The garage door opener is a convenience that many homeowners take for granted. However, when your garage door will not open or close, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to get the situation remedied.
Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make sure this does not happen again. Here are 33 things you should do before installing a new garage door opener:
1) Check all of your hardware and make sure everything is in good working order
In order to check that you have all of the hardware you need, you should take a close look at your old garage door opener. You may be able to identify some of the parts that are needed just by looking at them.
However, you also need to check the model number on the back of your unit’s motor housing, as this will tell you exactly what parts you need to purchase for your new garage door opener.
2) Check to see if you have enough electrical power
Before you even begin the installation process, you should be sure that your new garage door opener will have adequate power supply connection options. You can check this by looking at how many amps are required for the model of the opener you are installing.
If your current garage door opener has the same number of amps or below, you should be able to install the new one without any problems. If your current opener has a higher amperage requirement than your garage power supply is rated for, you will need to hire an electrician to upgrade your home’s electrical service panel before beginning the installation process.
3) Make sure you have enough space
Your new garage door opener has to fit inside your garage. That means you need to take measurements of the room where you will be installing the opener so that you know what size unit to purchase.
You also need to make sure there is enough clearance above your old one so that the new one can screw into place on the track where it will sit. Any space between the ceiling and the bottom of your garage door may not allow you to screw in the new opener properly.
4) Ensure that your current opener has been installed properly
If it seems like your old garage door opener was never installed correctly, you need to examine how the unit is attached before installing a new one. The garage door opener should be attached to the ceiling of your garage with bolts that are tightened down securely.
If there are just holes in the drywall where the previous unit was placed, you will need to hire someone to install insulation around all open screws before using them again. You can use silicone caulk or expanding foam insulation if needed.
5) See if your door and opener circuit is compatible
You need to make sure that the opener you plan on investing in is compatible with your garage doors. If it’s not, you may be able to purchase a converter device that allows the two systems to communicate properly with one another. If you can’t find such a unit or it won’t work.
6) When choosing which tech features you want on your new door, take into account the tech features that already exist in your home.
It’s important to consider the tech features that already exist in your home when you’re choosing which new garage door opener you want. If you have an advanced system for controlling the temperature of your house, then your garage door opener should be controllable by that same system. Otherwise, you will need to buy a Wi-Fi modem so you can control the opener through your phone.
7) If you change your tech features or re-program an existing one after installation of the new opener, be careful not to overwrite any programs that might be on it by accident.
If you add a Wi-Fi modem to the new garage door opener, make sure what it is called from your phone. If you have other smart appliances or security systems in your home, be careful not to name your opener something that might overwrite an existing program. For example, if you have a DVR recorder named “DVR,” don’t name your opener that or you will lose access to all of the security cameras in your house.
9) Be sure that the garage door opener is compatible with door openers made by other brands
You should make sure that your new garage door opener is compatible with any extra functions on your existing garage doors, like smart systems or security features. While the new opener should operate your existing garage door, you should check that it is compatible with anything else that might be on or connected to the same circuit.
10) Buy a new garage door opener with the same horsepower as the old one
Garage door openers come in three different types of power options: 1/3 HP, ½ HP, and ¾ HP. When buying your replacement opener, you should match this to the needs of your current unit so that you don’t end up paying for extra power.
12) Determine which type of opener you want to install: screw drive, belt drive, or direct drive?
There are three different types of garage door openers on the market today. They are screw drives, belt drives, and direct-drive. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages that you need to consider before making a purchase.
13) Choose either a single or double car garage door opener
Garage door openers come in single-car and double-car models. Consider whether you need a one-piece stationary panel for the inside of the garage door or if the two halves should swing.
You will need to decide which version you want before making your purchase.
14) Make sure that the new opener has an anti-pinching safety feature
New garage door openers on the market come with some form of anti-pinching technology built into them, but it’s important to be sure. Garage door openers are still the number one cause of injuries in residential garages, so it’s vital to be safe when installing them.
15) Make sure the new opener has a flexible belt
A universal torsion bar can come with either metal or plastic belts, which you should match to your previous installation if possible.
16) Purchase a handheld remote if you want to open and close your garage door from anywhere in the world
When choosing between a wireless keypad and a handheld remote, it’s important to consider what you need. If you work from home or don’t want to carry around extra keys, then a keyless entry system is ideal because it gives you the freedom to open your garage door without having to fumble with a key.
17) Decide how many remotes you want
Most homes have more than one person who drives, so it’s important to buy an opener that has enough points of access for everyone in your household. However, if there is only one driver who uses the garage door opener, then it’s best to buy a model that only works with one remote so there is no confusion.
18) Check if your garage door has an exposed trolley
All of the wires and moving parts on your garage door should be completely encased in plastic or fabric housing to prevent injuries and accidents. If your current opener has an exposed trolley, then you should upgrade to a new opener that is completely padded.
19) Check the warranty and read customer reviews for all garage door openers before buying one
When choosing between two different models, always go with the model that has the best warranty and highest-rated customer reviews. Some manufacturers only offer warranties for a very limited amount of time, while some home centers offer no warranty at all. When shopping on a budget, make sure to review the customer reviews for any product that you may buy.
20) Make sure that your garage door opener has a safety reversing system
One of the most important features of any garage door opener is its ability to stop within 3-4 inches of the closed position. This will help keep your garage door from slamming into any other obstacles that are in its way when it is being operated.
21) Install a wireless keypad if you want to be able to open your garage without having to fumble for keys
A wireless keyless entry system can come with either a handheld remote or a wireless keypad, so it’s up to you to decide which version your home needs.
22) Ask an expert garage door technician if you need any special wires for your new opener
Every garage door opener has its own set of wires that are responsible for bringing power and communications into the unit itself. If any of your wires are not properly set up, then it’s best to call in a professional garage door technician.
23) Make sure you install the garage door opener on a wall stud
When you install the garage door opener, you should mount it to a wall stud so that it is rock solid and won’t fall over when someone pulls on the opener.
24) Check to make sure the chain is not too tight or too loose.
One of the most common causes for an unevenly raised garage door is a chain that is not set up correctly. Before you close your garage door, make sure to check the chain so you can adjust it accordingly before everything is locked down for good.
25) Consider installing a light on your garage door opener for better visibility in low-light situations.
If you are working in the dark or in any other low-light situation, then it’s best to install a light on your garage door opener so you can see what you’re doing. Most light kits are very easy to install, so it should only take about 10 minutes.
26) Add weather stripping to the bottom of the garage door to keep out cold drafts in colder months
All garage doors have a rubber strip along the bottom that keeps rain and snow from entering your home. However, winter is also the time when there are a lot of cold drafts, so it’s best to add weather stripping to keep out any harsh winter elements that may enter your garage.
27) Remove the door from the tracks and inspect hardware, pulleys, and cables
When the weather is nice and it’s not too cold or hot outside, you should remove your garage door from its tracks for better cleaning.
28) Replace damaged or corroded parts as needed
Any parts that are damaged or corroded should be replaced immediately so you can maintain a safe and reliable garage door.
29) Make sure your screws are tightly fastened and use a level to make sure everything is straight before completely tightening them.
When you install a new garage door opener, it’s best to tighten the screws on the track and on all of your hardware after you have installed everything. It’s also a good idea to use a level so that everything comes out nice and straight.
30) Check the alignment on all moving parts on a monthly basis
All moving parts of a garage door need to be checked for any type of wear and tear on a monthly basis. Check to make sure the cables are not tangled, frayed, or otherwise damaged. If anything appears to be broken or misaligned, then you should replace it immediately.
If your garage door has a spring system, make sure to get it inspected by a professional once every 6-12 months.
31) If you have not done so already, replace springs and rollers as needed
Most garage door systems will need to have their springs and rollers replaced on a yearly basis. If you hear any strange noises when opening your door, then it’s best to replace the rollers or springs as soon as possible.
32) Test your new garage door opener before closing up shop for the day
When you are finished installing your new opener, you should test the garage door so that everything is working properly before leaving. Make sure to open and close the door three or four times to ensure that it’s operating smoothly. If anything looks or sounds wrong, then it’s best to stop what you’re doing and figure out what the problem is.
33) Clean up after yourself so you don’t leave any mess behind
A dirty garage is the last thing you want to see when you walk into your garage. Clean out any debris from around the area where the sensors on the wall-mounted remote control will be placed. Clean off dirt and grime between panels on doors so they work easier.
Always clean up after yourself so that there are no tools or scraps laying around for someone else to trip over.
After you have read this article, hopefully, you feel confident in the installation process. We want to make sure that there are no surprises when it comes time to install your garage door opener so we’ve laid out all of the steps for you here. Now get out there and start installing!