Most garage door systems have the same parts. This means that plenty of people has experienced the horror of a garage door cable wearing down, fraying, or even coming off the pulley. Any garage door malfunction can be startling, but the good news is that most issues, such as a cable coming off, can be repaired with a little elbow grease. Are you having a moment where you’re thinking, “What should I do if my garage door cable comes off?” Good news! We have the answer.
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The Purpose of the Garage Door Cable
A garage door cable is one of two that are placed on either side of the garage door. The cables are connected to extension and torsion springs that help you move the garage door up and down along the track. Should a garage door cable come off or break, stress will be placed on the remaining cable. This could eventually lead to the remaining cable breaking as well.
In other words, if you have a single garage door cable come off, you need to repair it as soon as possible.
How Garage Door Cables Work
The cables on a garage door are attached to the bottom of the door with a cable pulley or drum. The pulley is fixed to the end of the torsion spring shaft. As the spring turns within the drum, the cable winds or unwinds around the drum as the door goes up and down. Since some garage doors can weigh more than 300 pounds, the torsion spring takes some of the weight, helping the door lower or rise with ease.
When the cable comes off or breaks, the door won’t lift properly. Then, the rollers, tracks, and remaining cables suffer from more tension. So, you might be wondering, what should I do if my garage door cable comes off or breaks?
There are two steps, which we’ll discuss below.
Why Cables Come Off The Pulley
There are a couple of reasons why the garage door cable has come loose and fallen off. Being able to diagnose the reason behind the malfunction is the first step to repair. The four common reasons include:
- There is an obstruction that prevents the door from closing completely, or the torsion springs or pulleys have collided with something.
- You have a busted torsion spring.
- Improper installation of the cable pulleys or drums. If either is incorrectly sized for the door, the cable system will wear out much faster.
- Improper installation or tension. Since tension is adjusted during installation, it’s essential that the door is installed correctly. Otherwise, the tension might be too tight or weak to support the cables.
What to do When a Garage Door Cable Comes Loose
Once you have diagnosed the issue, you have a couple of choices. First, you have to decide if you’re up to the challenge. If you’ve never dealt with garage door repairs before, you might want to leave this task to a professional. Second, you must release the tension from the remaining cable. Again, if you’re incapable of doing this, call in assistance.
Furthermore, garage doors are heavy, and you will need to lift the door in order to return the cable to its proper place. A professional will have the tools and experience to deal with this without getting injured. However, if you are fully confident in your abilities and have the correct equipment, check out the video below:
The door must be up. You will need vise grips to hold onto the bar connecting the pulleys. Start to rotate the bar with one hand and, as you’re lifting, use the thumb of your free hand to feed the loose cable back onto the cable drum.
If a garage door cable comes off, there is not much you can do on your own. While garage doors might look like an easy fix, they are cumbersome to deal with, so assess the situation. Sometimes, repairing a loose cable will be as easy as seen in the video. If not, call in a garage door contractor for repairs.
Check out our review of Chamberlain garage door openers.