Garage Door Cables Repair
Author: Stan Klugman
Garage door cable repair can be both a challenging and dangerous experience. If not carried out with skill and care, it is likely to cause injury and some form of damage to your property. This is also a common hazard with overhead door springs that can easily snap when worn out or not handled carefully. For this reason, you need to be very careful with the whole door whenever you carry out cable repair.
It would help if you had all your tools in place before going through the actual process. There are several situations when you might need a cable repair, and you need to know what to do and how to do it to keep all your fingers intact. It is essential to identify the problem first before starting on the repair process.
How to Do Garage Door Cable Repair
Below are a few simple steps that will help ease your work during the repair.
Assess the problem
Before you come down to the repair, you need to have a proper understanding of the exact problem with your door cable and prepare a plan of action. Sometimes, your garage door cable falls off the drum and gets wrapped around the shaft. The cause of this issue is usually a lack of tension on your garage door springs when the door is in a fully open position.
Before you start any repair, make sure you unplug your garage door opener. This will ensure you won't get surprised by someone pushing the button while you're working on your cables.
Depending on the severity of the situation, you might be able to lift the door slightly and put the cable back on the drum. That would be the best-case scenario and a quick fix. Sometimes it gets wrapped pretty tight, and you might need to use a few tricks in order to get it fixed. Get a vise-grip and put it on the track right below the door to prevent it from sliding further down while you're working on it.
Ensure one of the cables is still intact, and only one of them needs to be fixed. Slowly and carefully undo two set screws that hold the cable drum in place. It will allow you to rotate the drum, and you can unwind the cable. Then put the cable's backside into the drum, and start turning it, making sure the wire goes into the grooves. Once that's done, secure two set screws, take off the vise-grip. Test your door manually first, without engaging it to your opener, Make Sure it works smoothly and pay attention to your cables when you take your door up completely. If the cable looks a little loose, make sure you add some tension to your springs. One or two-quarter turns are usually enough.
Replacing the old rusty cable
Having excessive rust at your bottom garage door panel is a widespread issue here in Canada. But unfortunately, it doesn't only effects the appearance of your door but also ruins your bottom brackets and cables. If not caught in time, one of your garage door cables will snap, and the door will get stuck in the tracks. There's one thing you want to avoid when that happens. It's trying to lift or lower your door by using your opener and hoping it'll work. From my experience, it always gets much much worst. Sometimes even to the point that you eradicate your door and need a new one, instead of having a 180$ repair done for you by professionals. If you decide to do it by yourself, here's how you do it...
First things first, unplug your opener and disengage it from the door by pulling a red emergency release cord. When you pull the cord, the door might slide down a little, so be ready for that. Try to lower your door by hand until it's fully closed. One side will still be a little higher than the other, but that's normal, you can proceed with the next step.
Now once the door is closed, you need to unwind your springs. Remember, you don't want to touch your springs if you're not familiar with how they operate.
Once both springs have no tension, you can start replacing the cables.
At this point, you have two options. You can do a long or short term repair. Here's what I mean... If you have rusty brackets and cables, replace the whole set. If you install a new garage door cable on a rusty bracket, you're looking for the same issue within 2-3 years.
Make sure you replace the brackets as well if you're looking for a long term solution.
Once you put your cables back in place and wind up the springs, make sure you test everything manually before engaging the opener. Make sure the cables stay under a little bit of tension when your door is in a completely open position. This will ensure they won't fall off the drums when your opener pulls the door up.
Test your door
Like any other repair work, you need to find out if you have done the right thing or not. In this case, you have to find out if the door can work as perfectly as before you did anything. During the test, make sure you keep just a good distance to avoid injury in case the springs or the cable are not correctly in position, and they snap off.
In case of anything unusual, you can get back to the door and rectify the problem immediately. If the repair was performed correctly, the door should slide with ease, closing, and opening properly.
Rectification of some issues can be technical and challenging to manage on your own. When such matters arise, you can consider looking for a professional to carry out the garage for cable.
When Do You Replace Your Door Cable?
This question might seem so obvious, but it is essential. There are many instances that call for replacement of the cable apart from just damage. The age might be one of them. Old cables are obviously worn out, and they exhibit signs of damage or wearing out.
When you hear creaking every time the door is opened or closed, yet the cable is not physically damaged, it means that your door cable is getting old and needs to be replaced. Noticing the signs of wear and tear should help you work on your door before it gets down completely or causes injury.
When Do You Go for a Professional?
Most of the repair work can be done locally as a DIY project. However, sometimes, the problem may worsen as a result of improper handling of specific parts of the door. Such a scenario ain't pleasing at all. Therefore, it's good to decide if you have to contact a professional or do it yourself. Gross damage could be a result of improper or incomplete repair some other time. If you assess the damage and find out that it is difficult to handle it on your own, do not hesitate to find a pro to fix it up for you.
What to Avoid in Garage Door Cable Repair
In successful repairing of the cable, you need to take a keen interest in a number of factors and avoid some. While you repair the door, make sure that you avoid trying to see whether it is working amidst the process. This can cause damage or extend to injury. Thud will mean that you have to stop the repair to seek help.
Always try to stay as far as you can from the door, especially if you are working on the door springs. We already know the springs can snap off and cause injury or damage. The distance is useful to keep you away from such accidents.
Processes such as this are very easy to carry out if you have the proper knowledge. They can get tough and difficult at times, depending on your know-how and experience. Many people prefer to do the garage door cable repair on their own since they might have worked on similar experiences. What is important here is getting the cable replaced and back to its normal functionality. The above exploration will go a long way in helping ease your process.
As already mentioned, you should be in a position to find if the repair is practical when done by a pro or when you handle it locally. All these strongly rely on the situation of the cable and what kind of repair it needs. All that we are trying to imply is that replacing your garage door cable is simple but requires a lot of care.