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How to Restring a Patio Umbrella

Updated July 20, 2017

Patio umbrella string that operates crank-style umbrellas can become worn and break from overuse, rough handling and exposure to the elements. To have a professional restring a patio umbrella or to replace the patio umbrella entirely can be costly and inconvenient. With a few simple tools and some patience, it's a straightforward process to restring a patio umbrella at home.

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  1. Prepare for the repair by opening the umbrella canopy, manually if necessary. Straighten the wire coat hanger. Cut away the twisted section of wire near the neck of the hanger and discard. Bend one end of the hanger into a small hook using needle-nose pliers.

  2. Insert one end of new string into the hook of the hanger, using needle-nose pliers to compress the string firmly into the hook.

  3. Run the hanger down the inside of the pole. Use needle-nose pliers to pull the string off the hanger and out of the access hole, which is positioned halfway between the pulley and the crank. Remove the hanger.

  4. Disassemble the crank using open-end adjustable wrench to remove the nut and bolt.

  5. Attach the end of string to the hanger hook again, compressing with the pliers. Insert the string end of the hanger into the access hole. Run the hanger down to the hole into which the crank is inserted.

  6. Remove the string from hanger with the needle-nose pliers. Pull the string through the hole in the tube for the crank axle.

  7. Verify that all parts of crank-side of crank assembly are in place around the crank axle.

  8. Thread the string through the hole in the centre of the axle. Tie the end of the string into a tight double knot.

  9. Put the knotted end of the string into the pole through the crank axle hole.

  10. Insert the crank axle into the hole in the pole.

  11. Reassemble the crank case by tightening the bolt and nut. Do not over-tighten as this can damage both the crank and the pole tubing.

  12. Run the exposed end of the string over the pulley and down the outside of the pole. Thread the end of the string through the hole in the yoke that supports the umbrella canopy. Tie off the end of the string into a secure double knot.

  13. Close the umbrella canopy manually by slowly pushing down on the yoke.

  14. Turn the crank slowly and carefully to wind the string for the first time and to open the umbrella.

  15. Tip

    Buy string the exact diameter of the string you are replacing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire clothes hanger
  • Patio umbrella replacement string
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Small open-end adjustable wrench

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