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After a hard day away from your home, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a faulty garage door. What are the signs that your garage door may need repair? Symptoms may vary, but things you don’t want to see or hear when you pull into your driveway and hit that button include: if your door makes an exceptional amount of noise, the door takes a very long time to rise, the door struggles to rise or becomes stuck or, last but not least, you push the button and nothing happens, you probably need to make repairs.
Different malfunctions require different solutions. If your garage door isn’t rising all the way, it is possible that the cables that allow the door to raise and lower have become loose. Loose cables are highly detrimental to the functioning of automatic garage door systems. Improper tension can also cause the cables to slip off the pulley system where they’re attached, in which case the door would stop opening entirely.
How the Cable Works
Most automatic garage door openers work on a cable, pulley and tension spring system. The door, whether it’s a solid door or in sections, is set in a track. There is a motor with a chain that pulls the door up or slides it down when the motor is engaged. To aid with power and balance, the door is attached by cables and pulleys to one or more torsion springs which contract to pull the door up or expand when the door is pushed down. The cable is a fixed length bolted to the garage door at its base and to the garage wall above. The spring moves the cable up and down via a pulley. If this cable becomes loose, the door won’t function properly.
How to Fix Loose Cables
If the cables on your garage door are loose, it is due to one of three things: the cable has become disconnected, the cable has slipped out of its path, or the torsion spring or springs are not adjusted properly.
Caution is the watchword in trying to fix a loose cable on a garage door because any attempt to repair the cables on an automatic garage door will require the repairer to deal with the torsion spring. These springs are designed to counterbalance 100 to 400 pounds, so the tension on these springs is enormous. If they were to slip or break loose in the adjustment process, they could easily cause injury or in extreme cases, death to anyone standing close by.
A home repair of a loose cable can be done by clamping the door in place and reattaching the cable and the springs. The exact same parts must be used. Any attempt to use a different cable or spring will cause the door to malfunction.
However, due to the danger involved, a novice mechanic would be wise to call a professional repairman. This will ensure a proper repair and a safe outcome for all involved.