening of the door causes the springs to unwind in conjunction with the weight coming off the door. This achieves a natural buoyancy. However, as the door moves up and down over time and the cycle count rises, the steel in the torsion springs will grow weak and will no longer be able to create energy or lift your garage door.

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Like any mechanical part, garage door springs deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. Over time, the steel that makes up the springs weakens until they eventually break. Under normal circumstances, garage door springs have a life expectancy of 10,000 cycles of opening and closing. This equates to five to seven years, but along the way, there may be signs of problems that can occur before the springs actually stop working.
Garage door springs offset the weight of a garage door and allow the door to be opened and closed easily, either by hand or by an automatic garage door opener. The high-tension steel in the springs has a limited lifespan, and over time, the springs lose their effectiveness. Garage door springs come in levels of quality—they may be described as "10,000-use" or "20,000-use" springs, for example. This may sound like a very large number, but when you consider that a garage door might be opened four or five times a day, every day, every year, it becomes clear that there is a limited lifespan for these critical garage door parts.
Finally, we also carry any and every residential garage door product that you need to have a state-of-the-art, secure and safe garage door. We are proud certified dealers of Clopay doors, the most durable and versatile doors on the market. With over fifty years of garage door manufacturing experience, you can trust Clopay quality, just as you can trust our team to install these highest-quality doors.
These instructions were first posted in 2005, and they were updated in August of 2008. I have been frank about the hazards of garage door repairs and about my own accidents incurred while replacing torsion springs. For what it's worth, you might be surprised to know that I, too, have benefitted from producing these instructions. I have not had any garage door accidents since we first published these on the web in 2005. And, in as much as I have helped keep other DIY-ers out of the emergency room, I consider myself somewhat of a medical practitioner.
While you can certainly redo any security features on your garage door, it is often wise to replace the entire door if in fact that is the way a burglar gained access to your house. A new security code may seem like enough, but you don’t know how the thief figured out the old code in the first place. If the motor was disengaged, the issue might be a design flaw in the door itself. The best way to ensure that the thief doesn’t return or another thief doesn’t take advantage of the same unknown security weakness is to install a new door. Again, doing so with give you access to the kinds of robust security features that are being installed and implemented in the newest garage doors on the market.

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Delivered on time, with the products described: springs, winding bats, & plastic bushing. Quick install, but apparently I measured wrong, so these total length I bought was larger (which is good as there is less stress on the spring). However this did mean that I needed more than the generic rule of 30 1/4-turns of preload. I wound up with 38 1/4-turns per side for the door to balance when open 3' (per familyhandyman.com recommendations). Would definitely do it again.
With every spring repair, Precision provides a free safety inspection to make sure all the hardware and moving parts on your door are in good working condition and meet safety standards. Since the hardware was probably installed at the same as the springs, it's possible there are worn mechanical parts on your door that are in an unsafe state. Think about spring failure as a symptom to a possibly larger problem with your door. This is why it's a Precision Best Practice to provide a free safety inspection and maintain a safe environment for our customers.
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.[6]
Professionals can replace garage door springs in an hour or two. When you hire a pro, make sure to ask about the quality of the springs they will install. They may well offer several grades of springs to choose from, at a range of costs. Top of the line springs may be guaranteed for life, while economy springs can be expected to last perhaps five years under normal use.
If you pull the red emergency release rope on your automatic opener and you still can’t lift the garage door, you probably have a broken spring. The counterbalance spring is what lifts the garage door, not the garage door opener. If the spring is broken, the door is dead weight. A garage door can be lifted, but it is going to require some muscle to get it up. It is also important to lift the door evenly so it does not jam in the tracks.
Annual maintenance. Make an annual check of all nuts and bolts on rails and rollers to make sure they’re firmly tightened. Check the condition of all cables to make sure they’re not worn or frayed. Lubricate rollers and springs with a garage-door lubricant (see How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door for maintenance and problem-solving tips). The door should operate smoothly and be properly balanced. Check the balance by disconnecting the opener and lowering the door halfway- the door should hold its position. If it doesn’t, adjust the spring tension or replace the springs.
If your garage door goes up and down in a jerky motion, you might have one broken spring on a two spring system. Some garage door openers are strong enough to lift a door with only one good spring. The “herky jerky” motion is especially common with garage doors equipped with extension springs. It might be something as simple as lubricating your garage door pulleys, hinges, and rollers. When in doubt or if something doesn’t feel right about your door, call a service company to have it serviced.
We also have a wide range of expertise repairing and installing both residential and commercial doors, meaning we can tackle any problem, large or small. We carry a wide range of doors from one of the industry’s leading manufacturers, Clopay, so you can make the choice that makes the most sense for your home and family while feeling confident that you are getting a door of the highest quality.

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There are many steps to replacing torsion springs, but overall it's a simple, straightforward process. If you're inclined to attempt it, find a good online video tutorial (preferably done by a garage door pro) that walks you through the entire process, including how to buy the right size of springs. You can also buy new springs and any related parts online, along with the most important items that you need: the two solid-metal winding rods that you use to wind and unwind the torsion springs.
Just like on a bike sprocket, your cables can sometimes become disengaged. Oftentimes, when a torsion spring breaks, the garage door cable will snap as a result. Sometimes, the cable will cause damage to a vehicle or wall, and if a person happens to be in the way of the cable it can cause serious harm. If you cables have snapped, you should call a professional to help you. See the video above.
Our installer was phenomenal! I can not say enough on how prompt and cordial he was with the entire process of installing our garage door and a day later he returned with all of the necessary warranty documents and explained all of the features our particular door has. I will highly recommend him to friends and family. Thank you so much Home Depot for obtaining such quality people to do this kind of work. Read less

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The following instructions for replacing garage door springs are for do-it-yourself homeowners and for maintenance repair men who service their smaller commercial or industrial sectional overhead doors. These directions are designed for torsion springs mounted to both sides of an anchor bracket above the middle of the garage door as pictured above. Instructions for replacing a single torsion spring, for replacing garage door extension springs, and for replacing Wayne Dalton Torquemaster springs are linked to our DIY Instructions page above. You'll also find a link for any other garage door parts you may need while repairing your door.


In most cases, only one spring breaks or wears out at a time, and you can get away with replacing just the failed spring. But this is a little like replacing old car tires one at a time. You'll get the best performance if all the springs are new and have the same strength. Extension springs are replaced individually, making it more tempting to replace just one. With torsion springs, you have to disassemble everything to replace either spring, so it makes sense to swap out both springs during the repair.
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