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How to replace the cord on a garden umbrella

Updated November 21, 2016

Umbrellas provide much-needed shade and contribute a festive look to garden patios. Normal wear and tear and weather conditions can render an umbrella useless. However, you can repair it yourself and save the cost of a new one. To prevent your umbrella cord from breaking, be careful when pulling on the string. Store your umbrella in a safe location in the winter and during harsh weather conditions.

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  1. Buy a new cord at a hardware or gardening supply store. The package should indicate the length of the cord. You also can contact the umbrellas' manufacturer to buy a cord made specifically for the umbrella.

  2. Inspect your umbrella to see where the cord broke. Often, the cord is breaks at the winding bolt. If that is the case, don't open the umbrella.

  3. Look at how your winding bolt is held together. Remove the retaining rings by sliding a putty knife underneath the rings. Retaining rings are the hardware attached to the winding mechanism.

  4. Remove the nut on the other side of the retaining rings. Take off the handle. Tie the new cord onto the broken end of the cord. Stick a grabber tool in the crank bolt hole to latch onto the broken end of the cord in the umbrella. Cut the end that is attached to the umbrella end. Pull the new cord all the way through with the top pulley.

  5. Stick the grabber tool in the crank bolt to pull out eight inches of the new cord. Burn, with a lighter, the end of the cord to prevent it from unravelling. Make a knot. Place the knot back through the crank bolt and reassemble the winding mechanism.

  6. Tip

    Use the instruction manual for your umbrella to help your troubleshoot and identify the different parts.


    Avoid damaging the plastic parts to the winding mechanism with the putty knife by placing a thin piece of cotton around the putty blade.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cord
  • Putty knife
  • Grabber tool
  • Lighter

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