DIY: How To Install A Garage Door Opener

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Do it yourself garage door opener installation sounds intimidating, but it’s really very simple. There are three basic types of garage door openers: belt-driven, screw-driven, or chain-driven. Openers offer different options. Openers generally have a 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower motor and some include infrared beams that reverse the door if anything crosses the beam while the door is shutting.

Install A Garage Door Opener

All openers are required to reverse if it hits anything while going down. Some systems offer the increased security of rolling code. This means every time you use your garage door opener, the code the transmitter uses changes so others can’t pick up the code from your garage door opener to gain entry into your home or garage. Regardless of the features, yours have, the necessary installation is the same.

Before You Begin

  • You should read all of the manufacturer’s instructions before you begin the installation process and check your local building codes.
  • Some cities require openers to be wired directly to the circuit breaker while an outlet is fine in other areas. Your opener will come will a 40″ cord and will need an outlet within 36″.
  • Make sure your existing garage door is in good working order. The springs are what do most of the work, and if they aren’t set correctly, you could damage your opener. If the springs are set correctly, your garage door will open easily and will stay up when halfway open. If your springs aren’t appropriately set, or your garage door is damaged, have them repaired before you install an opener.
  • To avoid vibrating off your garage ceiling, your opener motor must be attached to the framing of your garage. If you don’t have available framing, you will need to add it. In most cases, you can do this by securely attaching a 2×6 across three ceiling joists.
  • Remove or deactivate any locks on your garage door to avoid damage to the opener.

What You Will Need:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters/Strippers
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer
  • Channel Locks
  • Garage Door Opener

First, turn the motor upside down on a piece of cardboard or wood so you can get to the hole where you will mount the rail. Live the three pieces of rail up and assemble everything according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the rail is too long for your garage, you can trim it with your hacksaw.

Hanging The Opener

While one person can do this job, it’s much easier with a set of helping hands.

  1. Attach the Header-Mounting Bracket. This is the thing the opener rail will be attached to above your garage door. It should be attached ¼” right of the horizontal center of your garage door. If there’s no framing to attach the header-mounting bracket to, you will need to attach a cripple stud.
  2. Mark the Framing. You will need to mark the framing on the ceiling of your garage, where you will attach the opener motor. Measure to make sure you have it directly in the center of the garage door tracks found on either side of the garage door.
  3. Mount the Header. Insert the threaded rail strap into the header-mounting bracket. Fasten the rail strap nut.
  4. Mount the Motor. Put the motor on the ladder and climb up or have some helping hands lift it to you. Hold the motor in position and make sure the rail is level. Once you’ve made sure the rail is both levels and centered between the tracks, fasten the motor to the garage framing with lag screws.
  5. Attach the Drive-Mounting Bracket. Some garage doors already have drive-mounting brackets, but if yours doesn’t, you will need to install the one provided by your manufacturer.
  6. Install Other Equipment. If your opener comes with wall buttons or a wall console, attach these high enough to be out of reach for young children. Install infrared beams if your opener comes with them.
  7. Adjust Upward and Downward Torque. The upward and downward toque must be adjusted as low as possible for safety. The upward toque should be set to the point where it just lifts the garage door, but wouldn’t be able to if it were set any lower. To test the downward torque, put a new roll of paper towels on the floor under the door. Now, close the door. It should just begin to squash the towels before the door goes back up. If it continues down beyond this point, turn the torque down until it gets there.

Remember to follow your manufacturer’s instructions for use and take all safety precautions. You should also maintain your garage door opener regularly with a selection of garage door lubricants to keep it working excellently and prevent it from rusting or and reduce friction that may affect its lifespan.

Always remember to get out of your vehicle to check for young children in and around the driveway before backing your car up!

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