How to Restring a Cantilever Umbrella? (Complete Guide!)

Overexposure to sunlight, rough handling, and overuse can lead to the umbrella strings wearing out quickly. And unfortunately, you can’t stop it from happening. The only solution is restringing the umbrella to make it usable.

But, how to restring a cantilever umbrella? First, remove the umbrella from the pivot, examine the damaged section if a particular string is broken, remove the crank handle, and restring the umbrella.

How to Restring a Cantilever Umbrella

In this article, you’ll find a detailed explanation of reinstalling a string on a cantilever umbrella and making it function properly. Also, I’ve highlighted some mistakes you need to avoid while reattaching the umbrella string to prolong its lifespan.

Why Does the String of a Patio Umbrella Break?

There are many reasons why the umbrella’s string breaks. Below are some common reasons the string wears out too early, and sometimes even before completing its lifespan.

1. Rough Usage

More than 60% of cases of broken strings are due to rough usage. The strings are exposed to immense pressure when you close the umbrella forcefully or adjust the tilt vigorously.

2. Weather

Just like the canvas, the weather also affects the string. Downpours, strong winds, and UV rays are the major contributors to why the string of your umbrella wears out quickly.

3. Lifespan

Everything has a limited lifespan, and the umbrella string is no exception. After a few years, the strings will come off, and the only way to keep your umbrella working is to fix the string.

How to Restring a Cantilever Umbrella: 6 Easy Steps to Cantilever Umbrella Cord Replacement

Restringing a cantilever umbrella may look like an intricate process, but it’s not. Here are a few steps you need to follow in order to restring the umbrella properly.

Step 1: Carefully Remove the Canopy from the Pivot

In order to repair the cantilever umbrella cord, you need to access its ribs or metal skeleton. Some canopies are screwed to the metal frame, while some have a pin mechanism. Go through the user manual and read how to remove the canopy from the metal frame.

Patio Umbrella 9 ft Replacement Canopy

Now place the canopy on a flat surface so that you can easily remove the old string and install a new one in place.

Step 2: Inspect the Umbrella and Remove the Crank Handle

I always suggest cantilever umbrella users to inspect the umbrella’s frame before moving on to the next step. Sometimes, the frame and the ribs bend due to many reasons, and it can easily damage the newly-fed string. Ensure the ribs are aligned properly with the frame and are in perfect condition.

Next, remove the crank handle by removing the cotter pin by using a pair of pliers. You’ll find the cotter pin above the crank handle. After removing the pin, unscrew the nut, and remove the slotted washer.

Once done, get them off the equation, and twist the handle to detach it from the metal pole.

Step 3: Unlock the Hub

Unlocking the hub can be pretty challenging, especially if your umbrella is relatively new. Unscrew the screws holding the hub housing, and you’ll see the eyelets on the underside of each hub.

Make sure the ribs do not slide out of their place, and if required, you can ask someone to help you out. After unlocking all hubs, you can easily remove the old string.

Step 4: Install the New String

Now you are all set to replace the cantilever umbrella string. Feed it to the hubs, and make sure the string passes through every eyelet. Next, tie a knot on the end of the cable, and ensure the string is tightly secured to each hub.

Once done, connect the string to the umbrella support pole, and tighten it as much as you can. Umbrella ropes are usually flexible since they have to bear a lot of impacts, so you won’t have a hard time installing them.

Step 5: Inspect the String and Lock the Hub

Carefully inspect the string, and check if you have threaded it through all eyelets underside of the hub. Now, screw the hubs properly in place, and your umbrella is all set to be installed back in place.

Step 6: Put the Umbrella Back on the Pole

Contrary to step 2, you need to reconnect the crank handle in order to install the cantilever umbrella back in place. Attach the cotter pin carefully, and you are good to go.

Install the umbrella on the metal pole, and try closing/opening it multiple times. Be gentle, as too much pressure can break the newly-installed strings.

Mistakes to Avoid When Restringing a Cantilever Umbrella

There are plenty of mistakes that homeowners may make when performing cantilever umbrella troubleshooting. These mistakes can curtail the lifespan of the thread, and in some cases, they can affect the umbrella’s functionality.

Here are some mistakes you should avoid to keep the cantilever umbrella working properly.

1. Not Investing in a Quality String

Creation Dream Patio Umbrella Replacement Cord Line

Umbrella strings don’t cost a lot; still, people buy cheap strings. These strings don’t last long; as a result, your umbrella needs to be restrung again. I recommend the Creation Dream Patio Umbrella Replacement Cord Line. It’s extremely durable and can be used with bigger umbrellas as well.

2. Not Inspecting the Frame

You are inviting a bigger problem by not inspecting the metal frame. A misaligned frame can lead to several issues, like the ribs can bend more when the string creates pressure on them. Do not restring an umbrella with a bent or damaged frame.

3. Not Snipping the Excess String

For obvious reasons the string for an umbrella is usually longer than what you need. Always snip off the excess string, and do not tie it on the canopy. The string should be tight enough to create tension so that the cantilever umbrella functions properly.

4. Not Getting Help

You may think that restringing a patio umbrella is a one-person task, but it is not, especially if you have a heavy piece. Always have someone around to help so that you can quickly feed the string to the hub and tie it properly on each end of the frame.


Q1: How do you Fix a Cantilever Umbrella Cord?

The only way to fix a cantilever umbrella cord is to replace it with a new one. If you try to repair the existing cord, it’ll snap off again, making the umbrella unusable.

Q2: How can I keep my Patio Umbrella Stable?

A string plays a crucial role in keeping the umbrella stable, so restringing the cantilever umbrella helps a lot. Here are some more ways to keep the umbrella stable and prevent it from swaying and falling over in the wind.

Q3: Can a Patio Umbrella be Restrung Multiple Times?

Yes, you can restring the umbrella multiple times if the old cord breaks. Make sure to restring the umbrella only if the frame is in good shape and the ribs are not bent.

Q4: How do you Fix an Outdoor Umbrella with a Broken Tilt Mechanism?

You need to restring the umbrella to fix the broken tilt mechanism. Here’s a video on how to restring your patio umbrella properly.

Final Thoughts

That’s everything you need to know about restringing a cantilever umbrella. Always remove the umbrella from the pole, and then inspect the frame before restringing it. Then, after feeding the new rope, do a quick test run a few times to ensure the job is done properly.

Lastly, store the umbrella and keep it closed during harsh climates to prolong the lifespan of the cord and keep it working throughout the year.

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