Safely Replacing a Broken Garage Door Cable

The garage door cable is a seemingly small but essential safety mechanism in a garage door.

Why You Need a Garage Door Cable
Garage door springs are alternately stressed and fatigued, and these alternating forces weaken the springs over time. An uncabled garage door spring that breaks will recoil with a violent force that, at best, will leave a nasty dent in a car, and at worst, can kill a person. The garage door cable that runs through the spring prevents the springfrom recoiling and allows a broken spring to drop harmlessly.

The danger that is prevented by the garage door cable is created by the tension in the spring. Since the cable is broken, it is important to understand this danger. If you do not feel confident in dealing with high-tension springs, call a repairman. It's not worth the potential injury just to save a few dollars.

Release the Tension
Before attempting to replace the garage door cable, you must release the tension in the garage door springs. Open the garage door fully, and in order to prevent the door from sliding down, place a couple of c-clamps on the track just below the door's lowest wheel. Once the door is securely open, you should be able to easily unhook the springs, replace the cable, and hook up the springs again. Do not attempt to unhook the springs if you have not released the tension!