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Garage Doors/Torsion spring replacement


QUESTION: Mr. Whitacre,
I just had a torsion spring break on a garage door, and I would like to replace it myself (if at all possible) because money is tight.  I am a pretty good jackleg carpenter, and so-so mechanic.  I know how to find what kind of spring I need, and how to determine it's thickness.  I had planned to watch a couple of Youtube demo's and read a couple of instruction manuals before attempting it.  
The door only has a single spring.  
Is replacing a torsion spring something that an ordinary handy-man type could do, or is there special tools needed or special experience that one needs in order to do it safely?
Any suggestions or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Warm regards,

ANSWER: Hi David and Happy  New Year,

No one except for traied mechanics should ever mess with a torsion spring. And the cost should not be prohibitive to have an expert do the work. The spring should not cost more than $100 and the service should not be more that $150. For a product that should last 7-10 years, it is a bargain. Hope this helps. For more help go to

Yours in doors,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the good answer, Mike.  I took your advice, and got a local company to come in and replace the torsion spring.  He was pretty good...patient with me, and answered a few questions I had...and was very reasonable.  (He came by late Friday and got it done, and gave us a deal...only $126.50 for the new spring and the labor.  Plus, it's got a 5 year warranty.  And he says it'll probably last 7-10 years, depending.)  
One more quick question, if I may:  
We have four garage doors total in our house.  Two single doors in the main garage, where we keep the two cars...and that are used most often.  And we've got two more single doors on the other (lower) side of the house that don't get used very often.  Both upper garage doors have been backed into, and probably need to be replaced.   The lower garage doors (exact same size) are in perfect shape, and I'd like to take the two bottom panels off each of them and swap them with the two bottom panels off the upper (main) garage doors.  That way the two garage doors that get used most will have all good panels, while the two "sprung" panels will be on the lower-side garage doors that are used very rarely.  Is that something that a good jack-leg mechanic can do?  I thought I would have the doors down when I took them out, and use vise-grip pliers in the guide channels at the top to lock the doors down so they wouldn't be able to spring up.  The doors are light...aluminum with insulation panels inside.  And all the panels are exactly the same kind and size (except for the top panel, which has windows.)  
Anyhow...again...any suggestions, advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi David,
same thing, you still dealing with the spring assembly to remove the bottom sections although the bottom section should be interchangeable and without any problem but I would still have a professional do it.Whoever did the work for you I would you just get them back and do the section exchange
I can't imagine it would cost much. or maybe he could get you a deal on to new bottom sections.

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Mike Whitacre


I will not answer questions about garage door openers 20 years old or older as they are unsafe, PURCHASE A NEW ONE. How many cell phones have you owned in 20 years? I have 40 years in the garage door industry and have seen almost everything. I sat on the Wayne/Dalton dealers board in 1986,1987,and 1988. I am on the IDEA board of directors ( and am accredited by same. I will, to the best of my ability answer your questions on doors or openers. I will not deal with shinbuster type doors. Replace it if you have one! If your question is about stretch type springs, call an IDEA accredited dealer and have torsion springs installed.


I have been in the overhead door industry for 40 years. I have dealt with all major brands of garage doors and openers. I have been a member of the International Door Association for 25 years( My speacialty is working with and understanding stretch and torsion springs. However, I will never recommened a customer to deal with a garage door spring.

International Door Association, Door and Access Manufacturer's association, Institute of Door Education and Accreditation, American Legion

I have 2 years of collage , am on the IDEA board of directors, and if you didn't notice have been in the industry for 40 years!

Awards and Honors
I recieved the Train the Trainer certification from the Institute of Door Education and Accreditation in April 2001.

Past/Present Clients
Cal Ripken

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