A gate latch cable is basically an improved version of a screen door spring or clothesline pulley, with one major improvement: instead of having to open the door in order to feed it into place, you can install it from the outside of the gate. How do you install a gate latch cable? The latch cable is installed by feeding it through the gate hole and installing a screw at either end.
Of course, it still helps to open the door and hold it in one place as you install the latch cable. You may be able to avoid that if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who’s willing to help out as you work on your project.
Steps to install a gate latch cable
Measure the diameter of your gate hole and purchase a latch cable that matches that size. Some gates have holes as wide as 1 3/8 inches, while others have holes less than 1 inch in width. Only one width is available for each gate type, so you can’t choose between them. You may be able to use an adjustable latch cable, though.
Find the screw end of your latch cable and thread it through the eye or spring of whatever device attaches it to the gate. For example, some cables are attached to a frame with an (eye) screw on one end and a hook at the other so you can attach both sides of the gate in one go. If your cable attaches by hook only, feed it up to the gate and then around a hook that’s attached to the other side of the gate – or let someone help you hold the gate in one place while you do it.
Thread the eye end of the latch cable through your first mounting hole (or attach if needed).
Pull the cable through until it’s tight, then secure at the other end by screwing in your second mounting screw.
Test to make sure that your latch cable is long enough. If you need to shorten it, use a cable clipping tool (available for purchase or rental) so you can get a firm hold on the cable without damaging it.
If you’ve shortened the cable while fitting it to your gate and it no longer fits your original screw holes, screw in a couple of extra ones (at least 3-4 inches), lubricate the latch assembly and test again. Once you’re satisfied that everything is working properly, cut off any excess cable.
Go through the whole process in reverse if you want to remove your latch cable and put it back into storage for next time.
Word of caution: If, after working with a gate latch cable, you’re still having trouble getting the door closed properly, try lubricating all moving parts and making sure that everything is lined up properly. Keep reading: Common plumbing problems and services
Repair a gate latch
To repair the latch assembly, use a wire brush to remove any rust and dirt that may have accumulated on the metal. Use emery cloth or sandpaper to scuff any areas of heavy rust so they’re no longer shiny and slick.
Apply lubricant to your metal parts and wipe them clean with an old towel. If you can’t get the side plates to line up with the bolts, remove one of them and replace it with a new one that’s as close to an original as possible.
Some people also lubricate their gate latches at this time by applying a thin coat of grease or WD-40. Reassemble your latch assembly and test to make sure that the gate latch cable (if you have one) is working properly.Tags: gate latch, gate latch cable