Daily Archives: December 8, 2010

Troubleshooting Garage Door Openers

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

A belt drive garage door opener is one of the 3 types of door openers available to home owners. The other two, the chain driven and the screw drive openers, have their own specific uses and application. Since the garage door one of the largest moving parts in your home and an entry point for your home, you want to feel confident that everything is going to work the way it should. Troubleshooting something means either seeing problems before they happen or noticing what is wrong so you can fix is quickly. Here are a few problems associated with a belt drive garage door opener for easy troubleshooting.

Dirty Belts

The garage door opener is not a set-it-and-forget it type of appliance. Since it is in the garage is going to mean, it will need to be periodically cleaned to ensure longevity and problem-free use. Dust can accumulate on the wheel that drives the belt. Clean this out with some air or a rag. Wipe down the belt itself to keep it from rubbing on any dirt particles and fraying.

Squeaky Drive

When lowering the garage door, a noise or squeak it can be a sign of problems that are to come. In this case, you will need to lightly oil the wheel that turns the belt to keep it turning and free of accumulating dirt.

Bouncing Door

If the door continually starts and stop when you raise it, the bouncing motion can damage the door. This is usually caused by the motor not working properly, or something is interfering with the belt drive. Inspect the belt to check for any type of obstruction. If there is nothing that can keep the door from raising smoothly, you then have a problem with the motor itself.

Binding of Belt

When the belt begins to bind and not work as smoothly as when it was first installed, it is an indication that something has gotten out of alignment. This is usually a product of the rail assembly being loose. Tightening the bolts with a ratchet will help to ease the binding problem.

Door Closes Hard

After several uses, you might see that the door begins to close hard onto the cement floor of the garage. This can be a problem with two different components. The first is the sensitivity of the force adjustment that is located on the back of the motor housing. Adjust this so that the door will settle easily onto the floor. The second reason is through a loosening of the radial arm that holds the door to the belt. Tighten the bolts on this and check for any wear or elongation of the bolt hole.

Door Does Not Open

If you press the opener button and nothing happens, you should first check to see that the unit is plugged in. Check the fuse to see that nothing has tripped. Check the gears that turn the belt assembly to see if there are obstructions. Clean out the IR sensors to make sure there are no obstructions. You should also check to make sure the manual disconnect has not been pulled. If all of these issues are in good working order, you will have a problem with the motor itself.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener


Your chain drive garage door opener is tasked with operating the largest moving part in your entire home. With this type of responsibility you want to make sure that the opener will work consistently without any problems. When problems do occur you should know how to fix them easily and quickly. In all garage door openers, there are two areas where problems can occur. They are located in the motor unit and the lifting mechanism itself. Troubleshooting your chain drive garage door opener is easily done by following a few steps.

Always Look for Loose Hardware

Before you start checking out any other problems that might be associated with your chain drive garage door opener, begin looking at the various nuts and bolts on the unit. These can be in the rail system, the mounting brackets, and lifting mechanism. When these work their way loose, and they sometimes do, it can cause your opener to do some crazy things. Binding, moving, raising intermittently, bouncing, and hitting the floor hard are all problems associated with loose hardware. Take some time to tighten these up to ensure that things are working smoothly.

Uneven Rails and Tracks

Some problems are associated with the actual installation of the garage door opener. If the rail system is not perfectly level, the chain can eventually bind up in the process of working the door. Also, the garage door slides along two door rails on either side of the garage. Place a level on these and the rail to check to see if they are level. If they are not, adjust the height to the point where they will work without any problems.

Unclean Chain

If the chain of the chain drive system is not cleaned on a regular schedule you will find that it will not work as smoothly as it should. While there is a certain level of bouncing involved with a chain drive opener, it should not be overly bouncy and cause the chain to slip. Look at the chain and clean any type of gunk, grime, and dirt that will accumulate there.

Door Reverses on Contact

There are times when the door will reverse its direction as it makes contact with the garage floor. This can be caused by two different things. One of the problems can be with the travel length of the garage door opener itself. Adjust the amount of travel in the system to keep the door to a specific stopping point. Another problem that might cause this is a malfunction of the electronic eye. If there is any type of obstruction that is getting in the way as the door closes, it will immediately reverse its direction. Clean the lenses and make sure there is nothing interfering this the eye. Even a shadow that is made by closing it will cause this to happen.

Door Does Not Raise

Sometimes the manual release for the door is pulled, causing the opener to disengage from the lifting mechanism. The garage door will operate, but the door is not going to raise or lower. Check to see if this has happened and set it back into position.

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