Think there’s an issue with a garage door cable? We discuss some common questions and issues around garage door cable repair.
How do garage door cables come off?
It’s likely caused by incorrect springs that result in loose cables. The loose cables lead to slack around the drum and inevitably a thrown cable. The other scenario includes an obstruction to one side of the door while closing that causes slack around the cable leading the cable to “jump” off the drum. Imagine closing your garage door while your trash can is under the door. The force settings on the operator should adjust and reverse the door but sometimes the operator doesn’t react the right way.
Can I open my garage door if my cables come off?
No, we do not recommend it. If the cables are off and you manage to raise the door it is basically free-floating and could crash to the ground. Usually, when the cables come off, they wrap around the torsion tube and create a “birds nest” with the cable that won’t allow the door to move in either direction.
How to install/replace garage door cables
Dangerous: Please call a trained tech do not attempt. First, if it’s a repair, we make sure the tension has been fully removed from the springs. Starting on the left side of the door, we attach the cable to the bottom bracket with the loop end and run it up the side of the door, and with the swagged end run it around the drum and into the cable slot. Set the drum set screws and attach a vice grip to the torsion tube on the upper side of the tube against the wall to keep the cable tight. Then on the right side of the door do the same. However, we try and add a little tension to the cable by pulling it down while you tighten the set screws on the right-hand drum. Wind up the springs and we’re on our way!
Can you recoil garage door gables? If so, how?
Yes, but we only recommend trained technicians perform this task because it can be very dangerous. To recoil the cable, we lower the door to the ground and repeat the process above. See: How to Install/Replace Garage Door Cables
How to determine cable length for garage door cable repair
On a standard 4” drum on a standard residential installation, the cable is 18” longer than the height of the door. Specialty drums and hi-lift or vertical lift setups require a specific cable length depending on the drum, height of the lift, and weight of the door. There are so many variations that we have to enter all the information into our software to get the exact cable length.
How long do garage door cables last
With proper installation and no user error, your cables should last forever. Many working parts on a garage door will eventually wear out and need to be replaced but not the cables. They would only need to be replaced if they have been kinked or cut in some way.
How to adjust garage door cable tension
We only attempt to tighten or adjust garage door cables when trying to level out a door that is damaged or has been installed incorrectly. To tighten or add tension to the cable on the right side of the door, we do something called “slipping the drum”. However, we would do this to the drum on the left if we need to add tension to the cable on the right-hand side. First, we raise the door off the ground about 1” give or take depending on how much tension is called for. Then we leverage a vice-grip on the torsion tube placing the vice grips against the wall (ON THE BOTTOM SIDE OF THE TUBE) to hold the door and the springs in place. Again, this is very dangerous. Lastly, we loosen the set screws on the left side drum and look for the door on the left side to dropdown. When the garage door levels out, we tighten the set screws on the drum and remove the vice grips to finalize the adjustment.
How much does garage door cable repair cost
To have a professional replace the cables on a standard residential door should cost around 149.00. Make sure your repair also includes a full lube and tune-up of the door.