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AssuredElectrical, Home Specialist
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  35 years home improvement
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Electric garage door, no springs, cables off spools

Resolved Question:

I have an electric garage door that is metal and bends in sections to pull back towards the motor to open. There is a rod with a spool on each end of it that is the width of the door and is secured above the garage door opening. The wires that go around the spools have come loose. Now my garage door will not go up. How to fix this?


There are no springs used on this door.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

It might help me give you a more detailed Answer to your question, if you could tell me what the maker (or model #) of the door opener you have driving the whole door assembly.

But in general terms, it sounds as if you have a sort of powered garage door that has a driving motor that directly (or perhaps through a few gears) drives a long axle, with spools on the end, that winds wire onto them; the wires go to the bottom corners of the door more or less, and pull the door upward that way... or else the wires go to the upper corners of the door, after crossing over a pulley so as to pull in the reverse direction, and pull the door up by its upper corners.
Look for the two pulleys near where the top of the door would be in its opened position... if there are such pulleys, the wires may go ultimately to the top of the door. If not, the wires probably go to elsewhere on the door, perhaps the bottom corners of the door.

As for getting the wires back in place so the door works when the motor of the door opener turns... that depends upon whether they
A. broke, or
B. broke loose of their hold, either on the spool(s), or on the other end (and presumably in that case, where they were fastened to the door.... or possibly
C. simply got untangled or unspooled or slipped off, and thus are not broken, just in need of being slipped back on. (And also, perhaps, in this case, having whatever allowed them to slip off, corrected so it doesn't happen again.)

If A. or B., that might need not only refastening to the door, or splicing, but also it might have happened owing to a jam in the works, or the door itself being jammed or reluctant to move or open, so that the tension on the wires became too great and they broke or broke loose. In which case, 1) check the door: can it open when you push it by hand? if not it is either jammed or 'locked' in place, and 2) look for anything else 'stuck' in the works, that won't go.

You may need a repairman, if C. is the case, since the re-spooling and preventive correcting are bound to be somewhat complex.

- If there is anything lacking in this answer, please " Reply " letting me know, and I will try to improve upon my answer.
- If this is the Answer that helps with the issue, then rating my Answer positively would be appreciated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

C is the answer. Just need to know which way the wires spool onto the spools on the end. One clockwise and the other counter? If so which one which way? Nothing is broken just the right one, as looking at the door from inside the garage, came undone and the left is still attached but hanging there.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
The answer to your question depends simply upon:

Where's the drive motor for the whole assemblage? please find it (it's hard to miss) and describe how it is linked or hooked into or driving the rod with the spools at the end... or whatever it drives, perhaps a cog/chain hooked into or along the center of the door or the like.

And perhaps also, upon what the drive motor (or 'garage door opener')'s maker and model # XXXXX
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Genie Pro Stealth Model GPS1200IC


It has a rubber belt with rubber teeth on the inside of the belt. that travels back and forth raising and lowering the door.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
OK, good. Then the wires don't seem to be drawing the door.

The information on the door opener drive motor may be helpful... but it still doesn't explain
1. why the wires unravelled or unspooled, and
2. why the door won't open now.

What is at the ends of the (I presume, entire and whole and still-attached) wires? for instance, just the wire on the side that is easier to see or is better lit - where does one end attach, and where does the other end attach? or wherever it is attached, if not at the ends?

(I confess I may have to give up this case... the door system does not sound familiar to me.)

Is the wire ultimately in a loop, or at least with the ends not attached to anything?

Are there any other rollers or pulleys that are now 'free' i.e. not being used by anything? if so, the wires might have gone over them also.

(I have to quit for the night now - where I am it is over an hour past midnight. I hope that's OK... I will be online again in 6 to 9 hours, I think.)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I could post a couple of pics to you it would be easier.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
If you took pictures, that would be best done by posting each one to

and for each file, copying (after uploading to that web site) the URL address for the file and Replying to me with each URL address. That way I could take a look at the problem and see whether I can help with it by advising you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
I see the video - and I must congratulate you on being the first JustAnswer customer in my experience to have posted a video to explain their question.

In the spool at the end of the video, that still has the cable attached and around it to some extent... is the end of the cable (that in the disconnected one seen first in the video, has two 'nuts' or something on the end of it) going into the hub of the second spool, and visible to the upper left of the center of the second spool in the frames at the end of your video?

(I am thinking that the way the still-on-the-spool cable is attached is of importance. Basically I'm asking: where is the end of the cable that is still on its spool?)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the spool has a slot that it slides into.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Does the end that slides into the slot on the spool that still has cable wound around it, look like the end of the cable that has come loose?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. This is taking too long Russell.


Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Agreed. I admittedly am feeling my way through the problem rather than confidently stating a solution. I have Opted Out in favor of any other Expert here who could make better progress.

Thanks for following the process thus far.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

Instead of writing out a complete sequence, I believe it is easier to see how to put the cable back on the pulley.
I do not have a personal video, but the one below is one I use whenever the cable needs to be re installed, as I feel it is very adequate.

Please watch the entire video and then start over to follow the sequences involved the 2nd time.

Installing the cable onto the spool--APPROX. 5:30 INTO VIDEO

CLICK HERE for the cable installation

If you watch the 2nd video on leveling the door, I want to caution you, that I feel that needs to be done by someone with experience because of the danger involved.

If you need to adjust and wish to do so, please install a vise grip in the beginning instead of later in the video as shown.
Hopefully since it is the same cable, there will not be any adjustment needed.

Leveling the door if needed after cable installation
Must be extremely cautious when doing this procedure, it can be very dangerous because the main bar is under spring pressure and you cannot allow it to unwind, as shown in the video with stabilizing the

CLICK HERE to view door leveling

Just reply if there are any questions on the procedure show, and I can clarify the best explanation possible.
Or any other questions

AssuredElectrical, Home Specialist
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience: 35 years home improvement
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