It’s Check-Up Time for Your Garage Door Opener

Your garage door opener will give you many years of useful and safe service if you treat it with respect and observe a periodic maintenance and inspection schedule.

In order to properly care for or fix your automatic garage door opener, you need to know your type of system:

  • Chain-drive systems are the most common and least expensive type. An electric motor drives a metal chain (similar to a bicycle chain) that raises and lowers the door. These systems are reliable but can be noisy.
  • Belt-drive units use a rubber belt (rather than a chain) to lift the door. These systems typically offer the smoothest and quietest operation.
  • Screw-drive systems feature a threaded steel rod that turns to raise or lower the door. While these systems operate more slowly, they’re able to lift heavy, one-piece tilt-up doors.

Keeping your automatic garage door opener in top shape is easy. Your owner’s manual is the best source of maintenance information, but most openers require only three simple annual maintenance tasks:

 1. Test and adjust the auto-reverse system.

This system opens the door immediately if it comes in contact with anything while closing. Make sure the two electronic eyes align. You may need to clean or replace one or both eyes. Then try all the following:

  • Set an object that blocks the opener’s electronic eyes at your garage’s open threshold. (A roll of paper towels works well.) When you try to close the door, the door should immediately reopen.
  • Set an object in the threshold that doesn’t block the opener’s electronic eyes. (A folding chair or a sawhorse works well because the electronic eyes can still connect between the legs.) When you close the door, it should touch the object briefly and then immediately reverse. Adjust the tension in the motor housing mounted on the ceiling following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Start to close the garage door and then insert a broom or rake into the path of the electronic eyes. The door should immediately reverse.

 2. Lubricate the chain, screw, and rollers.

Ask a Lowe’s salesperson to help you locate a spray lithium lubricant. Apply lubricant to all moving parts and run the opener a few times.

 3. Test the manual release handles.

This feature allows you to open the door by hand when the power is off or the opener is malfunctioning. Review your opener’s manual for operation instructions. It’s best to know how your manual release works and practice a few times before you have a problem.

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