Your garage door gets a pretty good workout each and every day, so it's no surprise when it starts showing all the signs of continuous wear and tear after a few years. On average, it takes 12 years of faithful service for a garage door opener to start feeling its age, depending on how much you've used it and the climate it was used in.
When it comes time to replace your garage door opener, you'll want to make sure you get the job done right the first time. The following offers a step-by-step guide you can use to swap your current opener for a newer, stronger and more energy-efficient model.
Preparations Come First
Before you get started, you'll need a partner who can help you with some of the removal and installation steps. Having a partner not only helps speed things up, but it also reduces the likelihood of serious injury potentially caused by handling the garage door opening equipment.
You'll also need to make sure the garage door is disconnected from its source of electricity. Many garage door openers are powered using an ordinary 120-volt household outlet. You can cut power to the opener simply by unplugging the device from its nearby outlet.
In some cases, the garage door opener may be wired directly into your home's electrical system. Shut off power at the circuit breaker or fuse panel by toggling the breaker switch or pulling out the fuse. As an added safety measure, you can use a test light to test the main electrical lines for any signs of lingering electrical energy.
Out With the Old
Here's how you can remove your old garage door opener in preparation for the new unit:
- Pull the emergency release cord to disconnect the garage door opener trolley from the door itself.
- Disconnect the garage door opener's photoelectric sensors. To do this, you may need to open the garage door opener housing and locate the terminal screws or quick-connect tabs holding the wires in place.
- Next, position a step ladder directly underneath the opener and position a small table in front of the step ladder. You should also have your partner positioned above the garage door track
- Remove the mounting bolts holding the garage door opener to its support brackets with a socket wrench.
- With your partner's help, gently lower the garage door opener and its track onto the table. Once it's on the table, you can separate the track from the opener and remove the drive belt or chain.
In With the New
It's a good idea to carefully inspect your new garage door opener before installing it. For easier installation, the mounting surfaces on the new garage door opener should be similar to your old one. It's also a good idea to purchase new photoelectric sensors or use the ones that come with your new garage door opener.
- Attach the existing garage door track onto the new garage door opener. If you plan on using a garage door opener with a screw drive instead of a belt or chain setup, you won't be able to reuse your current garage door opener track.
- Have your partner help you lift the opener and track into position. Align the unit with the support brackets and bolt the unit into place.
- Attach a new chain or belt onto the drive sprocket or drive pulley. If you're not able to slip the chain or belt into place, loosen the adjustment bolt at the front of the opener track until there's enough slack to install the component and then retighten the adjustment bolt.
- Connect the photoelectric sensors to the garage door opener. After the installation, you may need to adjust the sensors to insure they work properly.
- Reconnect the garage door opener trolley to the garage door. Afterwards, you can plug your garage door opener to a nearby power outlet or wire the unit directly to your home's electrical system. Don't forget to reset the circuit breaker or reinsert the appropriate fuse.
Now that you've installed your garage door opener, now's a good time to test and adjust the unit's torque settings to ensure it opens and closes your garage door properly. If you find that you need professional help, contact a company like http://www.702garagedoors.com.