Should You Replace Garage Door Springs In Pairs?

Homeownership means that there's always a project waiting to be completed. While many are planned out in advance, occasionally you'll have life throw a surprise your way. And if your home has a garage, at some point the surprise will be a broken garage door spring. If your spring is busted, should you replace both of them at once? We researched garage door repair and maintenance from a variety of professional sources so that you can finally have a definitive answer.

Manufacturers and professional installers strongly recommend that you replace garage door springs in pairs. 

Now that we know you should replace your garage door springs in pairs, we'll go into further detail as to why this is important. And if you're the handy type, you might have some other questions about garage door springs. What causes the springs to break? How much will it cost to replace them? Is this a project that should be professionally done? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

A huge brown colored garage door with decorative stones, Should You Replace Garage Door Springs In Pairs?

Why You Should Replace the Door Springs in Pairs

You might think that you're saving money and time by only replacing the broken spring. In reality, though, when one spring is broken, the other one won't have much longer. So while you're replacing the one, you should certainly replace the other. It means one less trip to the hardware store, and once one is replaced, it's pretty quick to get to the second one.

If you're getting a professional to install the spring, they will want to replace both. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, as you won't get charged for additional labor and a service call when the second one breaks and needs replaced.

Aside from the time and money side of it, there's real science that comes into play here. As we'll discuss ahead in this post, garage door springs have a shelf life. Typically, most brands will last about 10,000 opens/closes. If you're the typical homeowner that uses the garage as the main point of entry into your home, this means your springs will begin breaking in four to five years.

For the sake of argument, let's say that one spring was manufactured poorly, and only lasted a year. Knowing that the other spring still has another four years or so on it, you might be thinking to just go ahead and replace the one.

The problem with this scenario is that springs will begin to lose strength over time. They become a bit less taut and stretch out a little bit more with age. Having a brand new spring and one with a year of wear on it will result in uneven tension on the door itself. This could result in damage to the garage door and the garage door track.

Bottom line: No matter the circumstances, always replace both springs at the same time.

What Causes Garage Door Springs To Break?

Like anything we use, garage door springs have a standard number of uses before they begin to wear out or break. On average, the garage door springs are good for 10,000 open/closes. Over the course of time, the cold in the winter and the heat and humidity in the summer will begin to impact the springs themselves. Eventually, one will totally wear out and break.

A brown colored garage door with arched windows, decorative stones, and gray shingle roofing

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Two Springs On A Garage Door?

Should you be in need of replacing the springs on your garage door, you'll be relieved to know that doing so won't break the bank. If you're the handy type and are familiar with how the system operates, you should be able to get the parts you need for $35 to $100. The variance in costs is based on size and brand. Most hardware and home improvement retailers will have exactly what you need. Just make certain that you are replacing the exact brand and size.

If you're not comfortable doing this project yourself, there are many reputable professionals that can do it for you. If you don't know of any, consult at your local home improvement retailer. Many of them will subcontract with installers of all kinds so that you can be relieved of attempting a project you're not familiar with. If you go this route, it will cost between $200 and $300.

Can A Garage Door Operate With One Spring?

If your garage door has a broken spring, it won't operate correctly. That's not to say that you can't force it open; it's just recommended that you not attempt to, lest you do additional damage to your garage door's mechanisms.

Can I Lift My Garage Door With A Broken Spring?

If your garage door operates on a two spring system, then it will not open properly with only one working spring. Lifting it manually can be done in an emergency, but know that doing so can damage the garage door track. You should never attempt to open a garage door with an automatic opener if a spring is damaged.

Should your garage door springs be broken, it's a good idea to get them replaced as soon as possible. Most professionals can get this accomplished in thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the model and the age of the parts.

Is It Dangerous To Replace Garage Door Springs?

If you're a novice when it comes to home repair, it's always a great idea to consult a professional when replacing your garage door springs. This is especially important if you are replacing torsion springs. These garage door springs are under heavy tension, and can quickly expand and cause serious injury.

Should the springs that need to be replaced be extension springs, the risk of injury is smaller, but still a factor. Improper techniques can cause the door to fall, resulting in bodily injury or damage to an entering or exiting vehicle. It's also pretty easy to cut yourself on old and rusted metal when you're removing the springs.

As with any project around the house, don't attempt anything you aren't one hundred percent comfortable with. Doing it yourself might save you a bit of cash, but using a professional installer can save you a lot of time and will eliminate any risks to your safety.

In Closing

Replacing garage door springs is an inevitability, but not one that will break the bank. Whether or not you attempt this task yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, you'll want to be certain to replace them both at the same time. Home improvement projects have a wide variety of skill ranges to be safely and competently finished. While replacing the springs on your garage door might not sound like one that will take much time or skill, it's recommended that a professional at least be consulted prior to attempting it on your own.

If you found this post on garage door springs to be helpful, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following home improvement posts:

Can PEX Pipes Freeze And Burst? What homeowners need to know

Can The Attic Be Converted To A Living Space? [And How To Go About That]

How To Hang Things On Vinyl Siding (Even Without Nails)

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