THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT GARAGE DOORS IS THAT THEY ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
THE SPRINGS, CABLES, AND SOME HARDWARE ARE UNDER EXTREME TENSION. YOU SHOULD NEVER ATTEMPT TO ADJUST OR REPLACE THEM YOURSELF TO AVOID SERIOUS INJURY.
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2. Inspect rollers, hinges, and cables for wear every 3 months or so, it should only take a few minutes. Again do not take off the hardware but just visually inspect them.
a. Rollers wear out and begin to wobble
b. Hinges can crack and break
c. Cables can fray and rust and then snap.
3. Manually test door for smooth operation.
a. When the door is closed, disconnect from the opener and lift up and down by hand and check for a smooth operation, (no binding, catching, or dragging).
b. Check the door for proper balance. Ideally you should be able to open the door ½ way and let go and it should stay there but sometimes depending on features or options that may not always be possible. The door should not drop fast on closing or fly up fast on opening.
c. Make sure there is about ½" of spacing between door and track both in the open and closed position (tracking). Improper install or changes of your garage floor (cracks and frost heaves), can affect the tracking of your door and cause it to bind.
d. Wood doors should be inspected for rot in crucial areas like bottom corners where the bottom brackets and cables are attached. These are under extreme tension and should never be removed or adjusted or you will probably lose your fingers!
e. Steel doors can over time sag in the center and begin to show cracks or tears in the steel skins. Sometimes you can add additional bracing to stiffen up the door and keep it running for a few years but eventually it will need to be replaced.
1. Check Force Adjustments
They can be found on the back, side or front of the motor head. Do not confuse these with the limit adjustments which can also be found in the same places as the force adjustments.
Force Adjustments: these adjust the amount of force, either on opening or closing that the opener delivers.
Make sure they are not set to the maximum or close to it. Some heavy wood carriage doors need higher settings because they are so heavy compared to most lightweight steel doors, but for most doors you shouldn't need a very high setting. If the door operates smoothly by hand and your force adjustment is up at a high setting it may be there is a problem with the opener. Adjust the settings to be as sensitive as possible but still open and close the door.
2. Test the Safety Reversal System
a. With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" (3.8 cm) board (or a 2x4 laid flat) on the floor, centered under the garage door.
b. Operate the door in the down direction. The door must reverse on striking the obstruction.
3. Check the distance between the door and the rail of the opener (in the open position).
The picture shows that the rail of the opener is about 5", (good),above the door which is typical but if it substantially more it can cause operational problems and if the door hits something on closing it could bend the top section.
4. Do you have a black powdery line down the center of your door?
You may need to grease the rail of the opener (mostly chain and belt drives) and you may have a metal inner trolley wearing out. The inner piece of the photo is the part that rides down the rail and the chain or belt is attached to and that is what's wearing and producing the black powder on the door.
These are some of the more common problems you will encounter and can address yourself. As always, if you need information, advice, a free estimate, or need us to come and fix or replace your door or opener that's what we are here for.