Garage Door Cable Snapped

Garage Door Cable Snapped

Broken garage door cable?

So, you have a snapped garage door cable. Wondering what to do to fix it?

Putting it off for another day might lead to additional problems, and the more you postpone the repair, the more it might cost you when you finally decide to. Though there are a lot of DIY techniques out there, fixing it yourself might not always be the best idea. It requires a bit of expertise and some amount of precaution to make sure nobody gets hurt. Moreover, it’s not a one-person job.

Worry not, we’ve got you. Let’s understand what a cable is and how to spot if it has snapped before getting into garage door cable repair.

What is the function of a Garage Door Cable?

A garage door cable is present on both sides of the automatic door to allow you to lift and shut the door easily. Its primary function is to reduce the amount of tension on the springs present on the doors and extend their lifetime. Hence, these cables are usually made to withstand a fair amount of regular wear and tear, but like any other hardware item, they have an expiry date too. With regular use, these robust cables do occasionally snap.

To efficiently carry out garage door cable repair, it is important to understand the types of cables and their respective functions. The classification of garage door cables is based on the kind of spring they support. The two types of garage door cables are:

  • Lifting cables: They are a part of the garage door which uses torsion springs while lifting. They are attached to the bottom of the door and extend to the torsion springs attached on top of it.
  • Retaining cables: They are present on doors with extension springs. Present on the left and right sides of the garage door, they run inside the springs. These cables stop the extension springs from hitting someone if they break apart- they are retained to the sides of the door instead.

Made of several fibers of galvanized wire twisted together, these cables are usually made to withstand the test of time. However, it is essential to maintain them well and keep an occasional eye on them to ensure you fix fraying cable before it reaches the stage of snapping into two.

How to spot a broken cable?

As mentioned above, a broken cable is dangerous, and it is hence essential to keep an eye on it whenever you open or close the door. There are some tell-tale signs you should look out for in case of breakage. They include:

  • Squeaky Noises: The door could be making squeaky noises because the cable has rusted or is fraying because of corrosion. This could happen due to the presence of water or moisture near the door.
  • Heavy Door: As the cable becomes weaker, it becomes more difficult to lift the door. The amount of tension and pressure on both the spring and the cable increases, which gives a feeling of the door being heavier than usual.
  • Improper lifting: Since in some cases, the cables are present on both sides of the door, there may be imbalance while lifting the door, if only one of the cables is fraying. In such a case, one side may lift higher than the other, making this problem evident.

In case of any of the above scenarios, it is best to assume that your garage door cable snapped, immediately call a professional and get the cables replaced.

What causes the breakage

As we previously saw, cables are made of threads of wire wound together. There are several reasons why they may break, which include:

  • Regular wear and tear: Though most cables are tailor-made to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear, after a point of time, all hardware equipment needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Water: Constant presence of moisture near the bottom or sides of a garage door can lead to rusting and corrosion of not just the cables but several other parts as well.
  • Cold Climate: Door cables often rust also because of colder climates. This is due to the moisture in the air, which could destroy the wire in the cables.
  • Problems with Other parts: Poor alignment of the door’s track or a problem with the pulley’s bearings could also be the cause of broken cables.

What to do to avoid it?

It is important to understand how to prevent the breakage of the cables as it helps avoid a situation where you may not be able to use the garage door until we come over to assist you.

To do so, we must try to practice the following precautions:

  • Proper maintenance: Regularly call a professional garage door expert for an overall maintenance job or ask a skilled friend to check it out once in a while to make sure every part is functioning fine.
  • Oiling: Parts like cables and springs need to be oiled regularly to prevent rusting and corrosion.
  • Replacing Older Parts: It’s important to keep replacing older parts with newer ones after a certain period of using them to keep the entire system functioning smoothly.
  • Timely Interference: Regular checking and maintenance also ensure that you know when to call an expert to repair damaged parts before it becomes worse.

What you should do now

In case the door had been left open when one of the cables broke, causing inconvenience to you because of an open door in your home, you might need to cut the other one to close the door fully. Once it is closed, call us immediately for professional repair and maintenance. We advise that you do this only if it is necessary and be extremely cautious.

If one cable has been broken, it means the other one is undergoing more tension trying to keep the garage door open; this will lead to your door opening unevenly, a scenario mentioned before. In such a case, make sure you do not use the door and let it be until a professional is there to fix it.

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