Broken Garage Door Cable? Here’s How to Open the Door and Then Fix It

Replacing a frayed or broken garage door cable isn’t a difficult job if you’re handy. However, understanding how a garage door suspension extension spring lifting system works will help you do the job safely.

There are quite a few different types of garage door lifting systems. In this article, we are going to take a look at how to fix damaged cables in an extension spring garage door lifting system.

Broken Garage Door Cable

To fix the broken garage door cable, you first want to disconnect the power to your garage door and disconnect the door from the opener. Next, you’ll be to open the garage door manually.

If one side of your garage door has a broken cable, then lift the door from that side. Make sure the broken cable doesn’t get caught on anything as you’re opening the garage door.

Keep in mind the door can be heavy and you might need help opening it. Make sure not force anything as this can bend the door or other hardware. If you cannot open your door manually, it could be in your best interest to find a professional to do the job.

Disconnecting Springs and Cables

In order to prevent the door from slamming down on you while you’re working, you’ll need to disconnect the lifting springs to the door—you can put a pair of vice grips on the track just below the lowest roller of either side to hold the door up. A tall step ladder under the garage door can work in the same way.

When the door is open you can visibly see the springs are compressed and there is little to no spring tension. Now remove the S hook holding the cable on the horizontal support bar—make sure to mark where the S hook was attached.

Remove the cable loop from the bottom cable anchors on the door. Now, feed the end of the cable through the spring pulley fork and then through the lift pulley.

You’ll need to know the height of your garage door to order a replacement cable. Measure the existing cable for its thickness as this varies depending on the garage door system.

Replacing the Cables

Measure the length of the old and new cables, and clamp a pair of vise grips onto the new cable at the correct length. Then tie off the new cable to the cable connector that the S hook is attached to.

Feed the end of the new cable through the spring pulley cable fork. Now thread the cable over the top of the lift pully. Once you’ve got the cable threaded, put the cable end loop around the cable anchor on the corner of the garage door.

Give a little tug at the and of the lift cable—the end opposite of the S hook—to make sure the cable and pulleys working smoothly. Now reattach the S hook to the overhead support bar.

You can repeat this process for the other side. Once you’re done with both sides, remove the vise-grips holding your door up, and test your door to see if it works properly by manually opening and closing it.

When to Call the Professionals

Replacing a broken garage door cable isn’t the most difficult job if you understand how a garage door system works. Just remember if the cables are installed incorrectly, you could cause an accident when your car or someone is walking underneath the garage door.

If you found this article useful, make sure to check out our other home improvement articles in our blog section.

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