It’s a quarter till eight in the morning and you walk into the garage, push the button to raise the door, hear an awful noise and the door stops moving. Your garage door pulley broke.
While this symptom could be caused by a number of garage door parts one of the most common failures would be the cable pulley or pulleys. The pulley is an often overlooked yet crucial part of the counterbalance system on any extension (stretch out) garage door springs. There are four pulleys on the door, one on each side at the top corner where the vertical and horizontal track join and one on the end of each spring. These pulleys have ball bearings which allow them to roll smoothly and quietly as the door moves up and down. Most homeowners pay little – more honestly no – attention to this part. If you do not have your garage door serviced regularly it may become a little noisier and operate a little less smoothly with each passing year. Then, one day you push the button and the opener refuses to open or close the door. Once again, this can be caused by a number of the parts on your garage door. When it is caused by the pulley how will you know?
First – if the garage door has been shaking during travel in the days leading up to the failure it can be taken as a pretty sure sign there could be bad bearings in one or more of the pulleys. Often there will not be any visible sign of wear or damage in this case.
Second – you may notice the pulley does not seem centered on the bracket or bolt due to significant wear around the bearing race in the center of the pulley.
Third – in more extreme situations if a pulley has severely worn bearings and has not been rolling smoothly for an extended period of time you may notice a fraying cable or the edge of the pulley may be cut through by the cable.
Broken Garage Door Cable
One more often overlooked sign is a door that does not close evenly from side to side. If one pulley is failing the door may not close all the way on the affected side leaving a gap at the bottom.
OK, so now we know the pulley has failed. What has to be done to correct the problem?
First, as always with garage door systems, remember the door is under extreme spring tension. Should you decide to perform any of these repairs on your own be sure to become familiar with all moving parts and all parts under spring tension to avoid injury. Of course, we always recommend leaving counterbalance repairs to a professional repair team such as the service experts at Overhead Door Co. of Central Jersey.
Schedule a service call and be assured the entire door system will be inspected and repaired as needed. Your technician will check not only pulleys but also the garage door springs, cables, tracking, garage door rollers, hinges and so on.
If an automatic garage door opener system is present a safety test will be performed. Once the pulleys and any other worn parts are replaced most customers are amazed to find their garage door working at least as good as new.
A final thought – don’t ignore your garage door system until it breaks. We find an inspection and general service once every two years as a preventative measure solves many problems before they occur as well as ensuring any safety devices are working properly. This is a cost effective way to help avoid that frustrating unexpected garage door failure. As everyone knows, there is no such thing as a convenient time for the garage door to stop working!