Common Types of Garage Door Cables

Jan 15

Common Types of Garage Door Cables

Cables are one of the critical components of every residential garage door system, which, along with springs, control the door’s motion and tension.

A garage door consists of several moving parts that assist in its safe and efficient functioning. Cables are one of the critical components of every residential garage door system, which, along with springs, control the door’s motion and tension. Garage door cables and springs support the door’s weight and help it to lift and lower. Therefore, the cables need to be in optimal condition to ensure safety. 

What materials are in garage door cables?

Garage door cables consist of long strands of metal wire woven together. The more strands the cable has, the thicker it is. Garage door cables are located at the bottom of the garage door on each side and are available in varied styles, lengths, diameters, and strengths. Cables are rated based on the weight they can carry. Homeowners should learn about the different garage door cables to understand which one is right for their garage door.

Types of garage door cables

Torsion spring cables

Torsion cables are the most commonly used for garage door operation. These cables attach to the door’s bottom corners on each side to help the springs to wind up. These are secured and wounded in a specific way, and the length usually depends on the garage door height. When a garage door opens, the springs unwind and release the energy that allows the door to lift. With a broken cable, the springs will fail to unwind.

Extension spring cables

Extension spring cables are an ideal choice when garages lack sufficient headroom. They work differently than torsion spring cables. This cable contracts when the door opens and stretches when it closes. They are placed at the side and connect to the springs and the bottom of the door. However, extension spring cables are more dangerous, and if a cable breaks, the spring can separate from the pulley system, leading to damage and injuries. 

Safety cables

The extension spring door system uses retaining or safety cables to prevent the broken springs from falling or flying off. When the primary cable breaks, safety cables act as a failsafe device. The torsion spring cable system does not have a safety cable. Therefore, when a retaining cable breaks, the extension cable may fail to lift the door.

Emergency release cable

An emergency release cable or an emergency release cord helps to operate the garage door manually. It can come in handy when there is no power, the door opener motor malfunctions, or the circuit breaker trips.

Although garage door cables are reliable and robust, they do not last forever. When a cable breaks, the door will lean at an angle or jam from the side of the broken cable. Due to this, the door functions incorrectly or fails to work entirely. The only way to fix a fraying or broken garage door cable is to replace it. Finding the right one is crucial when the garage door needs a new cable. Garage door cable replacement is best left for garage door technicians to ensure correct installation.

Safeguard the garage door

Regular maintenance by a professional garage door service company can help prevent cables from breaking unexpectedly and determine the correct time for a replacement.

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