Fix Your Garage Door Cables Without Getting Harmed

Has your garage door started to make an unusual noise when it is opening? Is the door not moving like it used to?

You are desperate to solve the problem, but you can’t quite seem to grasp what the problem is. After you notice that the garage door opener and springs are working as they should you begin to feel extremely frustrated.

But don’t be too hard on yourself! Knowing how a garage door works is not common sense. There are many different types of hardware that all contribute to its overall function.

However, before you tackle repairing any of those individual parts, you need to know what the function of each part is and where they are located on your garage door.

A garage door system with all the working parts.

Have you taken the time to look at the mechanisms of a garage door when it moves? Probably not. Knowing the various parts of your garage door system can help you detect when one of them is damaged.

What are the main garage door hardware systems?


Cables, also called lift cables, are a vital part of a garage door system. There are 2 cables in each system, one located on both sides of the garage door. They function together with the springs to counterbalance the weight. Thus, they assist the garage door to move smoothly by transferring the energy from the spring to promote operation.

IMPORTANT! Don’t confuse lift and safety cables!

Safety cables are installed to prevent damage from a spring-related accident. Since they are installed with extension springs, if a spring breaks, you will remain safe because the safety cables are located in the center of the spring to keep pieces from flying.


Springs used for garage doors are either torsion or extension springs. There main function is to counterbalance the weight of the garage door to facilitate opening and closing. If you know the difference between torsion and extension springs, you will have a better understanding at how your garage door functions.

Torsion springs

You will find torsion springs on the wall above the space where the garage door opens, placed on a steel pole. Either one spring or two springs will be present considering the size and weight of the door. When installed properly, these springs provide less noise and more safety.

A tube runs through the center of the spring, or springs, therefore, safety cables aren’t necessary. Drums are connected to the end of the tube which a lift cable winds around when the door opens. The other end of the lift cables are attached to bottom brackets of the door.

When the door opens, the torsion springs is forced to unwind. Stored energy is then released which helps the door to open. When the door closes, the spring goes back into its usual constricted state, storing energy for the next time the door needs to open.

Extension springs

Extension springs are used for small garage doors that don’t have enough space to use torsion springs. Cables connect to the bottom bracket of the door and run through a pulley before they connect to the springs.

The springs are found above the horizontal tracks that the garage door moves on. This assists in harmonized movement. While the door is closed, the springs are stretched as far as possible which creates built up tension used by the door when it opens. This is why extensions springs are also called stretched springs.

Safety cables are absolutely necessary because if a spring ever breaks when it is under so much pressure it could cause serious damage or injury to anyone or anything nearby.

Garage door’s Torsion springs (on the left) and Garage door’s Extension springs (on the right)

Torsion (on the left) and extension springs (on the right) appear similar but operate differently.

When you need to replace any part of your garage door system, it is highly recommended to purchase from a garage door specialist. This will ensure high-quality and durable products.

How to Know When to Replace Cables?

Garage door cables can break for many different reasons. However, wear and tear is the main reason. When the cable starts to unravel, it is time to replace it. Thankfully, there are ways to notice when your cable needs a replacement.

Since your garage door is constantly moving up and down, there is constant friction among all the parts. If the door ever becomes misaligned on the track, other parts of the system can suffer from too much friction and break more easily. Because of this, frequent inspection is necessary.

Moisture can also pose a problem to your garage door system. If you live in an area of an especially wet climate, you may be more at risk. Make a habit of removing dirt and insects that get trapped in your cables to reduce the process of corrosion and rusting.

This garage door is a Cambridge CS Design, 10' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows.

You like this look? This garage door is a Cambridge CS Design, 10' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows.

Preventive maintenance

To save yourself time and money, hire a professional to frequently inspect your garage door system. The number of times you will need an inspection depends on how often you are using your garage door. The number of cycles per year is a key factor.

It is wise to hire a garage door specialist as soon as you notice any problems. If you put an appointment off, the problems could become worse and cost you more money in the end.

Garage door technicians don’t just look at the individual part that is broken- they look at the whole system as a whole. If all parts are working properly, then deterioration will be delayed.

It’s also a good idea to do some frequent check-ins with your garage door yourself. Follow this checklist when you have time. Aim for once a month.

● Follow the manual guide

● Inspect all the parts every month

● Balance your garage door

● Lubricate your hardware

● Clean the tracks

Why a Professional Should Repair Your Garage Door

Deciding to fix your garage door cables yourself is never a good idea- the chances of injuring yourself or a loved one are very high. Severe damage can occur if the tension of the spring loosens.

Garage door professionals carry the appropriate tools and expertise to be able to fix your garage door and know how important it is to not miss any crucial steps. Save yourself damage costs and rely on a professional, instead.

Additionally, if you try to fix a garage door system by yourself without the necessary expertise, you may damage it even more resulting in more money and time wasted.

Potential hazards associated with do-it-yourself garage door repairs

Bodily injuries

Garage doors weigh, at least, 150 pounds. The cables and springs are under immense tension and if anything is not manipulated properly, a number of parts could become a reckoning force.

Property damages

You could easily damage your property or your belongings by attempting to fix a garage door yourself. If so, you will then have to add extra costs since you now have to replace or fix those damages.


If your garage door suddenly becomes more damaged then it was, you will be opening your home to potential intruders and putting your family’s safety at risk

This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9' x 8', Moka Brown, Clear windows.

You like this look? This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9' x 8', Moka Brown, Clear windows.

Contact our Garage Door Experts

You can trust our certified garage door professionals with any work that needs to be done. During your appointment with them, they will inspect, adjust, and test your whole system.

Our garage door services include maintenance and repair - you can opt to be a part of our annual maintenance program or pay by the hour.

Make your life easier by contacting Doormasters. Ensuring your door is functioning properly is their specialty.

For all your garage door needs, contact us now at 1-800-886-9409!

Besides all of our technical services, we also offer creative services to help you choose which garage door best suits your home! We will consider your unique style and budget to help you choose which door is right for you.

If you’re thinking about replacing your garage door, we have 3 styles to suit your home exterior. Our specialists can help you choose the color, design, and accessories according to your budget.

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