Can I Replace Just One Garage Door Spring?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from homeowners is, “Can I replace just one garage door spring?”. It depends on your garage door’s size and the number of springs needed to support the weight of your door. We’ll talk more about why springs matter, why you should replace them at once, and much more in this post.

Why you should replace all your garage door springs at once.

If your garage door has more than one spring and one breaks, we recommend replacing the others. Why – because springs are rated for lifecycles. A lifecycle is when your garage door opens and closes. So, if one spring breaks, it’s a sign that your springs are nearing the end of their useful life.

Why not replace one and wait to replace the others?

This is a money question. We won’t speak for all garage door companies, but at Doorvana, we can do things for less money when we’re already on site. For example, we charge $249 to replace a spring and $149 to replace other springs. Why do we do that? Each trip to a job site takes about 120 minutes. Some time is spent talking to you about your break, pricing the project, round-trip time to come out, and making the repair. We can add an extra spring for less than the initial spring because we’re already on-site. It’s like having a pizza delivered. The first pizza might be $14.99, but the second one is $7.99 because they’re already coming to your house. Adding a second pizza is always less expensive because the 1st pizza covered the cost of the drive.

If you have three springs and replace each one as they break, you might spend $747 instead of $547, a 36% premium.

How many clients have replaced both springs?

We put this number at 70/30. Roughly 70% of homeowners replace both springs when one breaks, while 30% opt to wait. Saving money is great, but sometimes a smaller ticket is more important. We get it, respect it, and will be around to help if/when the other springs break.

How many torsion springs do you need?

The number and type of torsion springs correspond to the size and weight of your garage door. You probably only have one torsion spring for a one-car steel garage door smaller than 10’ wide by 7’ tall. One spring can perform the work needed to open and close a one-car garage door.

The exception to the one-spring, one-car garage door rule is if the door is heavy. What makes a garage door heavy? The material. No matter the size, our one-car wood garage doors come with two torsion springs.

All two-car garage doors should have at least two springs. Some heavier doors can have three or four springs.

We published helpful articles to help you better understand springs, weight, and garage door sizes.

Why Do Garage Door Springs Matter?

Garage door springs work together with your operator to open and close your garage door. They’re the muscle behind the operation, while the operator is the brains. The operator determines when it’s safe to open or close your door.

The springs exert the most effort and wear out before other hardware parts. Springs are under extreme tension and do the heavy lifting. Steel also reacts with the elements; many springs break as the temperature drops.

Can a Garage Door Work with One Spring?

If your garage door has two or more springs and one spring breaks, we do not recommend trying to open the door. The torsion springs installed in your garage are rated to equally support your garage door’s weight. If you have two springs, they each exert half the effort required to operate your door. Three springs mean the door’s weight is spread across three springs, and four springs are the same.

If you try to operate the door with one broken spring and one or more intact springs, nothing good can happen. Opening the door with one spring is like bench-pressing with one arm. You might be able to do it, but you can’t do it well, and it’s not safe.

If you need to open your garage door with a broken spring, engage the release arm and open it manually. On a standard one-car garage door, lift from the middle of the door. For a two-car garage door, two people should lift from outside the center of the door. Only lift the door manually if you have no other options, and preferably do so with a partner or spotter.

Operating a garage door with a broken spring can cause:

  • The opener to break a gear or burn out.
  • The chain or belt to break.
  • The opener rail to bend.
  • The door to slam to the ground.

If your springs are damaged or broken, you should schedule a replacement service as soon as possible.

Types of Garage Door Springs

There are two types of garage door springs, torsion springs, and extension springs. Your garage door tech will be able to identify the type of spring immediately; it’s also good to know in case you’re asked about it when you call your local garage door pros.

Torsion Springs

Photo of a torsion spring system with two springs.

Located above the garage door, torsion springs vary in diameter, wire size, length, wind, and type of ends. The weight of your door will determine which springs and how many are needed for your door.

Extension Springs

Photo of the interior of a garage with an extension spring system.

In an extension spring system, the springs are located near the garage door tracks, with one spring on each side of the door. The heavier the door, the more springs it has. Extension springs are typically found on older doors.

Can I Replace Just One Garage Door Spring?

Yes, you can. But we believe it’s best to replace all the springs at once so that you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience and full price of another broken spring soon.

In closing

Replacing garage door springs is not a DIY project. Springs are dangerous and can cause significant bodily harm and damage to your garage if not installed properly. Please get in touch with a local, reputable garage door company to help with your project.

For service from the friendliest garage door experts in Texas, contact our team at Doorvana. We build, service, and install garage doors in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We invite you to explore our website by exploring our company, services, and products. If you’re ready to talk shop, call us at 817-500-5988 or fill out a form.

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