(816) 290-6506 Or (913) 349-6484

How to Open Garage Door With Broken Spring (Step-By-Step)

how to open garage door with broken spring

Dealing with a broken garage door spring can be a daunting challenge that disrupts your daily activities and compromises your home’s security. This step-by-step guide is designed to help you safely open your garage door with a broken spring, equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to tackle the task effectively. 

how to open garage door with broken spring

Whether you’re facing this issue for the first time or looking for a more streamlined approach, this guide will provide clear, actionable steps while emphasizing safety precautions to prevent injury or further damage to your garage door system. Follow along to learn how to manage this situation efficiently, ensuring quick access to your garage with minimal hassle.

Section 1: Understanding the Risk

Opening a garage door with a broken spring is fraught with potential dangers, making it imperative to fully understand the risks before attempting any repairs. A broken spring means that the door’s weight is not properly supported, significantly increasing the difficulty and hazard involved in manual operation.

how to open garage door with broken spring

Firstly, the lack of support from a functional spring can cause the door to be unexpectedly heavy. If you underestimate the weight, you risk not only personal injury from the strain but also the possibility of the door crashing down abruptly if it cannot be held securely. This is particularly dangerous if the door begins to move while you are beneath it.

Additionally, attempting to operate the door under these conditions can exacerbate existing damage. For example, other components of the door system, like cables or the garage door opener itself, may be under undue stress when the spring is not functioning. This can lead to further mechanical failures, which might not only require more extensive repairs but could also pose additional safety risks.

how to open garage door with broken spring

Given these risks, it’s essential to carefully assess whether you should proceed with opening the door yourself. If the door appears excessively heavy, if there is visible damage beyond the broken spring, or if you have any doubts about your ability to safely manage the door, it’s wise to defer to professionals. Garage door technicians are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and experience to handle such situations safely and will ensure that your door is repaired without further incident.

Section 2: Tools and Preparations

Before attempting to open your garage door manually with a broken spring, it is essential to gather the right tools and safety gear to ensure the process is as safe as possible. Here’s a detailed list of what you’ll need and the preparations you should make:

  • Sturdy Gloves: Heavy-duty work gloves are crucial to protect your hands from sharp edges on the garage door components and the tension in the cables. They also provide a better grip on the door as you lift it, reducing the risk of slipping.

  • Safety Glasses: When working with potentially compromised mechanical systems like a broken garage door, always wear safety glasses. This will protect your eyes from any small fragments or debris that might become dislodged and fly up as you manipulate the door.

  • Ladder: A stable ladder is necessary to reach the manual release handle of the garage door opener. Ensure the ladder is secure and positioned on a flat surface to prevent any slipping or tilting while you are on it.

  • Locking Pliers or a C-Clamp: Before you disengage the garage door opener, use locking pliers or a C-clamp on the track just below the bottom roller to secure the door from accidentally rolling down once the spring tension is released. This step is crucial for preventing the door from crashing down unexpectedly.

  • Securing the Door: Ensure the garage door is in a fully closed position before you attempt any repairs. If the door is stuck open with a broken spring, it’s best to call professionals as the risk of the door slamming shut unexpectedly increases significantly.

  • Disconnect the Opener: Locate the manual release handle—usually a red cord hanging from the opener—and pull it to disconnect the door from the opener. This will allow you to move the door manually.

  • Check Surrounding Area: Clear the area of people, pets, and any objects that could be damaged if the door were to move unexpectedly. Also, ensure that the floor is clear of any tools or debris to prevent tripping or other accidents.

By adequately preparing and equipping yourself with the necessary safety gear, you can minimize the risks involved in manually opening your garage door. Remember, if the door is excessively heavy or if you are unsure about the safety of the procedure, it is advisable to seek professional help rather than risking personal injury or further damage to the door system.

Section 3: Manual Opening Method

Manually opening a garage door with a broken spring requires careful handling to ensure safety and prevent further damage. Follow these detailed steps to safely open your garage door:

how to open garage door with broken spring
  • Disengage the Automatic Opener:
    • Locate the manual release handle, which is typically a red cord hanging from the garage door opener mechanism. This cord is usually attached to a lever.

    • Firmly pull the cord downward or toward the door. This action will release the door from the opener’s drive mechanism, allowing you to operate the door manually. Ensure you have stable footing and a firm grip, as the handle may require a bit of force to disengage.

  • Prepare to Lift the Door Manually:
    • Before lifting, ensure you have a clear path and that the area is free of obstructions. This includes checking the floor for tools, debris, or anything else that might impede movement or pose a tripping hazard.

    • Position yourself at the center of the door. If possible, have a second person help you by mirroring your actions on the other side of the door. This ensures even lifting and reduces the strain on the door’s structure.

  • Lift the Door Manually:
    • With one hand on each side of the door (or two people with hands spaced evenly apart), begin to lift the door smoothly and steadily. Keep your back straight and lift with your legs to prevent injury.

    • As you lift, maintain even pressure on both sides to keep the door level. This is crucial to prevent the door from jamming in the tracks or skewing to one side, which could cause additional damage or increase the risk of the door falling.

    • Continue lifting the door until it is fully open. If the door is too heavy or difficult to lift safely, stop the process and seek professional assistance.

  • Secure the Door in the Open Position:
    • Once the door is fully open, ensure it stays open before moving under or through it. Use locking pliers or a C-clamp on the tracks just below the bottom roller on one side to hold the door in place.

    • Check that the door is securely held by gently testing if it slides down. Do not stand directly under the door while testing.

  • Exit Safely:
    • Once the door is securely open and safely supported, move your vehicle or any other items in or out of the garage quickly and carefully. Avoid leaving the door open longer than necessary, as the lack of spring support means the door can still be a risk if accidentally knocked or disturbed.

By following these steps, you can safely open your garage door with a broken spring. However, remember that this is a temporary solution, and repairing or replacing the broken spring should be handled by a professional to ensure the safety and functionality of your garage door system.

Section 4: When to Call a Professional

Handling a garage door with a broken spring can quickly escalate into a more significant issue if not managed properly. Recognizing when to call in a professional is crucial to ensuring safety and preventing further damage to your garage system. Here are key indicators that professional help is needed:

  • Excessive Weight:
    • If the door feels unusually heavy and difficult to lift manually without considerable strain, it suggests that the spring’s support is completely compromised. Garage doors can weigh several hundred pounds, and a functioning spring system is essential for safely managing this weight. If you cannot comfortably lift the door with another person, it’s time to call a professional.

  • Additional Opener Malfunctions:
    • Should your garage door opener exhibit other signs of malfunction beyond the broken spring, such as erratic movements, failure to respond to controls, or unusual grinding noises, these could indicate deeper electrical or mechanical issues. These symptoms suggest that the opener itself may also need repair or adjustment by a technician.

  • Unusual Noises:
    • Any strange noises while attempting to open or close the door manually—such as grinding, snapping, or popping sounds—are clear signs of mechanical distress. These sounds can indicate that other components may be on the brink of failure, including cables and rollers, which could lead to a sudden and unsafe collapse of the system.

  • DIY Risks:
    • Attempting DIY repairs on critical components like garage door springs can be risky without the proper tools and expertise. Garage door systems are under high tension and require specific methods for safe handling. Incorrect handling can lead to severe injuries or further damage to the door mechanisms. The complexity and risk involved typically necessitate professional skills and tools.

  • Regulatory Compliance:
    • In some areas, specific codes and regulations govern the repair and installation of garage doors to ensure safety. Professionals are familiar with these requirements and can ensure that your door system is not only functional but also compliant with local safety standards.

  • Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness:
    • Although calling a professional involves an upfront cost, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Professionals can accurately diagnose and resolve issues, which helps prevent recurring problems and additional expenses from makeshift fixes.

If you encounter any of these issues, it’s advisable to cease any further attempts to fix the door yourself and contact a garage door service professional. They have the necessary tools, safety equipment, and expertise to handle high-tension components like springs and ensure that your door returns to optimal functionality with minimal risk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a garage door operate with a broken spring?

  • Operating a garage door with a broken spring is highly discouraged. The spring plays a critical role in balancing and supporting the weight of the door, facilitating smooth and safe operation. When a spring is broken, the door can become unbalanced, leading to uneven lifting that not only strains other components but also creates hazardous conditions. This imbalance increases the risk of the door slamming shut unexpectedly or failing to open properly, which can be dangerous to both people and property.

What are the signs of a broken garage door spring?

  • Several indicators can alert you to a broken garage door spring:
    • Loud Noise: Often, the first sign of a broken spring is a loud bang from the garage. This noise occurs because the spring releases tension suddenly when it breaks.

    • Imbalanced Door: If one side of the door hangs lower than the other or the door doesn’t sit level when closed, it suggests that one of the springs may be broken.

    • Difficulty Opening: A garage door that is hard to lift or that feels heavier than usual might also indicate a spring issue.

How long does it take to replace a garage door spring?

  • The time it takes to replace a garage door spring can vary depending on the complexity of the system and the type of spring system installed (torsion or extension). Typically, a professional technician can complete the replacement in about 30 minutes to an hour. This time includes setting up the correct tension in the new springs and ensuring that the door is balanced and operates smoothly following the repair.

Is it safe to replace a garage door spring by myself?

  • Replacing a garage door spring involves significant risks due to the high tension under which these springs operate. The process requires specific tools and a thorough understanding of garage door mechanics. Without proper tools and knowledge, attempting to replace a spring can lead to personal injury or further damage to the garage door system. For safety and efficiency, it is generally recommended to hire a professional who has the expertise and equipment to handle the job safely.

How often should garage door springs be replaced?

  • The lifespan of garage door springs varies based on usage and maintenance. Generally, springs should be inspected annually by a professional to check for signs of wear and damage. Most springs are rated for about 10,000 open/close cycles, which for an average user translates to approximately 7 to 9 years. However, if your garage door is used very frequently, or if the springs show signs of significant wear before this time, they may need to be replaced sooner. Regular maintenance and prompt replacement of worn springs help ensure safe operation and extend the overall lifespan of your garage door system.


To conclude, learning how to open a garage door with a broken spring requires careful handling and the correct tools. While the steps provided in this guide offer a temporary solution to open your garage door with a broken spring, it’s important to remember that these are immediate, short-term fixes. For long-term reliability and safety, a professional assessment is often necessary to ensure the integrity of your entire garage door system. Regular professional checks help maintain the door’s functionality and safety, especially after dealing with significant issues like a broken spring.

End Note

If you’re in Kansas City and struggling with how to open your garage door with a broken spring, or if you face other garage door issues, consider reaching out to Team Taylor Door. With their renowned expertise and swift service, they ensure high customer satisfaction and offer comprehensive solutions for all garage door problems. For dependable and professional service, contact Team Taylor Door. Their dedication to excellence makes them a trustworthy choice for addressing and resolving your garage door concerns effectively.

Book Online

Someone will get in touch to you soon to confirm your exact appointment time.