The Importance of The Right Door

The Importance of The Right Door

Oh Snap: How To Deal With Broken Garage Door Cables

by Sonia Castro

Imagine opening or closing your garage door as you'd normally do, only to hear a sudden "snap" or "pop" and see your garage door suddenly drop down to one side. Chances are you've just experienced a garage door cable failure. Like just about every other component on your garage door, the cables that help keep your garage door level can rust, fray or even snap from fatigue after years of continuous use.

Sooner or later, you'll have to replace your garage door cables. The following offers an in-depth guide on how you can replace your own garage door cables.

Unwinding the Spring

The first thing you'll have to do is remove any and all tension from the garage door's horizontal spring. To do this, you'll need to unwind the spring. If the spring is already broken or if both cables have snapped, you can skip this step since the spring has already unwound itself.

Start by pulling the emergency release handle to disengage the garage door opener. If possible, push the garage door open and secure it in place by attaching a vice grip below the bottom roller. Next, insert a winding bar at a 90-degree angle into the winding cone at the end of the torsion spring. Keep a firm grasp on the winding bar as you loosen the set screw on the winding cone. Afterwards, insert another winding bar onto the top of the winding cone and carefully unwind the spring.

As you unwind the spring, make sure you move in 1/4-turn increments and have at least one winding bar in place at all times.

Replacing the Broken Cable

With the torsion spring completely unwound, you can move to the drum at the end of the torsion tube. Locate and loosen the set screw on the cable drum and start unspooling cable from the drum. It's a good idea to wear thick gloves at this point to avoid injuring yourself on frayed sections of cable. When you're finished, unhook the other end of the cable from the jamb bracket on the bottom of the door.

Insert the new cable by inserting the square end into the slot on the cable drum. Carefully wind the cable around the drum to the same length as the old cable and attach the looped end to the jamb bracket. Ideally, the length of the cable should be the same as the height of the door plus 18 inches. Make sure the cable is tightly attached to the drum with little to no slack. Don't forget to tighten the set screw on the cable drum.

Rewinding the Spring

Once the new cable is on the drum, you'll need to rewind the torsion spring. Again, use 1/4-turn increments to tighten the torsion spring to the appropriate amount of tension. Most 7-foot garage doors need a total of 30 1/4-turns, while an 8-foot garage door requires 34 1/4-turns for optimum tension.

Remember to tighten the set screw on the winding cone before you remove the winding bars from the cone. Failure to do so could cause the spring to violently unwind, posing a serious injury risk to you and anyone else who happens to be around when it happens.

Finishing Touches

With the spring properly wound, you can now remove the vice grip holding the garage door in place. As you lower the garage door, make note of how it moves. If it feels like it'll fly open or feels difficult to close, you may need to make some last-minute adjustments to make sure it's properly balanced. Don't forget to reattach the emergency release mechanism to the garage door.

Keep in mind that replacing your garage door's cables can be very dangerous. Thus, you should hire a professional from a company like Crawford Door Company if you do not have experience working on garage doors.


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The Importance of The Right Door

When you really think about it, your front door is the first thing a person comes across when they come over to your house. It might seem silly, but that front door says a lot about you, including your personal style. While the right door will make your home feel like an upscale estate, the wrong one could make your place seem bland and boring. I have been installing doors for a long time, and you wouldn't believe how much of a difference a simply entryway upgrade can make. If you want to learn more about front doors, research my website.