Avoid accidents, injuries, and undue strain on your garage door and opener by maintaining and regularly testing them both. These quick 1-minute tests will keep them working smoothly and safely.
Test the balance of your garage door:
Step 1. Disconnect your garage door from the opener by pulling on the red release cord.
Step 2. Manually lower the garage door, and then stop it at waist height.
Step 3. Release the door. If the door descends on its own, it requires adjustment. If the door ascends, then its springs are too tight. Tight springs raise the door automatically because they exert too much pressure and torque for gravity to work against.
Whether it automatically rises or falls, the garage door places too much tension on the garage door opener. Either it has to work against the door trying to go back up, or it has to work against gravity trying to pull the door down.
Step 4. The door should stay at waist height. If it doesn’t, a problem is causing extra wear on your garage door opener, and your door and springs need to be adjusted by a professional.
Test your garage door opener:
Step 1. Open your garage door. Place a 2×4 piece of wood flat on the garage floor near the door center.
Step 2. Close the door using the opener. When the door closes on the wood, it should automatically reverse.
Step 3. If it does not reverse, this is a serious safety hazard. The opener settings should be adjusted, or it may be time to replace your opener with a new, safer model.
Note: This test is for openers manufactured after 1992, which is when automatic reversing systems became standard. If you have an opener that dates prior to 1992, or if your opener does not have this function, then your door is not in compliance and needs to be replaced. (Check your opener for the 4 digit date of manufacture if you’re not sure.)