Garage Door Opener Installation Tips

So you are in the market for an automatic garage door opener? When such things were introduced long ago and far away, my dad would jokingly impress the neighbors by telling them that, not only did he have a garage door opener, but that it was voice activated. As they exclaimed in amazement (this being decades before anything was voice activated; nobody had even invented “The Clapper” yet). He would then turn to me and say, “Go open the garage door”, and everybody but me had a good chuckle. Well, like a growing number of people, I am no longer a garage door opener. I have a modern Genie unit doing service in my garage. I consider my self to be of at least moderate ability as a do-it-yourselfer, and after giving the matter some research and frank thought, If you don’t have the right skills you should find a better service site like and experts can assist you to get your garage door back on track!

Each and every box containing such a unit is carefully packed with garage door opener parts and a manual pertaining to its installation and operation. I will not presume to substitute my knowledge or experience for that found in the manual specific to the unit you may choose. Rather, I will just point out some things you may care to consider before you even choose a unit or start installing one.

Take a look at your garage door. Is it an ancient behemoth or one of the relatively lightly built units made in recent years? If the former, be sure to advise the salesman you are dealing with, as you may require a heavier duty unit than what he may assume.

Test the operation of your door. If you raise it to chest height, does it plunge heavily to the floor? If so, beware. This is a serious indication that your door is out of balance on its mounting springs. Garage door springs of all descriptions are fraught with at least some risk, the single ‘torsion spring’ type being particularly so. Dual springs on the sides of your doors are less dangerous, but they are also under considerable tension, and if you do not find instruction on how to adjust them, you are probably better off to consult an expert.

Also, check that the door goes up and down smoothly. If it does not, your rails may be out of adjustment. If the springs are not properly adjusted or the rails are out of alignment, you will risk imposing an unacceptable load on your garage door opener, leading to premature failure, if not a potential disaster.

If your door passes these tests and you are confident in your abilities, by all means, go ahead and give installing the opener a try. Begin by inventorying the parts and reading and comprehending the manual completely. If you find yourself scratching your head about the installation, call customer service and see if they can illuminate you.

Speaking of illumination, an automatic garage door opener is made ‘automatic’ by the operation of electricity. Although the electrical components of these units tend to be simple and/or low voltage, if you do not ‘get it’, consult with or even hire someone who does. The low voltage components of a modern opener are critical to its safe operation, even if they present a low risk of serious shock.