If you’ve started to notice that your garage door opener is not functioning the way that it was when it was first installed, you may be starting to consider replacing it. Hiring somebody to replace it for you might be appealing until you look at the bill, in which case suddenly doing it yourself starts to look like a decent option. That being said, if you’ve never done this kind of project before, you might be scratching your head as to what steps you should be taking and any precautions, so below we’ve outlined 10 tips for installing your new DIY garage door opener.
Check Your Door Springs
If you’re experiencing excess noise or a slow opening while using your garage door opener, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure you don’t have any broken springs or brackets. If it looks like you need to replace the bottom bracket of your roller, we’re going to advise that you put down your tool belt and get an experienced professional on the phone. Due to that extreme tension that the cables beneath your roller are under, it’s simply safer to wait for the professional to tackle this stage.
How’s Your Door’s Balance?
You can easily check your door balance by opening the door halfway and letting it go to see if it moves up or down on its own at all. If it does, this means your torsion spring is out of alignment and will need to be adjusted in order to reduce wearing down your opener. Your torsion spring should also be left to the professionals, so if you suspect it needs some care, call one up.
Selecting Your Opener: How Much Horsepower?
Different kinds of garage doors need to utilize different horsepower in order to work effectively. The general rule here is; if you have single doors, you can get away with ⅓ or 1/2 horsepower. If you have double, you’ll need ½ horsepower, and if they’re made of wood (read: heavy.) then you’ll benefit from ¾ horsepower.
Selecting Your Opener: What Kind of Driver?
With that settled, there are three kinds of drivers you can choose from when selecting your opener.
Chain: Utilizes a long chain to open your door, is the least expensive, and also the loudest.
Screw: Utilizes a threaded rod to open your door, is a little more expensive than a chain but still on the louder side.
Belt: Utilizes a belt to pull open your door, is the quietest and most expensive option.
Use a Ladder
After assembling your opener by following your instruction manual, set the opener on top of the ladder where you’re planning on installing it. Align your opener with the garage door open as it will be easier to position and measure the length required for your angle iron.
Get An Angle Iron
While openers come with straps to use for your installation, they’re often cheaply made and flimsy, so you’re going to want to buy a high-quality angle iron from your local hardware store. These will also reduce vibration which will help extend your openers lifespan, so it’s really worth the extra cash.
Check Your Door’s Opening Force
While resting your foot on your door, open it using your remote control. If the door doesn’t stop opening when faced with the pressure of your foot, your opening force will require adjusting. This is an important safety precaution so don’t skip it.
Adjusting the Force
Fine-tuning your door’s opening force is as easy as turning the force screws as little as ⅛” Check your door’s opening force using the step we outlined above after each adjustment until you’re satisfied with the result.
Choosing Your Light Bulb
It’s pretty critical that when you’re choosing your light bulb for your opener that you select one that says it’s either used specifically for garage doors or otherwise “rough service.” These bulbs are made to withstand the vibration caused by your opener, so they’ll last longer. As for wattage, check your manual, as this varies from opener to open.
It’s very common for garage door openers to reverse during closing, so don’t worry if that happens when you’ve completed your project. Double check that there is nothing is impeding your openers photoelectric eyes as even the smallest thing can cause this problem.
If you’ve followed these steps, congratulations, you’re done!