Be Safe With Garage Door Openers

Up – Down travel is also very important because overdoing it, often combined with an improperly adjusted Up – Down force, might damage the garage door opener and the door itself.

Down travel should be adjusted so when the door it is in a closed position – the bottom weather strip is slightly compressed (not crushed completely).

Up travel – when the door is fully open, the garage door opener arm bracket should never hit the opener itself or a protective bracket / screw – at the most, it should stop right before it, without actually hitting it.

The garage door opener is not a crane – it’s a device that replaces your own hand in opening / closing process. What this means is that before the opener arm is physically connected to the door, you should make sure that the door spring tension has been properly adjusted and the door is equally balanced. If you want to test the door already equipped with an opener, disconnect the opener arm only when the door is fully closed – be careful, because some door spring tension may be too high and it could pull the door up as soon as the opener has been disconnected.

When springs are properly adjusted, you should be able to easily raise / lower and stop the garage door at any height, and it should remain at this level without any assistance – stay clear of the door path and don’t place your fingers between the door sections when performing any tests. If the door is out of balance – doesn’t act like described above – call the professional to adjust it – this is a very dangerous procedure if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Three more things:​​

  1. Garage door opener should be plugged directly into the electrical outlet, not an extension cord, not a light fixture socket, preferably not a GFCI protected outlet.
  2. Any time you install the garage door opener, make sure that the upper door panel or door section (with single panel doors) has been reinforced – this applies to single and double garage doors. Reinforcement bar doesn’t usually come with the door, it is an additional piece of metal you have to pay for. For a single door, without the electric opener, it isn’t absolutely necessary. For a double door, I’d highly recommended one bar along the top, at least one more along the bottom edge, for heavy doors the third one might be necessary, and installed with or without the opener. Wide doors without the reinforcing bar start sagging after a while, and will most likely crack in the center of the top panel, right above the garage door opener arm attachment area.
  3. Garage door opener push button – recommended installation is at about 60″ to prevent small children from playing with it, and in a location where you can see the overhead door when closing.

Now the essence:

  • On closed doors, carefully disconnect the opener arm (some older models might not have a disconnect option) and test if properly balanced – if not call a professional to adjust it
  • If operating properly without the opener, reconnect the arm and test it with a block of wood or better with a towel roll – adjust if it doesn’t reverse (if you open and close the garage door opener too many times while adjusting sensitivity it will overheat and stop responding until its motor cools down).
  • If your opener is malfunctioning or has improperly installed safety futures – correct it, it’s dangerous!
  • If your opener has no currently required safety futures – please replace it, it’s dangerous!