A broken cable on a garage door can be a hassle if you don’t know what to do, especially when it comes to getting the proper length. Before you can start taking any measurements, you need to know what type of door you have, as this can influence how you measure and replace the cable.
What Are the Types of Garage Doors?
There are a wide variety of different garage doors out there nowadays. The most common is probably the roll-up style, but there are also sliding and folding, along with up-and-over. There are also doors with and without windows, as well as many different materials used to make doors.
The toughest garage doors are made out of galvanized steel. There are also wooden ones made from redwood, luan, and cedar. There are also composite, aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl, many of which are covered in different frames for varying styles. In addition to the durable metal doors, vinyl is also great as it doesn’t rust or dent, while fiberglass is also erosion-resistant but can break on impact.
How Do I Know If My Cable Needs to Be Replaced?
According to All Door Garage Door Repairs GTA Toronto, who does garage door repair in Toronto, the best indicator of whether or not the cable needs to be replaced is how it reacts when you open or close the garage door. If you find that the door falls quickly or bounces around, the most likely answer is that the cable has been broken.
What Cable Length Do I Need?
You’re going to have to do a little math along with knowing the part number and manufacturer of the cable drum. From here you need to determine the amount of lift your garage door has, and then coordinate it with the height of the door.
If you have a high-lift or vertical style garage door, you’re going to require longer cables, while standard-lift doors are based on the height of the door, along with an additional 18 inches. If you are going by the old cable, make sure to look at loops, spools, and stops as well.
What Are the Different Types of Cables?
Garage door cable comes in multiple different spools and sizes. There are open loop and thimble, along with 5/16”, 3/8”, and 1/2” spools. Regardless of the type of cable selected, they should contain some sort of crimp to help the cable sit with the drum.
To make your own cables, you’ll need the raw cables, which are anywhere from 3/32″ to 1/4” in diameter. You will also need oval and stop sleeves, spools, and thimbles to assemble them. If you are unsure about the length, make sure to cut a little bit more than you think you need.
How Do You Install a Garage Door Cable?
While it’s a bit of a lengthy process, it isn’t necessarily that difficult. First you’re going to want to loosen the springs by first undoing the screws. Once you do this to both springs you’ll be able to take apart the shaft to replace the cable. Make sure to be extra careful around torsion springs.
Other than safety goggles and gloves, make sure you have vice grips, a level, a cordless drill and a ⅜, 7/16, and ½ wrench or socket. In order to determine the length you should first know the type and size of your garage door – usually it is the height plus 18” inches, but can vary.
To determine the parts you need, look at a garage door diagram. It can be a bit confusing, but really the main components you want to look at are the torsion springs, extension springs, along with all the different little pieces involved in the actual rail.
What Are the Dangers of Torsion Springs?
If not done correctly and carefully, you can seriously injure yourself with torsion springs. You could get a hand cut off, an eye poked out, or even lose your life. Even in less serious circumstances you could damage property.
If you decide to take on the job yourself, just keep in mind it is a multi-step process. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need. Think along the lines of eye protection, leather gloves, a ladder, and winding bars to start.
This Seems Complicated, How Much Will a Professional Charge?
The cable itself is fairly cheap, but it does take a while to install them, so expect anywhere from $150 to $200. If there are any track issues expect to shell out another $130, while springs can cost upwards to $300. These prices are only averages, and might vary a bit in your area.