You’re ready to leave the house in the morning and you walk into the garage, push the button to raise the door but you hear an awful noise and the door suddenly stops moving. What happened? While there could be various explanations for what just happened, one of the more common reasons would be a broken garage door pulley or pulleys. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect your garage door pulley broke.

Garage Door Pulley Broke 

If your garage door pulley broke, it’s important to take a look at your springs as soon as possible to prevent any future problems. 

A Crucial Aspect of Your Garage 

The pulley is often overlooked yet it is one of the most crucial parts of the counterbalance system on any spring door. Your typical garage door will have four pulleys, one on each side of the door, at the top corner where the horizontal and vertical track join and one on the end of each spring. These springs have ball bearings that allow them to roll quietly and smoothly as the door moves up and down.

Most homeowners pay little to no attention to the springs in their garage doors. Failure to care for your door and have it serviced regularly may result in a noisy door that operates less smoothly over time. Then one day you push the button and the opener won’t open or close the door. This may result from a failure on different parts of your garage door, but here’s how you’ll know it’s caused by the pulley.

First – if the door has been shaking or jerking as it’s opening or closing in the days leading to the failure, that could be a pretty sure indication there one or more of the pulleys has bad bearings. It’s highly likely that there will be no visible signs of wear in this case.

Second – you may notice that the pulley doesn’t seem centered on the bolt or bracket as a result of significant wear around the bearing race in the center of the pulley.

Third – in more extreme situations a pulley with worn bearings that hasn’t been rolling smoothly for an extended period of time may have a fraying cable. Sometimes, the pulley’s edge may be cut through by the cable.

Another often overlooked sign is a door that doesn’t close evenly from side to side. If one pulley is failing, the door may not close all the way on the side that’s affected, leaving a gap at the bottom.

Ok, so once you realize that your pulley has failed, what can you do to correct the issue? First, as always with garage door systems, bear in mind that the door is under extreme spring tension. It’s always advisable to leave counterbalance repairs and fixing your garage door’s alignment to professional experts. However, should you decide to perform any repairs on your own, be sure to familiarize yourself with all moving parts and all parts under spring tension to avoid injury.

Bottom Line

The last thing anyone wants is to realize that their garage door pulley broke. Like how you’d want to fix a garage door dent, don’t ignore your garage door system until it breaks. Have your type of garage door inspected regularly and serviced at least once every two years to help solve many problems before they occur or get your garage door replaced.

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