What Maintenance Can You Do to Ensure Your Automatic Garage Door Opener Is Safe?

Are you interested in making sure you know all the best steps for maintenance with your garage door opener? The truth is it's easier than you might expect. The things you need to do are going to be the same whether you have a brand-new home, a new-to-you home, or a house you've owned for years. Read on to get all the details!

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If you've been in the same home for a while, your garage might be cluttered. Sometimes you may not even have space for parking a vehicle. This can be a problem since you never get to use your remote controls, garage door openers, and keypad. But maybe you're ready for a change. You've seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and realized the KonMari Method could be used even in the garage. Cleaning up is all you need to do, right?

Step back for a second!

Picture of warning sign

Has it been a while since you've done anything with the electric garage door opener? Are you moving into a house that has one, you aren't comfortable with? This blog will give you all the information you could possibly need to make sure your garage door opener lasts!

#1 – Determine the year your garage door opener was manufactured

An example of a garage door label and where it can be found on different garage door opener models

Here are the main models of LiftMaster garage door openers with their sticker locations and the information you can find on it.

Every garage door opener for the garage should include a helpful sticker. It has tons of essential information, including serial and model numbers. Find these and jot them down. They'll be beneficial anytime you speak with a local technician about garage doors and openers.

You also need to know the manufacturing date (MFG date) since the year the garage door opener was made is more crucial than you know.

Do you have a Chamberlain garage door opener rather than a model from LiftMaster? Check out this FAQ.

Notice the garage door opener was made before 1993?

Maintenance can take a backseat in this situation. Instead, you need to find a way to replace the garage door opener. Unfortunately, even if the garage door opener seems safe, it isn't.

What makes 1993 the cutoff date for garage door opener replacement?

In the USA and Canada, 1993 was the time when two different methods of reversal were beginning to be placed on door openers. These include:

  • Mechanical safety: If something is underneath the bottom of the door when it comes down, the garage door will stop in its tracks and reverse back up.
  • Photoelectric safety: At each side of the door near the floor, a unit is installed. One is a receiver, while the other makes an infrared beam. If the beam is pulled apart while the door closes, it stops and reverses for extra safety.

Don't know whether an upgrade is essential? Get information about photocell safety beams and find out more about the urban legends about planes opening garage doors, including which of them are true and which are not.

Maybe you have a garage door opener that was made in a year beyond 1993. That doesn't mean you shouldn't upgrade. Was the garage door opener made in 2012 or later?

For a Chamberlain garage door opener, this matters. Only modern doors include Security+2.0. This creates rolling codes for the security of your garage and home.

Burglars used to have it easy. They could drive around expensive neighborhoods clicking on a remote at every garage door. Then, if it worked, they could head inside and rob you blind.

Rolling code tech takes away this possibility. New codes are created every time the garage door opener is used. So even if a code is discovered, it will change by the time it's used again.

The Security+2.0 label

Want to make sure your garage door opener has rolling code technology? Look for the Security+2.0 label on your Chamberlain, LiftMaster, or Craftsman garage door opener.

Curious about how it works? Each time a remote is used for the garage door opener, the code changes. It could be one of billions of different codes. So, the code used previously will no longer work; only the most recent code will activate the device. In addition, codes are never reused so a stranger working out a single code doesn't cause you any harm.

Now that you have the facts, make sure your garage door opener is updated with the newest tech. It can protect your family from accidents and prevent theft from the home. Once that's done, move on to step two!

#2 – Check That the Automatic Reversal System on Your Garage Door Works Correctly

  • Take a brick, board, or other item and place it under the garage door.
  • Use the remote to close the door.
  • The door should stop at the item and go back up. Not working? You have a safety issue. You'll need to contact our garage door and opener specialists to get everything back in working order.

#3 – Next, Be Sure the Photoelectric Reverse on Your Garage Door Operates Right

A picture showing where is the photoelectric safety reverse system on your garage door and what it does

What to look for on your garage door when you want to check your photocell reverse system? 2 photo eyes installed on each side of your door no more than 6 inches from the floor.

Not sure how to test this part? It's easy!

  • The main idea here is that your door should immediately stop and reverse if something comes in between the beam going from one side of the garage door space to the other.
  • Since there could be a problem, don't use yourself or any other living thing to test it. Instead, try an inanimate object that won't be damaged if the door doesn't stop.
  • After putting something in the way of the beam, attempt to close the door. In a best-case scenario, it won't do so. If it does, you need a technician to take a look at things.

#4 – Inspect the Garage Door Control Panel on the Wall

A picture of garage door opener wall control panel

Where is your wall control panel? On the wall, often by the access door leading to the house or beside the garage door itself, at least 5’ from the floor.

  • The first step is to make sure the door opens and closes when you press the appropriate button.
  • Next, ensure the LIGHT button is also operational.

#5 – Be Sure the Garage Door Keypad and Remote Are in Good Shape

  • First, think about when you last changed the batteries in your remotes and keypads. Do you have any idea?
  • Run a quick test to see whether new batteries are needed. In most cases, when you press a button, a light will pop on. If it doesn't, or you can't open the garage door with a remote, your batteries may have to be replaced.
  • So you swapped out the batteries but are still having issues? Maybe you need to have the remote reprogrammed. Learn more about how to program many LiftMaster accessories.
  • Batteries and reprogramming aren't enough? Or do you need a second remote for a partner? Unfortunately, it can feel complicated to decide what is the correct buy for your garage door opener. But don't worry! This article will tell you about remote controls, 3-button mini remotes, and universal remote compatibility.
  • The final option is checking on the antenna. This should stick out the bottom of the garage dooropener. If it's bent up or cut, this can cause issues with the range of your remote.

#6 – Consider the Garage Door Emergency Release Handle and Cord

A picture of an installer a garage door opener emergency release rope and handle

The garage door installer is examining the garage door opener emergency release rope and handle

Assuming you have a reasonably modern garage door opener, you'll find a cord coming from the rail that connects the garage door to the garage door opener. This isn't the same as the tracks; it's designed for the garage door opener.

Make sure you have the garage door closed and then see where the cord and handle are. They should be right near the door.

Now, make sure it all operates correctly:

  • Tug on the end of the release cord

    Trolleys connect to both the garage door opener motor and the actual door itself. Whenever you electrically open or close the garage door, the trolley will start to move. Yanking on the cord makes it impossible for the trolley to move so the garage door doesn’t operate.

  • Find and lift on the lifting handle

    Search around until you find the lifting handle on the garage door. You might find it on the bottom panel or one just above that area.

Assuming you have a well-balanced spring system, it's going to be simple to lift the garage door. It should take only a single hand.

Is the garage door too heavy? Hard to lift? Stop the process and move forward.

First, make sure the garage door is closed. Then, move away from it and ensure nobody else goes into the space until someone has checked it out. You may need to undergo maintenance or have repairs made.

The way a garage door works puts a lot of pressure on the springs. If one stops working or breaks, it could cause significant injury to you or a family member.

It's a common misconception that the garage door opener lifts the garage door. That isn't what it's made to do. Instead, the springs do much of the heavy lifting that lets you use the garage door.

#7 – Now It's Time for Maintenance on the Garage Door Rail and Trolley

If everything checks out so far, it's time for the next step. It might even be easier than you expect.

That's right! It's maintenance time!

A picture of an installer checking if the  garage door opener trolley slides well on the rail

The installer is checking if the garage door opener trolley slides well on the rail

  • Step One: Ensure the trolley easily slides along the rail for the opener.
  • Step Two: Grab a dry, clean cloth and remove any dust and dirt on the opener rail.
  • Step Three: Use a petroleum-based lubricant to lubricate the same rail.
  • Another tip to use: Now that you have a cloth, lubricant, and ladder available, you could also care for the hinges, springs, and tracks on the garage door.

All done? Then you are good to go. It's a necessary process, but it's not too challenging. However, you want to make sure you go through the steps at least twice a year. This ensures that your garage door opener is not a safety hazard.

Not Sure You Can Handle It? Prefer for a Garage Door Professional to Do the Needed Maintenance?

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That's okay! Reach out to us at 905-684-8161.

We can help with the maintenance, repair, or installation of garage door openers and garage doors. We take our passion and expertise and apply it to solve all your garage door issues.

Decide that you need a new garage door opener or a new garage door?

At Regional Doors & Hardware, we can help you out with all the steps. First, answer some questions, and we'll use that info to determine your budget and expectations. Then, we can share several products in styles that look great for your home.

Have you already decided that a specific garage door is perfect for you?

Ask us for a quotation by email.

You can also do some online browsing to get an idea of what you want

Consider viewing our residential photo gallery. If you prefer to see how the doors look on your specific home, you can do that too. Check out the Design Centre on your smartphone. It can be a tremendous amount of fun to check out all the options!

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