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Almost any garage door opener you buy will open any garage door in America. The chain drive 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 direct drive garage door opener.
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 them as directed, making sure to seat the pieces securely. Measure to verify the assembled length matches that required by the manufacturer. Make any necessary adjustments.
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.
Slip the carriage over the tube.
Different makes and models attach differently, so follow the manufacturer's directions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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