The springs on a garage door are usually set to about 200 pounds per spring. If your door has 3 springs, it should be about 600 pounds of tension. Let’s say that the cable is currently at 250lbs of tension and one day, you go out and find that it is at 150 lbs. The decrease in tension on the springs means that the springs have less potential to lift the door. So, if you are opening and closing your garage door (especially with remote control) day in and day out, your springs could lose enough tension that when you go to open or close the door with a cable attached, it will simply slip off.
How do you fix a cable that comes off a garage door?
The quick fix is just to put the old cable back on. As long as it’s not overly frayed, this should work fine for you until you can get a new cable. Discover how to restore an old trunk.
Needless to say, if your garage door cable came off because of weak springs, then that should be addressed and replaced. You can have an independent professional repairman do it or have the garage door repairman do it.
If your cable is frayed or otherwise damaged beyond repair, you will need to buy a new one. This is not an OEM factory part. It is the same part that you would get if you called a garage door repairman.
Generally, your springs will be able to support much more than 600 lbs of tension. It’s just these days (especially in California) some lawsuits are going on about garage doors because they crumple and crush under the weight of cars, killing people who happen to be inside their cars at the time. So now, everyone is ensuring that their garage doors have far less potential for crushing someone by cutting down on how much they lift. The downside is that sometimes it can make it feel like you are lifting a tank when you are actually trying to pull open or close an otherwise perfectly good garage door opener mechanism.
Steps to replace a garage door’s cable
1. If your cable broke because of tension, you want to go out and buy a new one asap before the springs lose enough tension that they cannot lift the door.
2. When you have determined what kind of cable you need, you’ll want to call around and get an estimate for someone to replace it for you. It’s possible that if your job is small enough, they may do it free of charge or at minimum cost to pay their bills.
3. Once you have decided on a price, schedule an appointment with them or whatever company they work with (i.e., Sears). This will most likely require disassembling the side tracks, top track, springs, etc. You would want to call ahead and see if the expert you are calling will do this for you or require you (the homeowner) to be handy enough to have done it already (recommended).
4. To keep your family safe, make sure a garage door repairman comes out and not just any old handyman. There is a big difference in quality between someone who knows what they’re doing compared with how someone thinks he can fix something by throwing extra springs at it or tightening down things that need no tightening. Any added tension on one of your sidetracks could potentially bend your track over time, losing its shape and eventually leading to the hinge point connection’s failure, which means no automatic opener will work on that side of the door.
5. Another DIY option is to call someone and ask them if they can send you the garage door cable for the replacement yourself and do it yourself (you’ll save a little money that way). If you choose this option, then remember that the springs will lose tension on their own over time whether or not your new cable was installed properly by a professional. Eventually, if you want to get the best performance out of your springs, then you will probably need to replace all of your springs and cables with aftermarket ones anyway – so don’t just go slapping some generic non-branded spring on there in place of your broken cable because it’s cheaper!
Overall, it’s a good idea to have your cable checked out by a professional every once in a while. On average, your garage door springs will last about 10 – 12 years and they should be replaced with after-market parts if you want the best performance out of them. Garage door repairmen (especially the ones that do not sell their own after-market parts) are always trying to get you to replace your springs with their own after-market ones because they make a lot of money off the sale of the parts rather than on their actual labor alone.Tags: garage door, garage door cable came off