How to Install a Garage Door Opener
Although the garage door openers of today are a lot easier to install than those of a few years ago, they still
cannot be classed as a simple DIY job. However, if you are handy with tools, it is not beyond the realms of
impossibility to do the job yourself. Read on to find out how to install a garage door opener and the precautions
you must take to avoid any catastrophes.
Sears in the US have their Craftsman range of opener systems, together with various accessories, available off
the shelf or to order online.
Whichever unit that you choose, it should come with a detailed owners manual and it is imperative that you
follow the fitting tips and instructions to the letter. Whatever you do, do not try to figure out the fitting on
your own without first reading the manual.
If they are not installed to the manufacturers specifications, garage door openers can be very dangerous. This
is mainly due to the high tension springs that are used and also the weight of the door itself.
If you are fitting to an existing garage, you will first need to assess how well the door works. All openers are
designed to lift a certain weight, so you should ensure that the door is in the correct weight range for the opener
that you are installing. If the door is too light, you may need to reinforce it. On the other hand, if the opener
is under rated for the door weight it is expected to lift, you can expect the motor to burn itself out sooner
rather than later.
Next, you will need to check the manual operation of your garage door. If it is a struggle to open, perhaps
because the springs are not functioning properly, you need to service it before you even start thinking about
installing the opener mechanism. If you find that the door is beyond repair, it may need to be replaced completely.
If that is the case, make sure that the framework is sturdy enough to support both the new door and the opener
system that you are planning on installing.
As well as the opener mechanism, there will also be a power unit. This should be placed in an area where it is
both dry and doesn't interfere with people walking around in the garage. An electrical supply will be needed for
the power unit, so you should also plan on running in some permanent wiring. Most systems will have some form of
cord to manually disconnect the opener, which should be accessible to any adult. Be sure to isolate the electrical
supply when running in the permanent wiring needed to power the opener.
Installation will be a lot easier with two people but if you have plenty of diy experience, you should be able
to get the job done within a day. Tools such as a drill, spirit level, measuring tape, hammer, screwdrivers, wire
cutters, pliers, an adjustable wrench, and hacksaw will be required together with a step ladder.
There are three main types of door opener's:
- Chain Driven
- Belt Driven
- Screw Driven
The screw driven opener is one of the easier types to install as it requires no belts, chains or future
When choosing your garage opener, make sure that it has a safety feature of reversing the operation of the door
should it come into contact with something or somebody. Wall buttons should be installed in a high enough position
to prevent small children from playing with the them. For additional safety, fit infrared beam boxes near the
bottom of the garage door opening. These are for safety purposes and will stop the door from moving should
something or somebody break the electronic beam.
Installation of an automatic garage door opener is a job for an intermediate or advanced level do it
yourself-er. If you are going to do the job on your own, make sure that you take all necessary safety precautions.
Garage doors are heavy and can easily cause injury. As well as the weight, the high tension springs used can also
be a danger in the wrong hands.