The role of cables in lifting and lowering garage doors is crucial. And so the tiniest problem will be a big headache or even the beginning of a series of problems – let alone when they break. Since broken garage door cables is a major concern, it’s in your best interest to learn the reasons why this happens and what you can do to prevent it. And we are here to explain everything.
Garage door cables – what do they do?
Overhead garage doors utilize two cables – one on each side. But the cables are installed in a slightly different way based on whether the door utilizes torsion or extension springs. In the case of the former, the cables hold the door’s weight as the torsion spring balances it. The force of the winding spring is transferred to the cables through the shaft and the cable drums. In the case of the extension springs, the cables utilize a pulley system. And in both garage door spring systems, the cables run all the way to the bottom bracket where they are attached.
So, you can say that cables and springs depend on each other. While springs balance the residential garage doors, the cable carry their weight. This creates a combined power which allows doors to go up and down at the right speed; otherwise, the door will come down with great force and become damaged.
How to avoid sudden broken garage door cables replacement
Garage door cables snap. It’s not unusual. As a matter of fact, it is a common garage door problem but also a very serious one since it will leave the door dangling in the air – since only one cable usually snaps at a time. This will cause extra problems, like putting extra stress on the garage door opener and springs. And so the intention here is to share the main reasons why cables break and so you will learn how to avoid this issue.
Installing garage door cables the wrong way
It’s no accident why everyone suggests that cables should be installed by a trained garage door repair pro. There is a lot at stake here. First of all, there is a risk with your safety since cables and springs are under pressure. And then it’s all about balancing the garage door after installing the cables. If the door is not properly balanced, everything goes wrong. Problems start, your safety is at risk, and since the door won’t move as it should, one of the cables might break. There is one more thing about installing garage door cables. Since in most cases only one cable snaps, the second one should be checked. Failure to do so and ensure the second cable is wrapped around the drum and is properly connected might lead to troubles.
Failing to replace frayed cables in time
Routine garage door maintenance includes checking the cables. Since cables become frayed overtime, they actually give you a sign of wear. Now, if you miss that sign or fail to maintain the door altogether, the cable will soon snap. So it’s important to have a pro maintain the door and tell you whether or not the cables are frayed. In case they are, you should consider garage door cables replacement to prevent breakage.
Snapped garage door springs
Sometimes, springs and cables break together. They might not snap exactly the same time but when one snaps, the other will follow. This happens due to their interrelation. The cable will carry the stress of the door’s weight till the broken spring is replaced and thus the cable will get damaged. That’s why it’s important to take care of both parts and if you replace one, have the tech check if the other one needs replacement too.
Any problem with the parts that will cause extra strain on the cables will sign their premature wear and thus breakage. And don’t forget that extension springs for garage doors utilize a pulley cable system. That means that if pulleys break, cables might also become damaged. So check problems immediately and never ignore even the tiniest signs of malfunctions. You won’t avoid the replacement of garage door cables but at least the safety concerns and extensive damage that occurs when they snap abruptly.