How to Install a Garage Door Opener

How to Install a Garage Door Opener
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Want to know how to install a garage door opener? Read the following article - we will take you step by step until you install your garage opener.

Before you install a new garage door opener, we recommend that you will troubleshoot the door to pinpoint the exact cause before replacing the opener. There are a number of situations which can cause a garage door to suddenly make strange noises during operation or function sluggishly. After you make sure that the opener is the problematic part, you can start with the replacement work.

 Required Materials and Tools

It is a good idea to have a few things within reach to complete this project. It will save a great of time which would otherwise be spent relentless hunting.

  •   C-Clamps and/or Locking Pliers
  •   Construction Size Tape Measure
  •   Cordless Screwdriver and/or Drill
  •   Handheld or Hacksaw
  •   8’ Ladder
  •   Wrench Set

First Things First

The first elements to inspect are your garage door springs to ensure they have not broken. In the event that there are two garage doors which are equally used or the single door has two springs, all of them should be replaced simultaneously. Those not broken will most likely snap within less than a year.  

The garage door brackets and rollers should be examined next and replaced, if any are unstable or broken. Consider asking your local garage door specialist to install nylon rollers for a nominal cost because they function much smoother and quieter than steel.  

Note: Garage door springs are dangerous because their purpose is to balance excessive weight. Call an experienced tech, such as those at Garage Door Repair, to complete any repairs associated with the springs, cables, or bottom roller brackets which are attached to the cables.  

Adjustments & Tweaks

Most all garage doors require adjustments from time to time. Raise the door to the half the opened position. Should it move in either direction there may be an issue with the torsion springs which can overburden and reduce the lifespan of garage door openers.

It is essential to choose the most appropriate garage door opener for the job. Keep in mind that operating speed is factory set and purchasing an opener with added horsepower will not force the garage door to opener any faster. There are three styles of openers available on the market and each has its advantages and disadvantages.  

  • Screw drives fit the mid-range for cost and operational noise. They function by what looks like a large thread screw and do not require a great deal of maintenance.
  • Chain drives function by a chain, of course, and are the loudest. They are generally the least expensive openers available.
  • Belt drives operate by a belt made of rubber and are more expensive than the others; however, they are also extremely quiet comparably.

H/P-Speed Ratio

v  Single Garage Doors – 1/3 to 1/2 Horsepower

v  Double Garage Doors - 1/2 Horsepower

v  Heavier Garage Doors w/overlay - 3/4 Horsepower

Tip: Those with faux or authentic wooden overlay are heavier than many other styles.

Garage Door Opener Installation

Use a ladder to align the rail of the opener with the mid-point of the door. Directly following the opener assembly directions the manual should explain how to mount it to the header bracket which is above the door. Use an 8 feet tall ladder to steady opener in place while recording the measurements of the angle iron length. It may be necessary to add boards or blocks to reach the required height.

Tip: The garage door should remain in the raised position during the installation of the opener. Place locking pliers or clamps on the roller track under the roller to prevent the door from descending.  

Sturdy heavyweight, slotted, angle irons should be used to mount the opener instead of the inadequate strap which is usually included in the opener package. It may be necessary to mount an angle brace to better stabilize it, if opener will be mounted ay more than 6 inches away from the ceiling. Utilize a hacksaw for the cut to fit process.  

Preventing as much vibration as possible helps to extend the lifespan of the opener. For unfinished garages the angle iron must be attached directly to a joist face using 1 inch lag screws. Affix the angle iron along the lower portion of a joist using 3 inch lag screws for finished ceilings. Two or more angle iron lengths with nuts and bolts must be used to hang the opener. To prevent vibration of the hardware use thread locking adhesive or lock washers.

Never use components from the old opener to install a new one. The wall button and photo eyes were fashioned especially to function with the new garage door opener. Any exposed wires should be replaced as well. New model openers are much more sensitive than their predecessors and will malfunction, if there are damaged wires. Wires which are protected within the wall need not be replaced.  

Testing Function

Test the garage door’s opening force by resting one foot on it while using the remote to attempt to open the door. It should halt from this light pressure, in the event that it does not, the opening force must be adjusted.  Test the garage door’s closing force by placing a block of wood below the mid-point of the door and attempt to close it. If it does not stop and reverse, the closing force must be adjusted.

Consult the owner’s manual to locate the adjustment screws for the opening and closing forces. Turn the screw in question 1/8 of an inch and retest to determine if this is sufficient. If the garage door halts of its own volition while opening or closing, the force for that direction may need to be increased.    

Note: The opening and closing forces are safety features which prevent property damage and bodily injury. When opening, the door should halt when it meets 5 pounds of resistance or more and upon closing it should stop and reverse when it makes contact with an obstacle.

Garage doors require a certain type of bulb which is usually labeled specifically as a garage door bulb or rough service bulb. Other types of bulbs may cause damage, if they become excessively hot or will not withstand the vibration of the door. Again, consult the owner’s manual for the proper route.

Note: LED bulbs do not offer a high enough output and CFL bulbs are not capable of withstanding the vibrations required.

Garage door photo eye sensors are extremely sensitive and most anything, including cobwebs, can interrupt the beam. Gently clean the eyes, check their alignment, and be sure that there are no obstacles in their path. Examine both the opener and eyes to ensure that no wires are loose.