How To Make A Snappy Recovery From Garage Door Cable Failure

Posted on

It's no fun getting stuck in your own garage, but that's exactly what could happen if your garage door cable suddenly decides to give out. As with any other component that's a part of your garage door, the cables that support your garage door can wear out after years of wear and tear. Large amounts of rust and corrosion, as well as extreme fatigue, can also cause garage door cables to fail catastrophically.

The following shows how you can remove and replace garage door cables on a door designed to used torsion springs.

Making Preparations

There are a few preparations you want to make before you get started with replacing your garage door cable:

Torsion Spring Tension Removal

The next step involves removing tension from the garage door torsion spring. This step is an absolute must in order to loosen and safely remove the garage door cable. For this task, you'll want to have a couple of 18-inch winding bars in a diameter that fits the round inserts on the winding cone.

Start by placing one of the winding bars on the winding cone at a 90-degree angle. While keeping a firm grasp on the winding bar, loosen the set screw on the winding cone to unlock the torsion spring. Depending on which direction you'll have to move to unwind the torsion spring, place the second winding bar at the top or bottom of the winding cone and carefully unwind the torsion spring in 1/4-turn increments until all tension has left the spring.

As a safety precaution, you'll want to have at least one winding bar firmly inserted into the winding cone at all times until the spring is fully unwound.

Cable Removal and Replacement

Now that the torsion spring has been safely unwound, you can now focus on removing the garage door cable. Start by locating the cable drum at the end of the torsion tube. As with the torsion spring, there's a set screw located on the drum that has to be loosened before the drum can be unwound. Afterwards, grab a thick pair of gloves and get ready to pull the cable from the drum.

Carefully unspool the old cable from the drum and unhook the square cable stop from the slot in the drum. You'll also have to unhook the garage door cable from the bottom door jamb bracket. Once this is done, you can set the old cable aside to properly dispose of later on.

Once the old cable is off, insert the square cable stop from the new cable into the drum slot and wind the cable around the drum. Attach the other end of the cable to the bottom door jamb bracket. Keep in mind that your new garage door cable should be the same height as the garage door itself, with an additional 18 inches added. Afterwards, tighten the set screw and make sure there's little to no slack in the cable.  

Torsion Spring Winding

After installing the new cable, you'll have to wind the torsion spring back to its original tension. Reinsert the winding bars and tighten the torsion spring in 1/4-turn increments until you've reached the appropriate tension setting. A typical 7-foot tall garage needs 30 1/4-turns to reach optimum tension. Keep a firm grip on the winding cone as you tighten the set screw. Once the set screw is securely in place, you can remove the winding bar.

Once the torsion spring is properly wound, you can remove the vice grip and lower the garage door. You may need to make slight adjustments to the garage door in order for it to maintain its balance. Afterwards, reconnect the garage door opener trolley to the door and restore power to the opener.

This job is quite complex and has the potential to be dangerous. If you have any questions or doubts, it's best to leave this job to a professional. Contact a company like Overhead Door Of Akron for more information.