The purpose of this page is to provide information on broken springs to my customers. Here you will find pictures and descriptions of the popular spring styles along with info on how to identify common problems with them.
The most common garage door repair is replacement of broken springs. Many parts of the door suffer from wear and tear but the springs are the only part of the door that are virtually guaranteed to break/fail during the service life of the door. Spring life expectancy is gauged primarily in terms of cycles. One cycle is one opening and closing of the door. The cycle life expectancy of the average garage door spring is normally 10,000 or more. So the answer to the question "How long will my springs last?" is basically how many years will it take for you to open and close your door 10,000 times.
People who park their cars in the garage will run the door anywhere from 2 to 20+ times a day. At an average of 2 cycles per day that works out to 13.7 years estimated life span. That is a best case scenario. Usually the average is more like 4 to 6 cycles per day. At 4 the life expectancy drops to 6.8 years and at 6 we have 4.5 years.
10,000 cycles is a minimum value. Many springs are rated for much higher values. 50,000 cycles would be a very high end estimated cycle life. Average is more like 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.
All garage doors have springs and they do the hard work of raising and lowering the door. Some doors have only one spring. Most have two. Rarely a very heavy garage door may have three or even four springs. A broken garage door spring always adversely affects the operation of the door. A broken spring means the garage door feels heavy. The opener will normally not be able to lift the door more than a few inches when the door has a broken spring. That's good because this alerts the user that there is a problem with the door. If the opener can still lift the door with a broken spring, the door and the opener are dealing with much greater forces than normal and can lead to damage to the door and/or the opener.
Basically, there are four types of garage door springs.
Extension springs for one piece doors.
*At this time I do not offer service on one piece doors.
In the case of Torsion and Extension springs it's pretty easy to identify a broken spring. These springs are exposed and easy to inspect visually. In the case of a torsion spring, a gap of three or so inches anywhere in the body of the spring is obvious and easy to see. In the case of extension springs usually the hook on either end of the spring will have snapped off, also easy to see.
More difficult to identify is a broken Torquemaster spring, a spring system found on many Wayne Dalton brand garage doors. With a Torquemaster spring system the springs are contained inside the torsion tube. The only way to visually inspect them is to completely disassemble the spring system and extract them from the tube. This should be done by professionals only. Short of disassembly, the best way to test for a broken Torquemaster spring is to "feel the door".
With the door closed, pull the opener's manual release cord to disengage the door from the opener. Inspect the steel cables located at the left and right ends of the door, just behind the vertical track. If these cables are slack then you definitely have broken springs. If the cables are taut then you can try to lift the garage door by hand. Position yourself at or near the middle of the door widthwise and try with one hand to lift the door. If the door is very easy to open manually then the spring/springs are not broken. If you have to use both hands and put your back into it then you can conclude the Torquemaster system has a broken spring.
If your Wayne Dalton garage door has a broken Torquemaster spring you will likely only be able to lift the door by hand a few inches if at all. The door will feel very heavy and once you discover this information you should accept that the reason is a broken spring. If the spring tube has two springs inside and only one of them is broken, the cables may be taut but the door will feel heavy. If both springs are broken the cables will be slack and the door will feel extremely heavy. If the spring tube has only one spring inside and it is broken, the door will feel extremely heavy and the cables will be slack.
The test is complete. Stop trying to open the door by hand. If you managed to open the door be very careful closing it. It may slam closed, squashing your toes or worse. The cables may have shifted or become tangled possibly leading to a door-off-track situation. Trust me, you don't want that. As soon as you discover that your garage door has a broken Torquemaster spring you should just leave it closed until I arrive there with the repair solution.
If you know or suspect that your garage door has a broken spring of any type I recommend that you not open the door at all until the problem is resolved.
The following is a list of prices for spring replacements on common garage doors.
The prices listed above are for service during normal business hours Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm excluding holidays. For repair service on Sunday, holidays or late evening work (after 5pm) add $55 emergency service surcharge.
I warranty torsion spring replacements and Torquemaster conversions for 5 years.
I warranty extension spring replacements for 3 years.
I warranty Torquemaster replacements for 1 year.