The modern automatic overhead garage door is a complex mechanism that utilizes a combination of old world analog tech and new world high tech. The two types of tech work in concert with each other with the compact, powerful, energy-efficient motor getting the door started and regulating its movement and the old world springs providing the bulk of the raw power needed to lift the door, which can weigh many hundreds of pounds. But none of that raw lifting power would be of much use if it wasn’t for the garage door cables. Below we’ll look at one of the most common problems the garage door repair company faces: slipped cables.

Garage Cables

Garage Door Repair 101: The Cables

The cables are one of the most underappreciated components of the modern garage door. They’re as old-school as you can get but without them that app that allows you to open your door from the other side of the world would be useless. As would that quiet, reliable motor. That’s because it’s the cables (and the pulleys they’re wound around) that transfer the energy from the springs to the door. No cables and the springs are useless and so is the door.

A Word of Caution

Before we go any further we should state emphatically that cable problems, like torsion spring problems, should be left to your friendly Loveland or Commerce City garage door repair experts. The cables that relay the energy from the springs to the door can be extremely dangerous to work with and one false move on a fully loaded cable could cost you fingers or worse.

That said, let’s look at some of the main reasons cables can slip from the drum and necessitate garage door repair in Boulder, CO.

What Prompts Cables to Slip off Their Drums?

Once you hit the “open” button on your garage door remote you set a complex series of events in motion. The motor gets the door going and that causes the springs to release their energy. They transfer this energy to the pulleys which transfers it to the cables which pull on the door, causing it to rise. Sometimes however, cables will slip off their drums or otherwise malfunction. And here are a few reasons why:

  • The auto-reverse feature fails - The auto-reverse is a safety feature all modern garage doors share. A beam of light is shined across the opening of the door and if this beam is broken while the door is in motion the door stops. If the auto-reverse isn’t working properly to door may collide with the car which could cause the cables to continue spooling out even though the door has stopped moving. To prevent this make sure you have the auto-reverse feature checked periodically.
  • Improperly adjusted springs - Most doors use 2 springs these days and if one of them is loaded with the wrong amount of tension, either too much or too little, the door will open and close unevenly. This will affect the way the cables interact with the spools. As a result the cable may pop off the spool rendering one side of the door dead weight. If your door is hanging unevenly this may be the reason and you’ll need to call for garage door repair in Loveland.
  • Broken spring - Older doors used a single torsion spring and many of these doors are still in regular use. If the spring on such a door snaps the drum begins to rotate freely, the cables lose their tension and the door comes crashing down with a bang. More recent doors utilize 2 springs as we mentioned. So if one of the 2 springs snap the door will hang unevenly but it’s not likely to come slamming down on top of your loved ones, your pet or your car.
  • Mismatched cables and drums - Oftentimes when unqualified people attempt to fix the garage door they wind up choosing and installing the wrong parts. The wrong size drum will mess up the dynamic of the door and put unreasonable amounts of strain on the cable, which can cause it to fray and snap. There are very precise guidelines for installing the right drums. A pro will know exactly which drum or drums your garage door needs to keep it working at optimal effectiveness.
  • Installing the wrong spring - If you’ve recently had a torsion spring snap and had an unqualified person install a replacement they may well have chosen the wrong spring. Mismatched springs, like mismatched drums, will cause the door to raise and lower unevenly and put a lot of stress and strain on the cables. This can result in the cable slipping off the drum or becoming frayed and breaking under pressure.
  • Clogged tracks - If it’s been a long time since you had anyone clean the tracks on your garage door they may have become choked with dirt and debris which will cause the door to open unevenly. This, in turn, can cause the cable to slip off the drum and make things even worse. In addition, resistance caused by dirt-clogged tracks puts a lot of pressure on the motor, causing it to have to work harder than it was designed to. This will, in turn, shorten its life.

If you need help repairing the cables on your garage door or you need garage door opener repair call the pros at A Better Garage Door. We’re here to help.