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Installing a Garage Door Opener


Almost any garage door opener you buy will open any garage door in America. The chain drive garage opener is the best-selling opener on the market. A motor pulls a chain, the chain pulls a carriage, and the carriage pulls a cable that opens the door.

The direct drive opener works basically the same way except that the carriage travels along a large, threaded rod (like a huge bolt) instead of the door being pulled by a chain. Direct drive openers are slightly more expensive but quieter and have fewer moving parts. The project guide illustrates the typical steps for installing a garage door opener, with a direct drive system.





Step 1

 Step 1: Assemble the Carriage tube

Assemble the Carriage tube

This tube runs from the power unit to the front wall of the garage. The carriage, which raises and lowers the door, travels along it. It's usually shipped in sections—assemble as directed, making sure to seat the pieces securely. Measure to verify the assembled length matches the length required by the manufacturer. Make any necessary adjustments.


Step 2 

 Step 2: Mount the carriage on the front of the power unit

Mount the carriage on the front of the power unit, following the manufacturer's directions

Attach the rail clamps, which will later connect to a bracket on the wall above the door. On some doors you'll install switches and wiring at this point.




Step 3 

 Step 3: Slip the carriage over the tube

Slip the carriage over the tube

Different makes and models attach differently, so follow the manufacturer's directions.


Step 4 

 Step 4: Mount the header bracket, to hold the carriage tube to the wall

Mount the header bracket, which holds the carriage tube to the wall above the door

The exact location depends on the type of door, so follow the directions supplied by the manufacturer. Lift the power unit and set it on top of a stepladder.


Step 5 

 Step 5: Hang the power unit from the ceiling

Hang the power unit from the ceiling

Most units hang from angle irons and metal straps that have holes drilled in them at regular intervals. Bolt the angle irons to a rafter (or rafters) with lag screws. Attach the straps to the irons with hex-head screws, and attach the straps to the power unit with the hardware provided. Open the door several times to make sure it doesn't hit the opener while moving.


Step 6 

 Step 6: Attach the bracket to the door before attaching the arm

The door is opened by one arm that lifts it as the carriage travels along the tube

Before you can attach the arm, you must attach the bracket that connects it to the door. The exact location varies, depending on the door. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Step 7 

 Step 7: Mount safety device unit

By law, all units have a safety device that shuts down the motor if something is in the path of a closing door

The safety device is usually a light beam and sensor. Mount one on each side of the door as directed. Plug the unit into its socket. Test the operation and make any necessary corrections.