Maintaining and Testing Your Garage Door Opener
Perform routine maintenance once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the garage door. If you don’t have a manual, look for the model number on the back of the door, or check the lock handle, hinges, or other hardware for the manufacturer’s name and request a manual from the manufacturer.
Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. Suspect problems? Have a qualified person make repairs.
- Periodically test the balance of your door.
- Begin with the door closed.
- If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test.
- You should be able to lift the door smoothly, with little resistance. It should also stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a qualified service professional.
Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, the opener should be replaced.
Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to have safety features that comply with the latest UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 325 standards. Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.
Test the reversing feature every month.
- First, test the balance of the door. If your garage door is properly balanced, proceed.
- With the door completely open, place a 1-1/2″ thick piece of wood (a 2″ X 4″ laid flat) on the floor near the center of the door.
- Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the obstruction. (Note that the bottom part of “one-piece doors” must be rigid so that the door will not close, but will reverse when it contacts the obstruction.)
- If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified technician adjust, repair, or replace the opener or door.
Force Setting Test
Test the force setting of your garage door by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not readily reverse, the force setting may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner’s manual on how to make the adjustment.
Additional Safety Devices
Many garage door openers are equipped with additional safety, like photo eyes or edge sensors, to protect against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet the current UL standards. Make sure the additional safety devices are properly installed and adjusted (see owner’s manual).
WARNING – Springs in garage doors are under high tension. Only qualified persons should adjust them.
Garage door springs, brackets, cables, and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause injury. Only a qualified professional should adjust them, by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.
The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional garage door serviceman. Do not attempt to repair or adjust these springs yourself.
A cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) as a backup if the spring breaks.
Never adjust, remove, or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are under extreme tension, and connect to the springs.
Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door, but do not lubricate plastic idler bearings. Lubricant designed specially for garage door parts is available at the Overhead Door showrooms. Consult the door owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.