My Garage Door Cables Broke! Why? And Now What?

By Blog Master on 02 Jul 2020 In

My garage door cables broke! If it has ever happened to you, this will sound familiar. If it has not now you will know the symptoms and concerns of a broken garage door lift cable.

Broken Cables in Garage DoorBroken Garage Door Cable

Garage doors use cable for several purposes. Many people might refer to this as ‘aircraft cable’ – it is a pliable twisted cable of a number of strands of galvanized wire. The primary use for this is a part called a ‘lift cable’. This cable is attached to the bottom corner of the door and then routed to the counterbalance spring as required by the type of counterbalance on your door.

The secondary use for cable on many doors is a retaining cable. This cable is used on overhead doors with extension or stretch-type springs. The purpose of a retaining cable is to assist in preventing an extension spring from falling or flying in the garage in the event of breakage.

Today we will focus mostly on the lift cable. Lift cables do the work of holding the spring tension that counterbalances the weight of the door, making it possible for us to easily lift a large, heavy door.

Lift cables are under extreme tension and should not be serviced by anyone unfamiliar with a garage door system. 

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Why Did Your Garage Door Cable Break?

These cables move every time the garage door is operated and travel over a system of pulleys or wind on a cable drum or spool. Over time this part may wear from use or deteriorate from moisture near the bottom of the door. Should a pulley be suffering from faulty bearings it may also accelerate the wear. Should the door be out of adjustment the cable may be rubbing on other hardware items such as the garage door track which will also accelerate wear. A visual inspection will often allow a cable to be replaced before it fails. Look for signs of corrosion, rust, fraying or excessive wear.

My Garage Door Cables Broke!  Why And Now What; Rusty Bearing-1.jpg

Quite often homeowners are unaware of these cables until something goes wrong. Then the typical question might be ‘I see a wire hanging near my door’ or ‘the spring on my garage door doesn’t seem to be working but it doesn’t appear to be broken.

→ Suggested Article: 4 Reasons Why Your Garage Door is Squeaking

What Should You Do About a Broken Cable?

First and foremost – remember a garage door is counterbalanced by springs to offset the weight of the product. We recommend you avoid using the door and call for service as soon as possible.  

Most cable replacements are simple, straightforward repairs. Other times there may be an underlying cause for a cable failure. As mentioned above bad bearings, worn parts and poor adjustment may all play a part in cable failure.

A trained technician should evaluate the door system and replace parts as needed. In the case of cables, it is generally good practice to replace the set if one has failed. This service will be completed with lubrication, adjustment, and safety testing of the door and the garage door opener system.

My Garage Door Cables Broke!  Why And Now What; Wiring and Pulley.jpg

So, take a look at your garage door. Does it seem to struggle, squeak or shake as it moves? Do the cables show any sign of wear? If so, call to schedule service before that cable breaks!

→ Suggested Article: Why Is My Garage Door so Shaky

Schedule a Home Service Call

Get premium service that meets your budget. Make sure that your garage door is in perfect condition. Call the competent team of servicemen of Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey. We offer feasible solutions; replacement and service for your broken garage door cables, bearing, tracks, and other garage door parts.


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