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How To Properly And Safely Replace Garage Door Cables

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Garage doors with torsion springs, as well as doors with extension spring systems, have cables that help keep the door balanced during use. These cables also take a lot of weight off the door, making it easier for homeowners like you to open and close their garage doors with ease. While garage doors are made to last for many years, cables can wear out quicker than other parts and may need to be replaced. Also, cables have been known to come off their track and need to be re-wound around the pulleys. While it's always best to call a garage door repair technician to handle repairs, some handy DIY homeowners may want to try to fix their garage door cables themselves. If you are one of them, then keep reading.

Before you get started, it's important to be aware that garage door cables come in many different lengths and widths. The size of the cable you need is dependent upon the type of drum or pulley system used in your garage door assembly. Consult the garage door owner's manual to find out which size cable you need for your garage door. Then visit the local home improvement store and purchase the cable that will fit your garage door.

Tools Needed For This Project:

  • 2 Vise Grips

  • Cable Clips

  • Wire Cutters

  • Flat-head Screwdriver

  • Garage Door Cable

Step 1: Turn Off The Power & Open The Door

The first thing you need to do is more about safety than actual garage door repair. You need to unplug your automatic garage door opener. This will prevent electrocution and any unexpected door movements, both of which may cause injury to you or others.

Now open the garage door all the way and clip the cable in the track. This is a secondary safety precaution to prevent unexpected door movement.

Step 2: Place A Vise Grip On The Track

Place a vise grip on the track just below the left side of the garage door. This will prevent the garage door from dropping while you are replacing the cable.

Step 3: Release Tension On The Shaft

Now take the other vise grip and secure it to the outer end of the cable shaft. Then, pull the vise grip in a counterclockwise direction to release the tension on the shaft. Continue pulling until the cable becomes loose, and then stop. You don't want to loosen the shaft too much because the cable will unwind and become tangled.

Step 4: Take Cable Off Its Track

Slide a flat-head screwdriver behind the cable loop to remove it from its track on the garage door.

Step 5: Unwind The Cable

Next, unwind the cable. This is done by pulling the end of the cable out of the slot in the pulley gear.

Step 6: Bend The New Cable

Get your new cable. You'll notice that one end of the cable has a loop and the other end is straight. Hold the straight end in your hands and bend it into a 90-degree angle.

Step 7: Insert New Cable Into The Pulley

Take the bent end of the garage door cable and put it into the notch on the pulley gear. Use your flat-head screwdriver to push the end of the cable into the pulley until it reaches the center.

Step 8: Wind The New Cable Around The Pulley

Now wind the new cable clockwise around the pulley until only about 12 inches of cable remains free.

Step 9: Put Looped Cable End Into Place

Take the end of the new garage door cable that has the loop on it and slide that loop over the connector on the garage door.

Step 10: Tighten The Shaft

Double check to make sure the new garage door cable is inside the 2 edges on the pulley gear. Then tighten the shaft by turning it clockwise. Continue to tighten it only until all slack is removed from the new cable.

Step 11: Remove The Vise Grip And Test The Door

Remove the vice grip from the track. Plug in the automatic door opener. Then test the door to make sure it's operating properly.

If you run into trouble during this project, or you feel that it will be best to have a professional do it for you, then call your local garage door specialists. A job like this should only cost you around $150 to $200, which is much cheaper than what the medical bills will be if you injure yourself while working on the garage door. If you would rather have a professional complete this project, contact a company like Able Door Company.