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Garage Door Cable Thickness and Sizing

Garage door cables come in many sizes, so using the right size is important and has a purpose!

Every garage door is a different size and weight. So the cable needs to work well with the specifications of the each individual door.

We work on many garage door repair jobs where the issue is caused by the garage door cable snapping or breaking.

The role of the cable in the garage door is to reduce the tension of the garage door’s extension and torsion springs. The right sized cable helps to keep your springs working well and can extend the life of your springs.

Cables also work to open and close your garage door smoothly.

Most of our repair calls are for broken or snapped springs. If a garage door spring does break. the cable can help support the door enough so it doesn’t come crashing down when the spring breaks.

There are 3 kinds of cables:

  • Torsion spring cables.
  • Safety cables.
  • Extension spring cables.

Cable Thickness

Remember, finding the right cable thickness depends on the door and it’s weight. Thicker isn’t always better or stronger. It depends on the door itself.

Thinner cables can wear more quickly than thicker cables, or snap more quickly. But you always need to match the cable size with each individual garage door.

As you might imagine, thicker cables are paired with heavier garage doors, as they can support more weight and tension.

You’ll notice in the picture at the top of this post, where cables are most likely to snap. The new cable, on the left, is a little thicker than the frayed one on the right. That’s because this door required a little bit thicker of a cable in the first place.

Always consult with a professional garage door tech to make sure the right cable size is installed in your garage. It’s possible that a cable can be too thick for a garage door, which will cause the door to open less smoothly and easily, as it won’t be able to comfortably glide over your pulley and drums.

Note: When you are choosing the size of a garage door cable, the gauge of your cable is the thickness. So a higher gauge is a thicker cable.

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