3 Tips on Dealing with a Broken Torsion Spring Cable

Up and over garage doors are one of the most popular styles for homes, as they’re space-saving, convenient and preserve the width of the available garage space. This type of garage door has durable torsion spring cables to operate it.

Torsion springs are mounted to a metal shaft which is situated above the top of the garage door frame. The springs extend along this and work by twisting as the door closes, via cables attached to each side of the bottom garage door panel. When these cables snap or become damaged, it can make using your garage more difficult. In such cases, replacing or repairing the cable is necessary to prevent further damage from occurring and also to prevent accidents.

Identify the damage

It’s a good idea to book a check of your garage door at least once a year, to prevent damage from developing. The most common problem with torsion spring cables is that they can become frayed over time if they’re not maintained properly, which can be spotted with a visual inspection of the cables – you’ll be able to see the cables separating from each other, at which point it’s time to book in a replacement.

Another problem that can cause issues with your garage door is when the cable breaks while you’re opening or closing the door, which can result in it going off track or sideways. This can be dangerous, and it can also affect other areas of the door too. When you’re checking the door, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to the loop the cable is attached to on the bottom bracket – these loops attach to the spring and cable system, allowing you to easily open and close the door, so they play an important role in the garage door system.

Replace both cables

Unlike the springs, cables don’t always wear out at the same rate. Some may rust at the bottom from being exposed to saltwater on just one side of the door, or the cables might fray in a rough spot on one of the cable drums. However, replacing just one cable can mean that you run the risk that your door won’t be balanced, as the cable might not be the same length as the other.

To avoid any unnecessary hassle, it’s advisable to replace both cables, even if only one is damaged. With most garage doors, the spring on the left side of the support bracket in the centre is the right wind spring. The spring on the right side of the bracket is the left wind spring. However, if your door has outside lift fixtures at the bottom, the cables will come off the front of the drums, in which case the right and left wind springs will be on the right and left sides of the bracket respectively.

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Avoid opening the door

It’s not recommended that you attempt to open your garage door if the torsion spring cable is broken, as it can be dangerous. But in some instances, it may be necessary. If you can’t wait until a technician arrives to resolve the problem, ensure that you take care when opening the door and do so with someone else to help you.

Don’t use the remote opener — open the door manually to prevent any further damage and lift the door until it’s completely raised along the horizontal rails. Bear in mind that the door will be very heavy so you should lift it carefully and with the assistance of someone else, but only if it’s an emergency. If it can wait, avoid opening the door and wait until a professional can fix the issue.

Final thoughts

A garage door is an investment for your home, but in order to ensure that it lasts and stays functional, it requires periodic maintenance. The more often you use your garage, the sooner you’re likely to need to replace or repair the cables. A trained technician can help you with a broken torsion spring cable, whether that’s replacing the whole system or replacing specific parts, to ensure that it works properly. Contact Wessex Garage Doors today to book an inspection or a repair service.

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