Automatic Garage Door Maintenance Guide

Waiting until a major problem occurs before you call ADS invites costly repairs and risks the safety of you and your children. We strongly recommend regular garage door “tune-ups” and professional inspections. There are a number of simple, common-sense things you can do to make sure your garage door is safe to operate. Take a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with the following basic tests– and practice them!

Before you continue: Do NOT use an unsafe door. Watch and listen to your door. Strange sounds or motions can be signs of trouble. Popping, banging, snapping, grinding, or an oddly moving door generally indicates an UNSAFE door.

Monthly visual inspection. Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed. Look over the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, such as hinges, for signs of wear or damage. Look for cable wear or fraying. Is the mounting hardware becoming loose? If something doesn’t look quite right – or doesn’t sound quite right – it could be the symptom of a more serious issue. Have the garage door system inspected by ADS.

Monthly door balance test. If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system: CLOSE the door and disconnect the automatic opener. (Do not disconnect while the door is open.) Once you are able to lift the door manually: Lift the door. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be professionally serviced by ADS. Proper balancing may significantly extend the operational life of your garage door and opener.

Monthly reversing mechanism test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, lay a piece of wood such as a section of a 2×4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door would touch the floor. Push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. When the door strikes the wood, the door should automatically reverse. If the door does not automatically reverse, call ADS for professional evaluation and repair.

Monthly photo eye test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. Wave a long object, such as a broomstick, in front of one of the door’s photo eyes so it “breaks the beam.” The door should reverse.

If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the broomstick out of the path of the closing door. Close the door. With the door in the closed position, clean the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust the photo eyes by hand if they appear to be out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the photo eye test. If the door does not reverse and reopen, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly force setting test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold up the bottom of the door with your hands outstretched and stiff. If the door does not easily reverse and continues to close, pull your hands away immediately – the closing force is excessive and the door should be adjusted by an ADS professional.

Semi-annual lubrication. Apply a small amount of spray lubricant to the door’s hinges, rollers and tracks.