How to Adjust Garage Door Cable Tension

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    How to Adjust Garage Door Cable Tension

    How to Adjust Garage Door Springs and Cables

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    In recent years, garage doors have become more convenient and homeowner-friendly in terms of use and repair.

    Hence, it is essential to always be aware of the condition of your garage and garage door system as components can get misplaced, misaligned, or loose.

    Components include brackets, tracks, cables, springs, motors, and more.

    In this article, you will learn how to adjust garage door cable tension.

    What Garage Door Cables Do

    If you’ve noticed, garage doors are massive and are very heavy; thus, the right components are needed to support the weight of the door through its cycle of opening and closing.

    The two components tasked with this important role are the springs and cables.

    Although the spring does most of the heavy lifting, cables play an essential role in supporting the springs and doing one other role.

    Springs build up tension from having to lift the heavy garage door, and the tension can exceed the springs’ limit, causing spring failure.

    In case of a spring failure, the cable intervenes against the spring recoil, which can be quite dangerous, to the point of inflicting death.

    A well-cabled spring will simply fall to the ground during failure; hence, it is essential that the cable is properly installed.

    Adjusting Your Garage Door Cable Tension

    Maintenance is necessary for prolonging your garage and garage door system’s lifespans; thus, regular inspections are necessary to ensure that each component is intact.

    If you notice that your garage door cable might not have the right tension, then it might be time for you to adjust it.

    You don’t have to worry about hiring professional garage door technicians to do this task for you; there’s a way for you to do it safely.

    However, if you feel the need to call for professional assistance, do not hesitate to do so.

    Nevertheless, below are the steps on how to adjust garage door cable tension:

    What You’ll Need

    Before getting to adjusting the garage door cable tension, ensure that you are equipped with the following items:

    • Flathead Screwdriver
    • Pliers
    • Wire-Cutters
    • C-Clamps
    • Stepladder
    • Hard Hat
    • Gloves

    Step 1: Open the Door and Attach the C-Clamps

    Before actually getting to work, wear your hard hat and gloves.

    Then, fully open the door with the opener and, using the stepladder, attach the C-clamps on either side of the tracks closest to the bottom of the door as a safety precaution.

    Opening the door will release the tension in the springs, making the adjustment safer as a closed garage door has the springs under tension.

    Moreover, attaching the C-clamps will ensure that the door won’t suddenly fall while you’re working on adjusting the cable.

    Step 2: Release the Door Opener from the Drive Chain

    To release the door opener from the drive chain, go to the attachment of the opener to the garage door mechanism and look for a rope.

    Pulling this rope should complete this task.

    Step 3: Release the Cable

    Use the stepladder to boost yourself up and have easier access to the cable.

    Disconnect the garage door cable that runs around the door’s frame; one end should wrap around a hook or clip while the other wraps around the rollers.

    Disconnect the end of the cable with the hook from the frame and move it further down using one of the holes below.

    Moving it further down the frame should make the cable tauter.

    Step 4: Adjust the Cable Bracket

    If you find that the cable is still slack and you can no longer hook one end of the cable lower in the frame, then adjust the bracket holding the cable to the frame.

    Using the pliers, loosen the bracket and pull the excess cable until tautness is achieved.

    After, simply retighten the cable bracket and reattach the cable to the frame using the hook.

    Note that you only need to loosen the shaft enough for you to maneuver through it; loosening or tightening it more than necessary can unwind the cables and cause more trouble.

    Step 5: Test Your Garage Door

    Before running your garage door opener through a full cycle, check the cable for any unwinding; the cable should travel around the frame and wrap around the drum neatly.

    After ensuring that everything is aligned, remove the C-clamps on either side of the tracks and plug your opener back into your garage door.

    If nothing is out of place after running your opener through a full cycle, then you’re good to go!

    What About The Springs?

    Despite the convenience that modern garages are constructed with, a homeowner’s neglect can easily undo the ease-of-use of garage doors.

    Due to the garage door’s massive size and weight, daily use of the garage door can misplace various components in the system.

    Hence, maintenance is necessary in keeping all components of the garage door system in tip-top shape to ensure the garage door’s functionality at all times.

    What’s more, you don’t need to rely on hiring a professional to perform basic maintenance on your garage door; you can actually do it safely.

    To learn how to adjust garage door springs and cables on your own without harm, read further.

    What Do Garage Door Springs Do?

    Garage doors are very heavy; thus, they need a specific component that helps in lifting and lowering them during garage door opener cycles.

    Although the opener is what prompts the door to open and close, the specific components that actually do the heavy-lifting of garage doors are the tension springs.

    When the door is lowered, the spring is actually under tremendous tension, which is released when the door is opened.

    Due to this, most tension failures occur while the door is closed or during operation, when the spring undergoes different levels of tension.

    What Do Garage Door Cables Do?

    Garage door cables go hand in hand with tension springs; the tension springs do the main lifting, while the cable provides assistance.

    However, cables actually have another important role besides assisting in opening and closing the garage door.

    Because springs undergo constant tension, it wears fast and can break apart violently, resulting in spring failure.

    Spring failure is very dangerous, as the impact of the spring breaking apart can cause severe injuries, even death.

    To prevent this situation, garage door cables are attached to prevent spring recoil, which allows a well-cabled spring to simply fall down in case of spring failure.

    Adjusting Garage Door Springs and Cables

    Garage door springs and cables play vital roles in the whole operation of garage door opener systems.

    Hence, it is necessary to inspect these components and perform maintenance regularly.

    If you notice that these components might need some tinkering, below are steps on how to adjust garage door springs and cables on your own safely:

    What You’ll Need

    Be sure to be equipped with the following items:

    • Pliers
    • C-Clamps
    • Stepladder
    • Safety Glasses
    • Hard Hat
    • Gloves

    Step 1: Safety Precaution

    Prior to adjusting the springs and cable, ensure to wear all safety equipment and fully open the garage door to release the tension in the springs.

    After, attach C-clamps on both sides of the track right under the bottom of the door to prevent the door from falling.

    Lastly, release the opener from the drive chain by pulling the rope at the attachment of the machine to the garage door mechanism.

    Step 2: Adjust Your Garage Door Springs

    Before getting to adjusting, be knowledgeable of the springs that your garage door utilizes.

    • Torsion Springs – These springs are typically found on top of and run parallel to the garage door.
    • Side-Mounted Extension Springs – These springs run parallel to the track and are easier to adjust compared to torsion springs.

    Taking advantage of the lack of tension in the spring, use the stepladder to boost yourself up and detach the spring hook from the track hanger.

    To adjust the springs’ tension, simply move the spring hook to a different hole on the hanger.

    Moving the spring hook to a hole higher up on the track should increase and tighten the tension; on the other hand, moving it to a lower hole should reduce the spring tension.

    Step 3: Adjust Your Garage Door Cable

    The cable should run around the garage door’s frame, and one end should be wrapped around the rollers while the other end is tied around a clip or hook.

    To adjust the cable, release the end tied to the clip or hook and move it a hole lower than it to make it tauter.

    If the cable is still slack and you can’t move the hook further down, use pliers to loosen the cable bracket and pull the excess cable.

    After getting rid of the slack, retighten the cable bracket and reattach the cable’s hook to one of the holes in the frame.

    Step 4: Test Your Garage Door

    After adjusting both the springs and cable, plug your opener back to the mechanism and remove the C-clamps.

    Then, run the opener through a full cycle and observe for any abnormality.

    If the system is running more smoothly, then you’ve succeeded in the adjustment.

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