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Garage Doors/Garage Door Cable Tension


Garage Door
Garage Door  
QUESTION: After a contractor repaired/replaced  a damaged part last week our garage door seemed to be functioning fine.
Then I noticed one of the cables was slack. I then contacted our property manager notifying him of of the following...

" currently the weight of the entire garage door is being lifted and lowered by one cable on the left side the other cable on the right side is slack and pulling none of the weight throughout the entire open/close range (see pic)  Clearly this is a very precarious and hazardous condition that needs to be addressed ASAP."

Although this contractor is due back in the near future to repair some cosmetic damage they caused during this last visit, regarding this particular "cable" issue and the immediate danger it might present during normal operation our property manager replied...

"There is not a safety issue with the door at this time"

I find the notion that this is "safe" hard to believe.

What would your recommendation be?




This looks like a mess. The problem is the pick up drums are not aligned properly, allowing the left hand side to slack. It is not technically a safety issue as the 1/8" cable is good up to 800#s and the wood flush door you have weighs @ 300#s, however, the door is running ascue which will cause roller damage and could cause the door to jamb and not allow the motor to open or close. The other problem is the door is too big for the opening and not allowing the door to shut properly. Find an IDEA accredited door dealer in your area to fix these issues properly, ( and with out delay.

Hope this helps ,


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Garage Door Motor
Garage Door Motor  

Garage Door Damage
Garage Door Damage  

Appreciate the in depth response. Well, if you think that's a mess, the rest of the story is a downright disaster. I'm a bit reluctant to get into this because of the ol' saying "don't ask the question, if you don't want to hear the answer". Nevertheless here goes--We had this current garage door replaced about 5 months ago, and while most of our HOA wanted to replace the whole shebang (door,motor, tracks and all, our PM convinced us to just replace just the door and some of the track (not sure how much tracking was replaced) Now 2 weeks ago when the door broke down--after fixing the problem, (the same company that replaced the door, mind you) the tech explained that
the real problem was that our motor was insufficient for our application. He then claimed that perhaps the decision was made back then to not replace then motor w/ door  because of the clearance issue--that being the height of the ceiling would not accommodate a larger, more appropriate motor and that installation would require opening up the ceiling and re-dry walling it entirely. Of course, this was not explained to us prior to the new door install 5 months ago. But it would seam this is now the current recommendation. How they delivered this gem with a straight face is beyond me.

 While the smart thing to do would be to run from this company, and I am working on doing just that, but unfortunately we have a PM that makes it difficult as he convincing other Association members of the benefits of using vendors that he has close relationships with. Oh, the horrors of HOA living. Anyhow, another reason we have to have them back is to repair some cosmetic damage they caused during the recent repair job. On a scale of 1-10 how ugly does this appear, and how would you proceed. Not that you'd be idiotic enough to find yourself so deep in $$it.

Thanks Again,


Can the door company you are dealing with, go to the  and see if there is a local IDA accredited dealer near who can fix your issue's. Also you have the right to dump out of your Preventitive Maintence program at any time due to there inability to perform.

Best wishes.


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Mike Whitacre


I will not answer questions about garage door openers 20 years old or older as they are unsafe, PURCHASE A NEW ONE. How many cell phones have you owned in 20 years? I have 40 years in the garage door industry and have seen almost everything. I sat on the Wayne/Dalton dealers board in 1986,1987,and 1988. I am on the IDEA board of directors ( and am accredited by same. I will, to the best of my ability answer your questions on doors or openers. I will not deal with shinbuster type doors. Replace it if you have one! If your question is about stretch type springs, call an IDEA accredited dealer and have torsion springs installed.


I have been in the overhead door industry for 40 years. I have dealt with all major brands of garage doors and openers. I have been a member of the International Door Association for 25 years( My speacialty is working with and understanding stretch and torsion springs. However, I will never recommened a customer to deal with a garage door spring.

International Door Association, Door and Access Manufacturer's association, Institute of Door Education and Accreditation, American Legion

I have 2 years of collage , am on the IDEA board of directors, and if you didn't notice have been in the industry for 40 years!

Awards and Honors
I recieved the Train the Trainer certification from the Institute of Door Education and Accreditation in April 2001.

Past/Present Clients
Cal Ripken

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