Can You Manually Open Garage Door With Broken Spring?

garage door spring

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The garage door spring unwinds or detaches when the door opens and tightens or winds when the door is closed. The winding and unwinding allow the garage door to open and close. When the door is opened, the spring releases tension and the stored energy in the spring supports the lifting of the door.

Yes, you can. However, this is considered to be dangerous, especially if you do not have an idea of the important safety tips required to open your garage door when the spring is broken. Manually lifting or lowering a door weighing about 90 kg (200 lb) is tough, especially if you need to efficiently go in and out.

Opening a garage door with a broken spring is not only dangerous, but it is also inefficient. With a large amount of effort, force, and time, it is possible to lift your garage door with a broken spring; however, it’s not advisable.

How Do I Open a Garage Door With a Broken Spring Manually?

Are you in an emergency situation? It is easy to open your garage door with a broken spring; however, it requires manual effort, ultimate caution, and enough space. Here is how to lift your garage door open manually with a broken string. Carefully follow these steps:

Step 1: Disengage the garage door opener

Since the garage door spring is broken, the door tends to get stuck in one position or move with force. The automatic opening is of no use at this point; it is best to open manually.

And then turn off the door opener from your door, then pull the emergency release cord or rope attached to the opener until the mechanism unfastens to disengage the door and switch to manual mode.

Step 2: Seek Assistance

If the garage door is heavy, do not try to move it yourself or open it manually. Enlist the help of another person to protect you from accidents.

Step 3: Lift and Fix

To lift the door, hold it at the center and force it to move up. Get a partner to assist you. Keep lifting until it settles on the horizontal rails. Then, ensure that you secure your garage door in this position.

If it is a torsion spring garage door, support it with a ladder or bars. If the garage door uses an extension spring, you can clamp on both sides to pin the door in an open position.

How Do I Close a Garage Door With a Broken Spring?

It is also best to know how to close a garage door with a broken spring. This would help you get yourself prepared in case of any emergency and also protect the valuable items in your garage before the arrival of a technician. All you need are the reversed steps for how to open your garage door with a broken spring.

Step 1: Disconnect your Garage Door Opener

After you turn off the opener, pull the door down from the center position or the resting position on the horizontal rails.

Step 2: Get a Second Party

With assistance from a second party, slowly guide the door down till it finally closes with the bottom part. While you’re pulling the door down, be careful as the sudden drop can lead to damage or cause your garage door to crash.

Step 3: Re-engage the Door Opener

After you’ve successfully pulled the damaged garage door down, reengage your garage door opener with your garage door.

How Do I Know When My Garage Door Spring Is Broken?

Sometimes, when your garage door begins to malfunction, it either happens as a result of damage, wear, or breaking. Whatever happens, here are signs that will help you detect a broken garage door spring:

  • There is a misalignment on the top half of the door.
  • The door opens a few inches and forcefully closes back on itself (the safety mechanism fails to work).
  • The cables attached to the spring are loose or swinging.
  • The door stays either shut or open.
  • The door makes an ear-piercing noise when opened or closed.
  • The door looks bent or not in its proper position.
  • The door closes and opens more quickly than usual.
  • The door jerks when you try to raise or lower it.
  • There is a visible gap between your torsion springs.
  • The door refuses to open even after using an emergency opener.
  • The door seems bent and gets stuck in the process of moving it along the track.
  • The top of the door gets bent while trying to use your garage door opener.

Any of the above-listed signs indicate that your garage door spring is damaged or broken. The most obvious is when the door refuses to move while you raise or lower it.

What Causes My Garage Door Spring to Break?

Finding yourself in this situation tends to be frustrating; however, there are possible reasons that lead to a broken spring. 

1. Wear and Tear

This happens to be the major cause of a broken spring. Excessive usage of the garage door leads to wear and tear. Most springs are created for about 10,000 cycles, with one cycle for the opening and another for the closing of your garage door.

The garage door spring will last if the cycle usage is minimal. However, if the garage door has become an entry path into the home, then it is prone to being overused, causing the spring to weaken quickly.

2. Rust

If the spring begins to rust, then the lasting cycle will be reduced. When the spring begins to rust, the friction on the coil increases. Also, the corrosion on the spring makes the coil weak. This leads to the malfunctioning of your garage door.

3. Improper Maintenance 

When you do not maintain your garage door and the spring properly, they are likely to get damaged quickly. A well-maintained spring is likely to last a long time. Always lubricate your garage door spring with garage food lubricants like silicone spray and lithium grease, as this helps to reduce friction and prevent wear and tear.

Can I Replace A Broken Garage Door Spring Myself?

Yes, however, it is best that you call a professional to do that. The skilled experts have the experience and training required to replace and fix a garage door with a broken spring. Unless you have the necessary skills, repairing the door or replacing the spring yourself is extremely dangerous.

If, after performing the test, your garage door seems to be off balance, it is best that you call for repair. 

How Do I Check the Balance of My Garage Door?

It is suggested that you always check the balance of your garage door once every season (especially in the winter season). To check the balance of your garage door, perform the following test: 

  • Close your garage door from the inside.
  • There is a red handle on your garage door; it is known as the emergency cord. Pull the handle down to disengage the door opener and switch your garage door to manual mode.
  • Next, move the door up and down manually. Raise your garage door halfway, then release it. If the spring is still in its position, it keeps the door still. However, if the door gets off track, snaps open, or begins to dangle, then the door is off balance. As it begins to show signs of wear, you either adjust it or replace it.

If, after performing the balance test, your garage door seems to be off balance, it is best that you call for repair. It is best that you call a personal garage door repair company if you do not have the necessary skills to fix it yourself. 

Can a Garage Door Function Without Spring?

Garage doors won’t function without a spring. The presence of a spring allows the door to feel light while you lift or lower it. The spring provides the adequate force needed to counter the door’s gravitational force. They also provide safety and prevent the mechanism from going off track.

Safety Tips If You Must Open or Close Your Garage Door With a Broken Spring?

It is best to leave the door in whatever position it is in. Do not try to open or close it until the repair company arrives. However, if you must open or close your garage door with a broken spring, here are a few safety tips to protect you from accidents.

  • Disengage your electric garage door opener.
  • Ensure that you keep yourself safe. Protect your back, place your finger away from pinch points, and be careful not to put your feet under the door. 
  • When lifting or pulling your garage door, make sure to do so from the center and keep it level as it goes up or down.
  • Leave the garage door panels out. They are likely to get bent when pulled or pushed.
  • After opening, support the door to keep it open. You can use a ladder or support bars.
  • Once you’re done using the garage, be sure to close it immediately.
  • Also, inform every member about the faulty door so they do not have to go there.


Many of us only take the time to check our garage doors when they break down. It is advised that our garage doors be regularly and properly maintained. Also, we should replace them as soon as we notice a fault or a sign of breakdown or off-balance before the problem worsens. While you’re trying to raise or lower your garage door with a broken spring, it is best that you do that slowly, smoothly, and steadily.

Finally, do not use the opener when your garage door is faulty to avoid destroying the motor, breaking the chain, or causing other parts of the opener to be damaged.

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Written by Timothy Amin

Timothy is a seasoned expert when it comes to garage doors. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, John has installed, repaired, and maintained countless garage doors of various types and styles.