If you have a garage, chances are that you also have at least one garage door opener. Your garage door opener is one of those things that runs day in and day out for years..until it doesn’t. Like anything, your garage door opener will operate properly, for a long time if it is properly maintained.
There are two main types of garage door openers used today. The Chain Drive is the most widely used, followed by the Screw Drive. At least a couple of times a year you should inspect your garage door and make any necessary adjustments and maintenance. Below are some tips to help you keep your garage door opener maintained and operating properly for years to come.
The major problem with garage door openers is the vibration as a result of the door going up and down. Take a screwdriver, ratchet or adjustable wrench and make sure that all nuts, bolts and screws are snug up and tight.
Keeping your chain or lead screw oiled will help to reduce wear, noise and corrosion. A properly oiled chain and lead screw will operate more smoothly and last longer. You should also make sure that the garage door rails and wheels are properly greased so that they slide easily without binding.
As I point out at many home inspections, it is important that the chain does not have excessive slack. Excessive slack will cause your door to close hard, and not travel smoothly. In some cases the uneven and jerking movement from a loose chain can result in cracking at the top panel where the lift mechanism is attached. Make sure that your chain is taught, and not over tightened.
Electric Eye and Auto Reverse
These safety features help to prevent the garage door from coming down on and crushing or pinning an object, human or a pet. Make sure that the electric eyes are un-obstructed and clean. With the door traveling downward, simply pass an object into the light beam. If they are working properly they should reverse the door to open. The auto reverse has two screws located on the garage door assembly that are used to adjust how much force will be applied before the door reverses. If physically obstructed in the downward travel, the door should easily reverse. If the door does not reverse when lightly obstructed, simply adjust the down force screw until the door reverses with only a slight amount of obstruction.
One of the most underrated areas of your garage door opener is the light bulb. Most people never even think about the light until it quits working. It’s a good idea to change your light bulb every 18-24 months just to make sure that it works when you need it.