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Garage door cables are very important parts of a garage door system.
They help ensure the smooth opening and closing of the garage door.
Moreover, they help lessen the tension on the garage door springs.
With this, cables are helpful in extending the life of the springs.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of how to install garage door cables.
But first things first.
Let us first determine the type of cable we need for our garage doors.
Types of Garage Door Cables
The following are the types of garage door cables:
- Extension spring cables
- Torsion spring cables
- Safety cables
The three cables enumerated above come in different strand counts, thicknesses and lengths.
To know the cable we need, let us know the descriptions of each cable.
Extension spring cables
Extension spring cables are what we need to use if our garage doors use extension springs on it.
The standard size of this kind of cable is 3/32 inch and it has a 950 pounds weight capacity.
An upgrade of the standard size comes in with a 1/8 inch extension spring cable.
It has a higher number of 7×19 cable strands that are thinner.
The upgrade provides greater flexibility.
Moreover, the weight capacity is increased to 1,950 pounds.
That is twice the weight capacity of the standard-sized extension spring cable.
Compared to a torsion spring setup, the extension spring setup is more prone to frayed cables.
This is because of the many moving parts of the extension spring setup.
Torsion spring cables
The standard torsion spring cables for garage doors come in thickness of 1/8-inch and 7×7 strand.
The cable can support wights of up to 1,650 pounds.
Flexibility is low with this kind of cable specifications.
It tends to be noisy when the door is going up.
This is due to the rubbing of the cables as they ravel upon the cable drum.
An upgrade of the standard size comes in with 1/8-inch thickness and 7×19 strand.
The flexibility is better with this size.
The weight capacity of the garage door cable is also much stronger at 1,950 pounds.
With a lower weight capacity of 950 pounds, a more flexible option from the standard torsion spring cables size is the 3/32 inch.
Although it has a lower weight capacity, the cable’s thinner diameter makes the opening of the garage door quieter that the two other options.
Only garage door systems using extension springs make use of safety cables.
The safety cable is attached to both ends of the extension springs and it is run through it.
Extension spring pose harm to property and life if it comes loose or gets broken.
With the installation of safety cables, explosion of extension springs can be prevented.
Safety cables sizes vary between 1/8 inch and 3/32 inch diameters.
For doors that are seven feet in length, the safety cable needs to a length of 108 inches.
For doors that are eight feet in length, the safety cable needs to be 120 inches long.
Garage Door Cable Installation
Now that we know the type of cable we need to install, we are now ready to learn the steps on how to install garage door cables.
- Open the garage door up. Make sure that the door will not move or go down while doing the cable installation. We can make use of ladders or other things to keep the door up.
- Loosen the screws at the door’s center.
- Remove all the tension by unwinding the garage door spring.
- Loosen the cable drum set screws.
- From the cable drum, remove the cable.
- From the jamb bracket, remove the bottom lag screw.
- Remove the bracket at the bottom.
- From the bracket, remove the cable.
- Install new cable onto the bracket at the bottom.
- At the top of the door, thread the cable up to the cable drum.
- Look for the slot of the cable drum and insert the cable.
- With the cables properly in place, tighten the screws. Avoid overtightening them.
- Increase the tension on the springs accordingly.
- Try operating the garage doors if it works perfectly. Otherwise, check work by going through all the steps again.
The above guide intends to help us safely install garage door cables on our own.
For best results, it is always best to seek the help of experienced garage door professionals.