Can You Open A Garage Door With A Broken Spring? (Find Out Now!)

Kerry Souder
by Kerry Souder

People use garages for a variety of purposes, including protecting vehicles, storing household items, serving as an extra room, and more. Whatever the case, it’s important to know how to safely operate your garage door, so no one in your family gets hurt. This includes knowing what to do when a spring breaks and if you can still use the door during that time.

You can open a garage door with a broken spring in the case of an emergency, but you should absolutely avoid doing so at all costs. This is because the door essentially loses all support and balance without that spring, so you can easily get hurt when trying to open and close it.

Here’s everything you need to know about garage door springs.

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What are Garage Door Springs?

Garage door springs help the door raise and lower in a controlled manner. As the door closes, the springs gain tension to keep the door moving at a consistent speed. When the door opens once more, that tension releases to assist with that listing.

How to Open a Garage Door with Broken Springs

There are a couple different types of garage door springs, and we’re going to go over how to open each if they break. However, it’s important to note that you should only do this if you can’t avoid it.

These two types of springs are torsion springs and extension springs.

Torsion springs turn to help open the door and do so in a more controlled motion. They never fully extend. Extension springs, on the other hand, fully expand and contract. They do not provide that control when operating the door, resulting in a jerking motion, and varying speeds at which the door opens and closes.

More on Torsion Springs

Torsion spring garage doors systems have one of more tightly wound springs that run along torsion tube, which is basically a long metal shaft. They are tightly wound and are mounted to the header wall that is directly above the garage door. The springs themselves have cable drums on both end, which helps the door remain balanced.

Here’s how you can open a garage door with two torsion springs if you absolutely must:

  • For starters, have someone help you. Professionals should truly be the only ones to open broken garage, but if you have to do it, don’t do it alone. Also, be sure to inspect the door before opening it and be aware of where your body is in relation to the door.
  • Disengage the door from the opener. since the spring is broken, you should not use the opener as you can cause more damage. To disengage the door, pull the red cord—the emergency release cord.
  • Carefully lift the door and make sure it is completely open. The door will seem very heavy without the opener attached, so proceed with caution. If it feels too heavy to lift, stop what you’re doing and call a repair team.
  • When closing the door once more, be sure to do so slowly and carefully. Don’t let the door drop back to the ground from any height. Otherwise, you risk the door frame completely falling off.

More on Extension Springs

Garage doors with extension springs feature two springs attached to cables that are attached to the bottom corners of the garage door. They run along horizontal tracks on the door with a spring on each track, which are mounted on either side of the garage door track. Both of these springs need to be in good condition for the door to work.

Should the springs stop working and you need to open the door, here’s what you should do:

  • Like opening a garage door with torsion springs, you should always have a partner when trying to open the door. You also should be aware of your surroundings and your position to the door at all times.
  • Also, along the same vein as torsion springs, disengage the opener by pulling the emergency release cord, so you can manually open the door.
  • Carefully lift the door, using crowbars for leverage if it feels too heavy. Lift the door completely and use heavy-duty vice clamps to keep it in place. Also place ladders on either side to prop the door open.
  • Again, use caution when closing the door to make sure you don’t damage anything as you put it back in its resting position. 

Why Do Garage Door Springs Break?

Most springs will break when the door is in a closed position. This is because the springs have the most tension in this position. That said, it is still very possible for the springs to break when the door is open or in the process of opening. This is why it is very important to never walk under a door as it is opening and to be cautious when underneath it at all. Here are the main reasons those springs will break.

No Regular Maintenance

Maintenance is the key to lengthening the lifespan of your garage door springs. Additionally, proper maintenance will make it clear when your springs are at the end of their life, so you can replace them before something bad happens.

Without regular maintenance, the springs can deteriorate very quickly. A couple tasks you should do to properly maintain them include lubricating the springs with white lithium grease a few times a year and check the garage door balance once a season at a minimum. Here’s what you should do to check the balance:

  • Pull the emergency release cord, so the door is in manual mode.
  • Lift the door halfway up and then let go.

If the door stays still, the springs are still in good shape. If the door sags down, it can be a sign that the springs are starting to fail.

Rust Development

Rust on garage door springs will increase friction on the coils as the door opens and closes, which will cause them to wear down more quickly. It will also corrode the spring itself, which will weaken the entire piece and cause it to stop working.

General Wear and Tear

Eventually, your springs will stop working, even if you don’t do anything wrong. This is why it’s important to always keep an eye on your springs. It is especially important if you use your garage as a main point of entry into your home. This is one of the most common reasons door springs break.

Related Questions

How long do garage door springs last?

Typically, garage door springs are rated for approximately 10,000 cycles where a cycle is the garage door going up and down. However, you can purchase extended lifespan options that are rated for up to 20,000 cycles.

How much does it cost to replace garage door springs?

Typically, replacing the springs on your garage door costs between $150 and $350. The springs themselves range in cost from $30 to $75. Torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs, but they tend to last longer.

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In Conclusion…

Yes, you can open a garage door with a broken spring. No, you should not do so if it’s not an emergency. The best thing to do is call a technician to fix the door, so you can use it once more.

Our last bit of advice: leave these repairs to a professional instead of trying to do it on your own. They will have the proper training and tools to do the job safely. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy long-lasting results.

Kerry Souder
Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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