Maintaining Garage Door Openers

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Keep your garage door opener functioning properly with simple periodic maintenance

Maintaining Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers have a lot of moving parts and are expected to provide years of use during their lifetime. Although they are rugged, they can use some maintenance and care periodically.

If your garage door opener isn’t working, begin by checking the power supply. Is it plugged in? Are the wires loose or disconnected? Many household repairs can be fixed by checking the electrical components.

This guide details how to adjust a sagging chain, a door that fails to open, and sensor and drive chain maintenance.


Fix a sagging chain
Fix a sagging chain - Maintaining Garage Door Openers

Eliminate a sagging chain by adjusting the chain tension. If the chain sags more than 1/2 inch below the rail, it may bang against the rail and cause undue wear on the drive sprocket. Use a pair of wrenches on the chain nuts located on the turnbuckle. Tighten the chain until it rests ¼ inch to a 1/2 inch above the base of the rail, but be careful not to over-tighten. The method of adjusting the chain may vary depending on the manufacturer of your opener.

Adjust the limit screws
Adjust limit screws - Maintaining Garage Door Openers

A door that fails to open fully can be fixed by adjusting the limit screws. Unplug the opener, and locate the up-limit adjustment screw on the power unit. Turn the screw clockwise. Plug in the opener, run it through a cycle, and see if you need to adjust it more.

Realign the safety door reverse sensors
Realign door reverse sensors - Maintaining Garage Door Openers

Safety reversing sensors are those two little light-beam devices near the bottom of the door. If something breaks the beam while the door is closing, the sensor reverses the door. Sometimes, the beams can get out of alignment. Make sure the sensors face each other across the garage door opening so they function properly.

Clean and lubricate the drive chain
Clean lubricate drive chain - Maintaining Garage Door Openers

Clean and lubricate the drive chain and track of the automatic door opener once or twice a year. Use light penetrating oil instead of grease to keep from collecting dirt and grit.