Overhead Garage Door Opener Problems
If you already have an overhead garage door opener fitted and it is more than ten to fifteen years old, there is
a strong possibility that it may pose a safety hazard. Current regulations state that remote garagedoor openers
must reverse if the door hits something on its way down. In other words, the opener should reverse and start to go
back up if the door comes into contact with anything or anybody before reaching it's fully closed position. If it
does not do that, it is in need of urgent repair or possible replacement.
It is important therefore that you either test it yourself or better still, enlist the help of a professional to
do the job for you. Even if you do not have small children running about, it is not worth the risk of having a
dangerous opener on your garagedoor.
All overhead garage doors need to be perfectly balanced for them to work properly. To prove this point, the door
should stay wherever you lift it to. For example, if you can easily lift the door to its half open position, let it
go and it stays in position, it is more than likely correctly balanced.
However, if you have trouble lifting the door or it sticks, then it needs to be serviced. If the problem is
being caused by a really damaged door, both the door and opener should be replaced.
In order to check the door for correct balance, you must first remove the opener. There is often a means of
quick removal of the remote mechanism but if not, you will need to use tools to do the job. If that work seems too
complicated or you are not sure how to go about it, call in a professional service engineer.
If you are doing the troubleshooting yourself, be especially careful around the pulley's, springs, and hinges as
these components can easily injure your fingers or hands.
To avoid any risk of entrapment, a law was brought in during 1993 that requires all garages with remote door
openers to be fitted with an external safety system. This normally consists of electronic eyes and sensors fitted
on each side of the door frame some 4 to 6 inches above the driveway surface. The electronic eye works by creating
an infrared beam that extends from one side of the opening to the other. If something or somebody breaks the beam,
the opener will immediately switch off and the door will stop lowering.
At the end of the day, your main concern should be that if a child, or even a pet, is under the door when it
starts to come down, it will stop lowering and start going back up as soon as it touches the child.
It is often recommended that you should check your overhead garage door opener at least once a month so that you
can detect any defective operation early before it turns into a major problem. A quick test is to lower the door
onto a two by four block of wood and see if the door reverses direction once it touches the block.
When installing or using a garage door opener, safety is of paramount importance. Although they offer great
convenience, they have also been known to cause death or severe injury to young children. In the interests of
safety, get your garage opener checked out today.