Garage Door 101: A Lesson in Garage Door Jargon

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Time to learn some garage door jargon, so next time a repairman shows up, you’ll know some terms…

  • Bottom bracket:  There are two bottom brackets, or corner brackets, on a garage door – one on the right, and one on the left. The lifting cables are attached to the bottom brackets on most sectional doors.
  • Cable drums:  Cable drums are an important part of a tension spring system. As the garage door opens, the lifting cable winds around the grooves in the cable drum. It keeps the lifting cable in line, so it doesn’t get tangled.
  • Cycle:  One cycle of a garage door goes from when it’s fully closed, to fully open, and then back again to fully closed. Torsion spring doors are rated by how many cycles they’re supposed to safely complete in their lifetime, for example 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 cycles.
  • Galvanizing:  Galvanizing is the process of coating steel to prevent rusting. All steel garage doors are galvanized.
  • Jambs:  The jambs are the vertical pieces on either side of a door frame.
  • Photo-electric sensor:  Photo-electric sensors are required by law for safety reasons. They’re mounted 6” above the ground in the doorway, and will reverse the direction of the door if it hits an obstruction. If the sensor isn’t working, the door won’t work, either.
  • Rollers:  The rollers are the wheel part of the roller assembly that roll freely using ball-bearings.
  • Torsion springs:  Torsion springs are the other type of spring system (as opposed to extension springs) that aid in raising and lowering a garage door. They’re mounted above the door, and are loosened and tightened by the cables as they wind around the drum when the door is opened and closed.
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