What Are Garage Door Cables and Why Are They Important?

How do you install a garage door cableMost homeowners are familiar with the core components and functions of their garage doors. They generally understand what the panels, opener, and the springs are for, and may even have a general idea of how to troubleshoot and repair garage door problems

Still, there’s one part of a garage door that leaves even advanced DIY-ers scratching their heads: the cables. These cables and the pulleys they’re wrapped around are responsible for transferring the energy from the springs to the door. Without them, a garage door simply can’t work. 

But what exactly is the purpose of these cables? How do you determine which cables to buy? Can you perform garage door cable repair in San Diego yourself, or do you have to hire the experts? Keep reading to learn more. 

What are the different types of garage door cables?

There are two kinds of garage door cables in most doors: lifting and safety. Many doors are also equipped with an emergency release cable.

Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Lifting cables are what connects the garage door springs to the door via a system of drums or pulleys. There’s usually a lifting cable on each side of the door. 
  • Safety cables are designed to prevent injury or damages to the rest of your property in case of a garage door failure. They do this by preventing the pieces of the extension spring from whipping around after the spring breaks. 
  • Emergency release cable allows you to open your door during power outages or if the garage door opener motor has failed. 

How long should garage door cables be?

The specific length of the cables varies depending on the model of the garage door and the style of lift. High-lift and vertical-lift doors generally need longer cables than standard-fit doors. As a general rule, cables used in standard-lift residential garage doors should be 18 inches longer than the height of the door.

Due to the variables involved, homeowners should consult with a reliable garage door contractor before purchasing or installing replacement cables

How do you install a garage door cable?

Since lifting cables are engaged every time the garage door is used, they’re regularly put under a tremendous amount of stress by the weight of the garage door. They’re also gradually fraying with each use and are constantly exposed to heat, moisture, and cold. All of this means the cables suffer a lot of wear over time that will eventually cause them to snap or come off.  

When this occurs, you’ll have to remove the old cables and install new ones. However, unless you’re a garage door technician with extensive first-hand experience, it’s strongly advised that you do not attempt to install new garage door cables on your own. 

Since garage doors weigh in the hundreds of pounds and use springs that hold huge amounts of energy, any mistakes during cable installation can easily result in a visit to the emergency room. That’s why it’s always best to have the problem addressed by the experts.

Who should I call when I need reliable cable repair in San Diego for my garage door?

How long should garage door cables beJust as you wouldn’t hire an inexperienced roofer to fix your roof or a “budget” pool contractor to build your spa, you should never cut corners when it comes to making sure your garage door works properly and is safe to use. 

With more than 40 years of experience, Dlouhy Doors is the top choice for all your garage door needs. In addition to offering the full range of garage door repair, maintenance, and installation services, we also have 24-hour emergency crews that can quickly get to your location regardless of whether you’re in Torrey Pines or Downtown San Diego. Call us today.