You might have just tried to lift an old garage door or one that has a broken spring and can attest to the fact that it is not easy to do. However, it is even more difficult if the garage door cable breaks. So, the question is what you should do if the garage door cable breaks? Also, more importantly, what causes it to break?
In this article, we will attempt to answer two essential questions about garage door cables that we get asked a lot about.
Garage Doors are Complex Machines
Your garage door is made up of many tiny, complicated machines that work in cohesion to lift and lower the garage door multiple times a day. Every one of those machines is essential because it helps the garage door work flawlessly and reliably. The garage door springs play a vital role in lowering and raising the garage door. It keeps tension on the door, which makes it easier for the door to lower and raise.
Now because the torsion springs are under so much tension, if one of them were to break, it can lead to serious damage or worse injury. That’s why modern garage doors use heavy cables, that go directly through the springs, which prevents them from instantly recoiling if they happen to break. But cables break too.
Types of Garage Door Cables
Now there are different types of garage door cables which varies depending on how the springs are set up. If your garage door has a torsion spring, then you’ll have torsion cables that will loop and the end with a crimped stopover on the other side. The cables need to be secured and will have to be wound in a certain way.
Garage doors also have extension springs which will run along both sides of the door. The springs will require extension spring cables. The other types of cables are safety cables which are paired with extension springs. The cable runs through the springs and prevents damage in the event of the spring snapping.
So you can see that the cables perform a very important job. That’s why they are made from metal and need to be extremely strong yet flexible so that they can be pulled repeatedly. The fact that they are always working means that a fault can develop in the cable, causing it to stop working. Also, if the springs were to snap, a faulty cable won’t be able to stop the garage door from causing damage.
What Damages Garage Door Cables?
Now a couple of different things can go wrong with your cables. The most common issue is that the cables can end up getting wound up the drum incorrectly and that jams the door. You’ll notice this issue if the door is drooping to either side or if the door catches when being lowered.
Cables can also get unwound from the drum, and so they have to be then reconnected manually. Many times with older garage doors, the pulleys are worn out after years of use. When the pulleys are worn, the cables don’t slip, which leads to the door becoming harder and tends to stick in between. The solution here is to replace the pulleys.
At times garage door cables can break. One reason for them breaking is because they have become old. Cables like everything else tend to wear after a while because it is one of the hardest working parts in the mechanism. If the cables are not replaced, they will eventually snap.
Rust is another common issue which leads to the cables breaking. Rust corrodes the cable, and if not caught in time, it will eat through the cable. The same goes for fraying, which can cause the cable to snap.
Get Your Garage Door Cables Inspected
The only way to prevent your garage door cables from breaking and becoming a safety hazard is to get them inspected. We recommend that people with older garage doors get their cables in addition to the whole door inspected at least once a year. So, if there is an issue, it can be identified, and fixed before it causes damage.
The other important thing is always to replace cables with high-quality ones. Sure they may cost a little more but they last longer and are much safer to use especially if your garage door is operated a dozen or so times a day.