What to Do After Your Garage Door Cable Breaks? Your Step-by-Step Guide

You may not think about your garage door cable most of the time, but it does a really important job of easily lifting and lowering your garage door.

As you may imagine, this can cause a lot of wear on the cable itself, so it’s no wonder that they don’t last forever!

However, what is the best thing to do when you’ve noticed your garage door cable snapped and broken? 

If this has happened to you and you’re not sure of the next steps to take, keep reading to learn about what you have to do to failed your cable. 

Why Would a Cable Break?

Although cables can break due to wear and tear, this is not the only reason that your garage door cable could fail. 

Some of the other reasons that a garage door cable could break include:

  • Poor alignment
  • Excessive moisture
  • Faulty pulley bearings
  • Rust
  • Corrosion or erosion
  • Physical fraying or damage

There are two types of cables on common garage doors that are designed for lifting and lowering your door. Lift cables are in garage doors with torsion springs and retaining cables are in garage doors with extension springs.

Although the cables serve similar purposes in both of these types of garage doors, they are not identical and you may need additional help to replace them.

Keep in mind that if you ever feel unsure about replacing the garage door cable on your own, you can always call a professional to do the job quickly and efficiently.


Check for Safety Hazards

If your garage door is electronic or automatic, you need to make sure you switch off the power before proceeding. Fully disconnect and check that the circuit breaker is turned off.

You’ll also want to disconnect the garage door itself from the door opener. This is generally done by pulling down on the red toggle hanging behind your door, but check your garage door manual if you do not have this feature.

After this, you will want to lift up the garage door. This is best to do with another person, especially since the broken cable is not going to be able to support you.

Once the door is in position, you can clamp it into place with vice clamps to ensure it doesn’t fall down as you are working on setting up the new cable.

Get Equipment Ready After Noticing a Garage Door Cable Snapped

The main thing that you’ll need to replace the cable is a new cable that is the correct length.

Ensure that you’re purchasing a cable that is the same length as the old cable to make this easier on yourself. You won’t be able to install a cable of the wrong length.

You’ll also need to buy two vice clamps to have on hand when it is time to clamp the door into place. You’ll put these into the garage door track, so be sure to find the proper size for these as well.

A replacement bracket and an S hook are also going to be needed for the actual process of putting in the new cable. You will want to have these on hand and ready to go before you get started. 

Taking the Broken Garage Door Cable Down

After you’ve taken the safety precautions and have all of your equipment ready, you can remove the frayed garage door cable.

There will not be a lot of tension (if any) on this cable at this point, so you can disconnect it.

To do this, you’ll just need to take the end of the broken cable and hook it into your S hook. Take this down and repeat the same process at the other end of the cable while taking the cable loop off of the bottom door bracket.

Before you take the cable off, you should take a photo of how it was hooked into the mechanism. This will make it easy for you to replicate the same installation with the new cable.

Setting up and Installing the New Garage Door Cable

After the broken cable has successfully been removed, you can replace the snapped garage door cable.

Take a look at learning how to install garage door cables to ensure that you can fix the problem yourself the first time.

After you have a general idea of what to do, you can secure the new cable into the bottom bracket of the garage door.

Taking this bracket, you’ll thread it through the first hole, then back through the middle, and then tie it into a secure knot following the final loop. The largest hole will be connected to your S hook. 

Place the new cable exactly as the old one was placed into the end of the pulley system. If there is slight tension running through the cable at this point, you’ll know you’ve done this right.

You can reattach your S hook to the top of the bracket in the same place it was in before. 

If your garage door has cables on both sides, keep in mind that this same process may need to be completed for both cables to ensure even wear and tear.

Before you turn the power back on, double-check all of your work. If you are unsure about whether or not you’ve done the job correctly, it may be time to call a professional to avoid injury.

Remember to take the vice clamps off and try to manually open or close the door with the help of another person to check that it tracks smoothly. After this, you can connect the door to your door opener again and reconnect power.

Solve the Garage Door Cable Snap Fatality on Your Own

If you have a garage door cable snapped at home, you now know what you can do to fix the issue.

Although it can seem like a difficult task, with the right tools and know-how, this is an easy fix for any homeowner! 

Are you looking for additional tips that can help you with garage door maintenance or general home care? If so, check out some of the other articles on our website today.

Sudarsan Chakraborty
Sudarsan Chakraborty

Sudarsan Chakraborty, an adept blogger and writer, navigates the digital realm with finesse. His passion for storytelling drives him to explore diverse topics from Home Improvement to Business. With clarity and authenticity, Sudarsan captivates audiences, offering unique insights and fostering a community of engaged readers on his blog.

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