Automatic garage door openers are something we often take for granted, getting used to the convenience they provide every day. However, when you consider that it’s one of the heaviest pieces of equipment in your home, it makes sense that it will require occasional maintenance to keep performing as it should.
Not sure how to look after this piece of machinery? Here’s some of the best ways to ensure your automatic garage door opener keeps functioning smoothly and safely!
Of course, first thing’s first: make sure you buy your automatic garage door opener from a reputable company that can assist you with maintenance when needed. By investing in a high-quality garage door, you minimise the repairs needed, and also ensure that you have a relationship with a reliable company that you can call on for maintenance jobs.
There are some minor inspections you can do yourself, and don’t need to call an expert in for. Inspect the springs, cables, rollers and hardware for signs of wear and tear. If you notice anything, always call in a professional technician. An automatic garage door is a high-power piece of machinery that is under high tension, and is not something you should tinker with yourself!
To maintain the condition of the garage door hardware, lubricate the rollers, springs, hinges and tracks occasionally. Use lightweight household oil, spray silicone or white lithium grease, after reading the instructions in your owner’s manual.
Every now and then, check the balance of your door as well. Start with the door closed, then disconnect the automatic opener release mechanism so that the door can be operated by hand. You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance, opening it to about a metre high. If this doesn’t happen, your garage door is unbalanced and needs to be adjusted by a professional.
Some Common Problems (and their causes!) You May be Dealing with Are:
- If the opener raises but doesn’t completely close the door = the safety beam sensor is likely faulty, misaligned or not plugged in
- The opener is only working via the remote control but not the wall switch = you could be dealing with a short in the wiring or loose switch connection
- The remote control isn’t working = most likely weak or dead batteries, a dead transmitter or an antenna wire on the opener isn’t properly exposed
- The opener is operating but the door isn’t opening = a worn gear or chain-drive sprocket could be to blame
- The opener is operating by itself = a faulty transmitter, a short-circuited wall switch or faulty circuit board could be the cause
- If the remote control only operates when it’s close to the opener = the battery or signal in the remote is weak
- A door that reverses when attempting to close it, or doesn’t close properly = the open limit or sensitivity is set incorrectly
- The opener is straining to operate = safety reversing could be activated or the close limit has been set incorrectly
If you can’t troubleshoot these problems on your own, or the problems worsen, call in a licensed garage door technician to handle the issue.
There are also some general tips to keep in mind to keep your family safe around your automatic garage door, and maintain the longevity of the garage door opener:
- Never stand or walk under a moving door
- Don’t let children race under the door as its closing
- Let children know that transmitters, remote controls and switches are not toys. Garage doors should never be played with under any circumstances. If you allow your children to play with the garage door under your supervision, they may get the impression that they can play with it even when you are not around, which is a recipe for disaster
- The push button on the wall should be out of reach of children, and no stools or ladders should be nearby
- The push button should be mounted somewhere where you can see the door, so that you are aware of what’s happening as you are opening and closing the door. Pets and children can slip under the door unnoticed if you aren’t keeping an eye on it
Maintaining the technical parts of your automatic garage door opener and ensuring your family is aware of the safety precautions to take will increase the longevity of the machinery as well as keep your family safe.