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Garage Door Cable Drums

Cable Drums Repairs and Services

garage door cable drum repair

If your garage doors starts shaking or making weird noises you could possibly have a damaged drum.

If you hear anything that doesn't sound right you should call McLeod County Garage Doors and have us look over your door and see if there are any issues.

You want to fix issues right away as a faulty component could cause more wear and tear on other components causing more damage.


What Is a Garage Door Cable Drum

If you look at the upper right and left hand corners of your garage door you will find the cable drums. Cable drums come in a variety of sizes depending on a variety of circumstances. 

To understand cable drums you must understand the spring line system. The springs serve as a counter balance while the bottom of the garage door has cables that travel up the doors height wrap around the cable drums lifting the door.

The cables wind around the cable drums to open the door and unwind to close the door. If your garage door cable drums are damaged it will cause your garage door to not operate smoothly or properly. Faulty cable drums can even cause more damage to other components.


What Are the Different Types of Garage Door Cable Drums?

Cable Drums come in a variety of sizes which depends on the size of the door, amount of head room for the torsion springs and other factors that may change the size of cable drums needed. The cable drums help keep the garage door balanced while operating and this is why its important to make sure you select the correct garage door cable drum.

Here are some of the more common cable drums:

Standard-Lift Garage Door Cable Drum

Most residential garage doors use standard-lift cable drums. These components are flat with a single raised groove at the edge to keep the garage door balanced as it opens. Standard-lift cable drums are available in 4-inch, 5 1/4-inch, and 8-inch diameters.

Vertical-Lift Garage Door Cable Drum

Vertical-lift cable drums are common in industrial or warehouse settings and are tall and slightly conical. These cable drums feature elevated grooves that wind towards the shaft for a vertical lift. You can find vertical-lift drums in diameters measuring 8 1/2 inches, 11 inches, and 13 1/2 inches.

High-Lift Garage Door Drum

The high-lift cable drums work with garage doors with a higher vertical rise and a horizontal track near the ceiling. These drums are a combination of the standard-lift and vertical-lift drum designs. First, the cable runs along the raised grooves to lift the door vertically. Then, the cables switch to the flat section to run the door on the horizontal track. High-lift garage door drums are available in diameters ranging from 4 to 8 inches.


Why Did My Cables Slip Off the Garage Door Cable Drums?

When your tension spring system applies enough tension to the cables the garage door will begin to open. When everything is operating as it should the cables will lift the door and wrap around the cable drums. Cables are known to slip off of the drums causing the door to not operate properly. 

Here are some reasons that your garage door cables might slip off of the drum:

What Is a Garage Door Cable Drum?
Different Types of Garage Door Cable Drums
Why Cables Slip Off the Cable Drums

Damaged Torsion Springs

Garage doors typically have either one or two torsion springs. If you you look above your garage door do you notice one or two springs on the spring shaft.

If you have one spring and it breaks the tension will leave the cables, causing the cables to unwind from the drum. When this happens the door will likely come crashing down.

In the instance you have two torsion springs and only one breaks the second spring may still hold tension in the cables holding the door up. Your door may even operate with one spring but will likely be putting stress on other components causing more damage to the door resulting in more repairs down the road. 

If you notice a broken spring be sure to call McLeod County Garage Doors to help you understand what steps you need to take to ensure your garage door is operating safely and effectively. 


Garage Doors have a auto-reverse mechanism and photo safety eyes that prevent the door from closing on objects below. If these features were to malfunction, the door would crash down on anything below the garage door. When this happens the door will rest on whatever object below it causing the other side of the garage door cable to have slack. If this happens it's best to contact McLeod County Garage Doors and have a technician come help.

Improper Spring Tension

When tension springs are installed they should already be tensioned. If they do not have proper tension they will can affect the function of your garage door cables. The amount of tension needed on your spring is dependent on the size of your door.

If a spring has to much tension on it the cables may jump off the drums. It can also be to weak of tension causing the cables to roll off the drums.

Incorrect Cable and Drum Size

Your cable and drum size will depend on the size of the door. If your cable size is incorrect you will put more stress on the cables causing them to wear out prematurely. The weight of the door will determine the size of the cable needed.

Your drum size will need to be the correct size to hold the thickness and length of the cable. The drum size depends on the size of the door.

garage door cable repair and service


What to do if Cable Drums Break

What to do if Garage Door Cable Drums Break

As mentioned before the garage door cable drum is essential for the operation of your garage door as it works alongside the spring line. 

Garage door cable drums break because of rust build up and dirt build up. If this happens you will need to be sure you order the correct cable size and drum size. Without the technical know how you could have problems finding the correct size of cable and drum needed for your door. 

Also, changing a cable drum is not only a difficult task but also very risky and unsafe without proper training and equipment. The drums sit on the spring line which holds a lot of tension and force which could cause damage to anything around the garage door and serious injury as well.

Serving the Mcleod County region such as Glencoe, Hutchinson, Silver Lake, Biscay, Stewart, Winsted, Browntown, Plato and the surrounding Mcleod County area Mcleod County Garage Doors is there to help you with any garage door service or repair you may need! If you're not in the McLeod County area we can still service you. Call us to talk with a representative.

With years of training our trained professionals are happy to assist you and help you understand any garage door questions or needs. Contact us TODAY for a free consult and have one of our technicians help you. 

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