How to Fix Garage Door Cables Safely

Are you starting to become concerned about that odd noise your garage door is making every time you try to open it? Have you also noticed that it's not moving the way it used to- a little more jerky and a lot less smooth?

Your independent self believes that you can fix it yourself, so you start inspecting the motor and springs, but everything checks out fine. You start to think of what else could be wrong, but you draw a blank.

Don't stress yourself out. Knowing how to fix a garage door is not something that most people know. This specific information is fostered by garage door experts. They will let you know that a garage door has important parts of hardware that each plays specific functions for the whole system to work and to protect you from injuries.

Before you attempt to repair any of those parts, you need to know the responsibility of each part and where they are situated on your garage door.

A garage door system with all the working parts.

Once you know the function of all the different parts of a garage door, you can more easily identify when one is broken.

What You Should Know About Garage Door Hardware Systems

Garage door’s Torsion springs (on the left) and Garage door’s Extension springs (on the right)

Torsion (on the left) and extension springs (on the right) appear similar but operate differently.

Garage Door 2 types of springs

The 2 main classifications of operating systems used to offset garage doors are torsion springs and extension springs. Knowing how they work and what they do is essential before trying to fix them.

Torsion springs

You will find the torsion springs on a steel shaft above the opening of the door. There may be either one spring or two springs on the shaft depending on the weight and size of the door. Contrary to extension springs, they are quiet and safe when they are correctly installed.

Torsion springs do not require safety cables because a metal rod runs through the middle of the spring or springs. On the bottom brackets of the door are lift cables that spin around drums at the end of the shaft when the door opens. So, if your garage door has torsion springs, it means there are no cables to fix. If your garage door is making strange noises, we urge you to contact a garage door specialist.

When the garage door is opening, the torsion spring unravels which releases a pent-up force. This force facilitates the life process. When the door closes, the spring constricts which generates energy for the next time the door needs to open.

Extension springs

For smaller doors with lack of header space, extension springs are used. Similar to the torsion system, cables are attached to bottom brackets on one side or the other. However, they then run through pulleys before they are connected to the springs.

To allow for uniform operation, the springs are placed on each side and the system is placed over the horizontal tracks that the door slides on. When the door is not open, the extension springs are stretch to a maximum which in return creates straining. This strain is used as a counterbalance when the door opens. This mechanism is why extension springs are also called stretch springs.

Garage Door Cables

The cables are situated on both sides of the garage door where they work together with the springs to offset the weight. Cables are an essential piece of your system due to the fact that they help your door move consistently by transferring the movement from the spring to being operation. Cables are also referred to as life cables for this reason.

A mistake you’re not allowed to make > do NOT confuse lift and safety cables!

Safety cables keep you safe from a spring-related incident due to the fact that they are installed with extension springs. Thus, damage or injury is prevented when a spring breaks because the safety cables are placed through the middle of the spring to prevent pieces from flying.

Installing safety cables is critical due to the springs being always under pressure. If one breaks, it is possible that it could aggressively break into pieces resulting in serious harm or injury to anything in the vicinity.

How to Tell When You Should Replace Cables

There are several reasons why a garage door cable can break. Most often, cables start to wear down from general use. Thankfully, there are ways to recognize when a cable needs to be replaced before it breaks.

One thing to look out for is the alignment of the door on the track. If it is not aligned properly, it may cause other parts of the garage door system to weaken. Since your door can be misaligned at any time, it is recommended to frequently inspect this matter.

Another thing to look out for is the build-up of moisture. Moisture can occur if the system is installed in a place with poor insulation, especially if you live in a particularly wet climate. Removing dirt and insects that may be trapped in your cables will keep the cables clean and free of corrosion and rust.

This garage door is a Cambridge CS Design, 10' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows.

Do you like the timeless appeal of Traditional home’s exterior? This garage door might be for you! This the Cambridge CS Design, here shown in 10' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, with Clear Panoramic windows.

Preventive maintenance

To prevent expensive emergency repairs, schedule a garage door professional to frequently inspect your garage door. The number of times you need an inspection will depend on how often you use your garage door or the number of cycles per year.

Although it may be hard for you to spot, a professional will be able to spot general signs of wear and tear easily. Never procrastinate scheduling a check-up! You may be able to avoid potential injury and stop a problem from getting worse.

During an annual maintenance check, the garage door technician will assess your entire garage door as a system to ensure all parts are working properly. This, in return, reduces breakdown of individual parts.

Although annual maintenance is necessary, it is ideal to inspect cables and other parts every month on your own. Refer to this checklist to maintain your garage door like a pro. Here are 5 easy tasks you can start doing today:

● Inspect all your garage door parts every month

● Check if your garage door is well-balanced (a well-balanced garage door can be open with one hand, with ease, no matter the size of the door and the strength of the person)

● Keep the tracks free of debris

● Lubricate your hardware

● Always refer and follow your overhead door and your garage door opener manual guides

3 Things to Consider Before Fixing Your Garage Door Yourself

While it is possible to fix your garage door cables yourself, it’s best to leave it to the pros. If the tension on the springs ever loses resistance, you can severely injure anyone nearby.

A trained garage door technician possesses the proper tools and skills for this job. Thanks to their expertise, they know exactly how to replace any garage door.

When in doubt, leave it up to the pros! By fixing the garage door yourself, you may increase damage costs and increase the chances of harming yourself.

Problems that too often happen with DIY garage door repairs

Severe injuries and death

A single garage door weighs up to 150 pounds! Because the cables and springs are under extreme tension, as well as the parts they are connected to. Imagine a cable or a spring that snaps suddenly! What if you get it in the face or in the chest? Even worst scenario, what if it gets in your kid’s face or chest? Cables and springs are a destructive and unpredictable force you really shouldn’t underestimate.

Property damages

You could potentially damage your car if it is under your garage door when it breaks. Not only will you need to repair the faulty garage door but also your newly crushed possession.


A garage door that is not working correctly can be easy access for intruders which will leave your home unprotected from intruders.

This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9' x 8', Moka Brown, Clear windows.

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No Matter What Are Your Garage Door Needs, Trust The Garage Door Experts Near You

You can trust garage door professionals like ours to help you with any work that needs to be done on your garage door who are all certified to perform garage door replacement. They will inspect, adjust, and test your garage door system during their visit.

Save yourself time and money in the long run with our garage door services which include repair and maintenance. If you choose to work with us, you can either be a member of our annual maintenance program or pay hourly.

Never stress again about your garage door and have confidence that is safely and smoothly operating all year round with Charlie's Overhead Door!

For all garage door services, contact us now at 519-539-2988!

On top of our excellent maintenance and repair services, we have other essential garage door services beginning with useful information! A garage door add character to your home, on top of being very convenient. If you keep it properly maintained, it can last more than 25 years, so take your time when making a choice.

If you’re in the market to replace your garage door, we have divided or more than 35 designs available in 10 colors into the 3 most-popular home exteriors' styles. This way, it will be easier for you to find the garage door that really adds curb appeal to your home. Of course, you can also count on Charlie’s Overhead Door team to help you choose the color, design, and accessories that align with your budget.

Do you already know which garage door model is perfect for your home? Ask us to send you our free quote by email.

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