Garage door spring broken in half - can a homeowner fix it himself?

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Garage door spring broke in half. Torsion type. On a bar across the door. Do people usually replace them as a DIY. Or is it something nobody does themselves?
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They can be very dangerous to replace. I'm sure that some people do it. I wouldn't.
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On Fri, 19 Sep 2014 03:39:14 -0700, "Julie Bove"

Agreed. It is easy with the correct tools and some experience. It is very dangerous without both. Years ago, my father in law seriously injured his hand while trying to improvise a tool to replace a spring. The tool broke and spun around very quickly with the broken end slicing into his hand. I am 99.9% DIY, but I always hire someone to replace my torsion springs when they fail.
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On 09/19/2014 06:14 AM, Shlomo Baumgard wrote:

Most people on this planet are NOT smart enough to navigate a traffic circle properly. How smart are you?
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0ren wrote:

Hmmm, I drive around circle taking my dog to a free run park twice a day. People living in the neighborhood even don't get it driving me nuts, LOL!
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Shlomo Baumgard wrote:

If you have to ask, the answer is generally no. It can be done, but it's not easy or fun and it can be quite dangerous.
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0ren wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:18:48 -0400:

I know how to stay to the inside for a few loops until I get my bearing, so I will research how to replace the torsion spring and let you know how it works out.
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Shlomo Baumgard:
While it's true that replacing a garage door torsion spring CAN be dangerous, you should be aware that most of the danger lies in the fact that you use steel bars to hold tension on the torsion spring while you loosen the set screws that hold it to the torsion rod. It's the turning of the torsion rod that raises and lowers the door. So, when you stick a steel rod into the end of the torsion spring and loosen those set screws, the instant the set screw lets go of the torsion rod, the force that was in that spring now goes into turning the steel bar you're holding. It's not a great amount of force, but you can eliminate most of the danger by making sure that your head and face are out of the path that the steel bar would swing in if that bar your holding would slip and swing under the force of the torsion spring.
That is, if you make a consious effort to keep your face and head out of the path of the bar if it swings, you avoid most of the danger in doing this job.
I've replaced one of the torsion springs on my sister's double wide garage door, and I didn't find it either difficult or all that dangerous. I was a bit apprehensive about undoing the set screws holding the torsion spring to the torsion bar, but when I felt that the force was within my strength to support, I immediately felt a sense of relief.
If you have the owner's manual for your garage door, or can find the manufacturer's name somewhere on the door and download the owner's manual or installation manual, you can just follow the instructions printed there.
I made notes of the procedure I followed in replacing the torsion spring on my sister's two car garage door. If you want to, I can copy and paste it into this thread for you to copy and paste into Windows Notepad and print off.
--
nestork

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Shlomo Baumgard wrote:

Hi, If you are handy with proper tools, watch Youtube tutorial to familiarize yourself with the procedure, it is doable. If two springs, replace both. And rub the springs with oil soaked rug to minimize dry friction when done(make the springs last longer) It can seriously injure or even kill you if not careful. Or pros will do it for you in about less than 2 hours. It costs flat 250.00 where I live. I did it couple times, not as fast as pros but not a difficult job doing it alone while some one watches on the side for safety.
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On 9/19/2014 6:14 AM, Shlomo Baumgard wrote:

I've heard they are quite dangerous. Lot of stored energy. I'd not want to try it.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxUoJrLhaSI

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Oren wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:39:58 -0700:

Thanks for that tip! I'm on the phone with a guy named "Dan" right now! He sounds like he knows what he's talking about because he had me measure the broken spring while I was on the phone with him.
I'm ordering two new larger springs and the tools as soon as we figure out the best upgrade from 10,000 cycles to 70,000 cycles which only costs a few bucks more.
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nestork wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:00:56 +0200:

Thanks but the link Oren gave to ddm doors has videos of everything. I ordered two springs, two steel bars, and three bearings.
It should arrive next week by UPS and I will just follow the video. Looks pretty easy.
The dangerous part is not making an unscripted mistake.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:09:52 -0400:

It doesn't look more dangerous than driving a car but the true text link that Oren provided says it can send the steel bar at the speed of a bullet so the real danger is doing something stupid.
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BenDarrenBach wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:28:18 -0700:

That's the guy Oren gave me the link to. I spoke to him. His name is Dan. He patently had me measure the spring while he was on the phone. They are sending me two new larger longer springs, three bearings, and two steel rods. Dan told me I can buy the rods at a hardware store but I got them from him because he was so helpful.
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Shlomo Baumgard wrote:

Hi, Good luck with it. As long as springs are matching your door(size and weight). The heavier ther better does not apply in this case. We'd like to hear feedback after you finish the job. There are many Youtube tutorials out there.
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Oren wrote, on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:00:46 -0700:

That's the guy. Thanks!
I will watch his videos until the parts arrive.
Other than safety goggles, it looks like I only need a vise grip, step ladder, a couple of wrenches, and the two steel winding bars.
The guy was patient with me. He even talked me out of the fancy springs, saying the plain black ones were just fine if I oil them once a year.
So, the only upgrade was thicker steel, which means it will last longer.
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So is the dog in the car or running beside it? ;-)

My problem here is 4-way stops. If the entrances are 1, 2, 3, and 4, when 1 is entitled to go, 3 is also, even if he got to the stop later than 2 and 4, but here 1 goes and 3 stays still, then 2 goes, but 4 doesn't) , then 3 goes (and if anyone has arrived at 1, he doesn't), then 4 goes, but 2 doesn't. And so on. It must take 60% longer to get through the intersection than it should.
Also, at the last stop sign before my house, I often come from the east and turn left. If I put my turn signal on, a reflex, the car approaching me waits until I've turned. Wastes time. I've almost learned to leave the signal off until we pass each other in the intersection and then turn it on and turn left right behind him.
And there's room enough for two cars side-by-side at most stop signs, if only the cars in front of me would pull to one side or the other, but some sit in the middle.
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On Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:21:34 +0000 (UTC), Shlomo Baumgard

Buy Vise-grip brand vise grips. They aren't that expensive ($8 a few years ago) and they wear like iron, or steel. And have lots of uses. I usually use the ones with the curved jaws, fwiw.
There are other brands, and no-name brands, and I've ended up with some, but for anything strenuous, I only trust Vise-Grip (R)

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On Friday, September 19, 2014 3:44:40 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:

Like many other things, they're not what they used to be. The old Peterson Vise-Grips were the best, then USA Irwin, then the current offshore Irwin are less desirable yet.
If I needed new ones today I might consider trying the Grip-Ons; rumor has it they make the locking pliers for at least one of the big "tool truck" brands.
nate
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