If your garage already has an opener installed and you want to replace it, you must remove and dispose of all the old parts. The old wall switches, remote controls, and wiring should all be thrown away (unless hidden below the garage wallboard). With very few exceptions, a brand-new opener will include a wall switch, two remote controls, and perhaps even a weatherproof external panel with buttons for entering a personal code to open and close the garage door. This is a great convenience when your children get home from school and must enter the house. The most up-to-date versions typically have electronic coding that randomly generates a new code each time you use the remote to activate the garage door opener.
The following step would be for me to unpack everything and double-check that everything was included. Take the hardware out of its packaging and READ the directions. In the end, they will help you save precious minutes.
The track assembly is one of the first tasks given to you. There are often three parts to it. Assembling it and attaching it to the front of the opener couldn’t be simpler. Do as you’ve told us to do.
Installing the door opener on the garage ceiling is probably the next step in the installation process. Here’s where a 7-foot stepladder comes in handy. Put the opener in it to keep it in a rough location while you figure out how to anchor it. Sometimes at this stage, a small rubber device can be installed between the mounting hardware and the drywall to prevent potential damage. If done correctly, the likelihood of any vibration occurring is considerably diminished.
Attach the opener’s “door end” to the header (2 x 12 or something similar) that runs the length of the garage. To do this, lag bolts are frequently employed. It would be best to have the chain or belt that moves when the door opener motor turns a sprocket on top installed by now.
You can see the finish line now. The tough stuff is over, so kick back and enjoy yourself. If the cable connecting the opener to the interior switch isn’t there, run it now. Recent buttons that communicate via radio signals may eliminate the need for this procedure. To be sure, read the horrible instructions. See an example of a standard wiring schematic in the following image.
Connect the external switch to the opener using the little cable, per the directions.
Two electronic sensors are included in the door opener’s hardware and should be mounted near the garage door’s bottom, next to the track. By “looking” at each other, these two eyes will signal to the opener that the door can be closed. An entry will not close if an object is in the path of the invisible light beam from one of these to the other. When children or pets are standing in the door’s way of closure, these can prevent injury. A single wire runs from each eye to the opener and must be run from the start. Be sure you mount these safety items at the recommended height and in the prescribed manner. Please don’t throw them away until you’ve double-checked that they’re correctly connected and aligned; otherwise, the door opener won’t operate. Remember that their constant conversation and the central unit are for YOUR protection.
Once you’ve finished programming the remotes, installing the batteries is time. Connect it to an outlet and run a battery of tests.
Having to fine-tune a brand-new opener is par for the course. This is not an indication of wrongdoing on your part. Some garage doors are more cumbersome than others, and the springs that assist in opening can vary in strength. Again, ensure you follow the directions to the letter by twisting the “down” or “up” tension, and travel screws 1/4 turn in either direction until the door stays closed or fully opens.
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You should measure your clearance after putting in a new garage door opener. This is a must if you plan on squeezing a van or other large vehicle into your garage. There may not be enough permission to do it.
Don’t forget to include electronic eyes when setting up a new opener. Until they are correctly aligned, they will not function.
Mike Summy is an expert in house renovations, inspections, and other do-it-yourself tasks. If you need simple advice, he owns it.
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