Do I have to replace both garage door springs if one breaks?

A client called me with this problem:

He lives in a split level house and his living room is practically over his garage. But  he doesn’t use his garage for  his car, but uses it for storage. Since he rarely opens and closes the door, he has never bothered to buy an automatic door opener and remote. One day he hears a terrible bang sound coming from the garage and lo and behold one of his garage door springs had broken. Turns out that since the door was never opened, the springs were always tensed. Opening and closing the door keeps the springs “limber” for lack of a better term. He wanted to know if since he never really uses the door if he could just leave one spring on there and maybe buy a used garage door opener to compensate for the missing spring

The answer to that is NO. If one spring breaks, or needs replacing for any reason, they both need to be replaced. The reason for that is that these springs are under terrific tension (that’s why such a loud bang when it popped), and they bear a lot more weight than the average garage door owner realizes. And garage door opener motors are not particularly strong. They rely on the tension and balancing of the door to do most of the work. Additionally, if you replace only one of the springs, the other one will be weaker and will cause undue tension on the new one.