Garage door cables are integral to the operation of your garage door. Cables are made of bundled wires and they can sustain hundreds of pounds of weight. In fact, the cables used for garage doors are the same types used for aircraft. Strong cables are necessary in order to sustain the weight of the garage door and the torque of its opening mechanism.
How Cables Work in a Torsion Spring System
The most common garage door opening mechanism relies on a torsion spring system. In this system, the torsion spring provides the counterbalance needed to counter the weight of your door. This counterbalance makes it easy for anyone to open, despite the fact that garage doors often weigh upwards of 100 lbs.
When a garage door is down, the torsion spring is wound, holding kinetic energy that’s eager to unwind. As the garage door lifts, the spring unwinds, turning the shaft. At each end of the shaft is a drum of wound cable, which threads down the side of the door and attaches to the bottom corner. It’s this cable that actually lifts the garage door and holds it steady once it’s rolled up.
The cables in a garage opening mechanism must not be too tight, or the door won’t close all the way. However, they must be tight enough that there’s a steady tension holding up the bottom of the door when it’s lifted, and ensuring that the cables don’t go slack.
Garage Cable Repair and Alignment
Cable repair and alignment is one of the most dangerous repair jobs that we do. If you notice any of the following signs, don’t touch the cables, or the garage spring(s). Call a professional right away.
- Unevenly hanging door (the line of the bottom of the door is at an angle)
- Cables on one side of the door are loose
- Cables are unwound from the drum (also known as a spun cable)
Loose cables can occur if a garage door hits something when it comes down. They could also be a sign of something going wrong within the garage door mechanism. For example:
- One or both of the springs that provide the counterweight could be broken, or otherwise unable to perform their function.
- The door, or the rollers, could be off track.
- The garage door is out of balance.
Do you have a problem with your garage door cables? Give us a call today at: