Help! My Garage Door has a Broken Spring or is Stuck

Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to open or close your garage door, but have it get stuck halfway. The most common reason this happens is due to a broken torsion spring, a part that is responsible for providing balance. It is a common problem that has many people saying “My garage door has a broken spring or is stuck, what do I do next”? If you are in this same boat, you’ll find the information below very useful.

Purpose of a Torsion Spring

Your door’s torsion spring is located approximately one foot from the top section of your door when it is closed. It consists of two large coil springs, and is approximately the length of your arm. Its purpose is to balance the weight of your door so that a door weighing between 160 and 185 pounds is practically weightless to lift. As such, it makes it possible for a garage door opener to raise the door using only ten pounds of pressure.

Inspecting your Torsion Spring

When you first notice that your garage door is stuck or won’t open, the first thing you should do is to inspect your torsion spring for signs of damage. If there is a gap between the two springs or one or more of your cables appear to be broken, chances are your torsion spring is damaged.

If the door only goes up six inches and stops, or moves very slowly when using your remote, you could have a broken spring as well. Some customers will notice that the top section of their door is bent or that the door falls very quickly when lowering. Your door may be “crooked” or jerky when going up and down, and both of these signs indicate your torsion spring is in poor condition and very likely to break in the near future. Any time you hear a loud “popping” noise while operating, you should inspect your torsion spring immediately for signs of damage.

When a Spring Breaks

When one or both springs break, gravity takes over and you feel the full weight of the door when lifting or lowering it.  It may be possible to pull the door up by hand, although doing so will likely be very difficult. In most cases, two or more people are needed to raise the door high enough for you to drive your car out of the garage. While single garage doors can typically be lifted, double doors are nearly impossible to manipulate due to their excessive weight.

Opening the door yourself is recommended only during an emergency, as there is an increased risk of it getting stuck again-or worse yet, crashing down on top of you. Moving a wooden door could cause damage to the opener, or the top of a steel door might bend underneath the pressure. If you must open the door long enough to drive underneath it, you may want to prop up either side with some 2×4 pieces of lumber to provide added stability. You could also secure your door to its tracks using a pair of vise grips or a couple of c-clamps.

Before continuing to operate your door, you must either repair or replace your torsion spring. This can be a rather complicated procedure, and is therefore not recommended as a DIY project.

Emergency Garage Door Service

As mentioned, the only time you should attempt to open a garage door with a broken torsion spring is during an emergency. Otherwise, you should contact a service technician for emergency repairs. We provide same-day garage door service for people just like you who find themselves stuck and unable to move due to a faulty torsion spring. For prompt, reliable service any time of the day or night, please contact us.