Guide to Garage Door Cable Replacement

Garage door cables are the workhorses of your entire system, providing the movement needed to open and close your door safely and efficiently. You can find cables on both sides of your garage door, working in unison with the extension and torsion springs to counterbalance the door’s weight and ensure smooth movement. When a cable breaks from wear and tear, it adds strain and puts pressure on the other cable, causing your door to become unbalanced and lift unevenly.

Unless you have the proper training, cable replacement is not a project a typical do-it-yourself enthusiast can handle. When replacing large, critical parts on your garage door — like cables — choosing an experienced provider like Ingstrup Garage Doors and Construction ensures you receive accurate, high-quality service while securing the highest safety levels for you and your family.

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Continue reading to learn more about what to expect during cable replacement.

Cable Replacement Safety Disclaimer

Using the proper safety equipment and correct tools is critical for any garage door repair, even for trained professionals. Failure to do so can lead to injury, especially when dealing with your door’s heaviest and largest components. Because your garage door springs and cables are under substantial pressure, they can uncontrollably snap and cause severe injuries when improperly handled. 

In addition to safety equipment, the tools you’ll see your technician using for cable replacement include vice grips, winding bars, various-sized sockets and assorted wrenches. 

Assessing Your Garage Door for Cable Replacement

Although worn garage door cables can sometimes break without warning, most cables typically show visible signs of wear and tear before they snap. Several indicators to look for are:

  • Damaged or frayed cables.
  • Loose cables.
  • Uneven opening and closing.
  • Sticking or jerking when operating.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, contact us immediately to schedule a professional evaluation. Your replacement cable size will depend on your door size and whether you have a standard-lift, vertical-lift or high-lift door. Your technician will have the right tools, materials and cable size for fast and accurate replacement.

Removing Your Garage Door Cables

Some of the steps required for removing garage door cables involve:

  1. Disengaging the door: Your technician will pull on the emergency release handle to disengage the door. This critical first step is necessary for preventing collapse or property damage or injury to others. 
  2. Holding the door open: Your technician will use vice grips underneath the rollers on the bottom of each side to keep the door open and provide easy access to the cables.
  3. Loosening the tension: The technician will unscrew the set screws on the springs at the center of the door and use winding bars to reduce the tension.
  4. Removing the cable from the drum: The technician will use a wrench to loosen the cable drum’s set screws and remove the entire cable from the drum. 
  5. Pulling the cable from the bracket: Your technician will use a socket wrench to remove the bottom lag screw, remove the bracket and pull the cable out of the bracket.

Installing the New Cables

Steps your technician will take to install your new cables include:

  1. Installing the new cable on the bottom bracket of each side and pulling it up to the cable drum.
  2. Inserting the cable into the drum slot and winding the cable onto the drum.
  3. Sliding the drum into the bearing plate and turning it counterclockwise until the cable tightens.
  4. Tightening the set screws without overtightening them.
  5. Securing the cables with vice grips and increasing the spring tension with the winding bars.
  6. Removing the vice grips.

Testing the Completed Cable Repair

After installation, your technician will test the door’s operation, checking for smooth, balanced movement while ensuring the cables have the correct tension and alignment. The technician will also perform a safety inspection to ensure all other moving parts and hardware work properly.

Trust Ingstrup Garage Door for All Your Repair Needs

If you’re looking for a dependable and affordable repair company in Lansing or the surrounding Michigan area, Ingstrup Garage Door is the perfect choice. We can handle all your garage door requirements, from cable and spring repairs to maintenance services and total replacements. Call (517) 374-4731 or contact us online today to schedule an appointment or request additional information.

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