How to Install a Garage Door Opener

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Well, it's time for a visit to the sunshine state. Now while Florida is true to its nickname a good deal of the time, it's certainly not the rain-free state. And that's one reason why Gina and Dave Bednors are eager to get started on their project.
GINA BEDNORS:
Hi, Ron.
RON HAZELTON:
Hey, guys. How are you.
DAVE BEDNORS:
How you doing, Ron.
GINA BEDNORS:
Great.

RON HAZELTON:
Gina --
GINA BEDNORS:
Yeah, Gina Bednor. It's nice to meet you.
RON HAZELTON:
Dave, how are you.
DAVE BEDNORS:
Nice to meet you.
RON HAZELTON:
So you've got a garage door here.
DAVE BEDNORS:
Yes, we do.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
GINA BEDNORS:
Yes, sir. [LAUGHS]
DAVE BEDNORS:
It's just I have a lot of work to get it up and down.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
GINA BEDNORS:
Need a day to open it up.

RON HAZELTON:
Oh, that's the problem huh? Okay. So tell me what's happening.
GINA BEDNORS:
Well, we don't have an opener on it and so what happens generally sometimes in a rainstorm is I've got to get out of the van, go around the front of the house, go inside, come out the garage, get back in the van, pull the van inside, get out of the van, close the door.
RON HAZELTON:
I'm tired already.
  [LAUGHTER]
GINA BEDNORS:
It's kind of a long process. So we're looking to shorten that a little bit.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay. So you got the garage door opener.
GINA BEDNORS:
Yes, sir.

RON HAZELTON:
Okay, so we're gonna put it up.
GINA BEDNORS:
Excellent.
[GARAGE DOOR NOISE]
RON HAZELTON:
You know, your garage door's the heaviest moving object in your house. So before we start to install Dave and Gina's opener, we're gonna take a few minutes and make some safety checks on this door and also make sure that it's operating properly.

Okay, Dave, could you pull that door up there.
[DOOR NOISE]
One of the first things I notice is that Dave and Gina's garage door, like many, has steel wheels. I suggest replacing them with new Teflon wheels which will run smoother and quieter, especially important on a metal door like theirs.

To make the changeover, we bend the track open temporarily and slip out each wheel. Then pull the wheel from its mounting bracket and replace it with a Teflon version. The wheel is then slipped back into the track. When all the wheels on one side have been replaced, the track is simply bent back into its original shape.
[BANGING SOUNDS]

Next we take a moment and oil the hinges. One or two drops on each pivot point will keep a roll up door squeak free and operating effortlessly. The final step in our garage door tune-up is to tighten all the nuts, bolts and screws. A sectional garage door, especially a wooden one can weigh up to 1000 pounds. Now that's way too much weight for you to lift up yourself, so they use torsion springs like these up here to do that lifting for you.

Now these springs are adjustable and here's a simple test that you can do yourself to see if they're adjusted properly.
[MORE DOOR NOISE]
Lift the door all the way up and then pull it down about a foot. Let go of it and it should go back up by itself. Then pull it halfway down. Release it and it should stay put. Bring it all the way down to within about a foot of the floor, let go of it and it should gradually go to the bottom.

This one is not, which means that that spring up there probably needs some adjustment. But that is a job for a professional. Gary Spivey installs and adjusts garage doors for a living. He makes two important points. One, torsion springs need to be correctly adjusted. Too much or too little tension can damage garage door openers and be downright dangerous if you're opening and closing the door manually.

And two, never attempt to do this job yourself. If the energy stored in these coiled up springs is unleashed accidentally, it can cause serious injury. The heart of a garage door opener is the drive unit. In it, there's a motor that moves a chain or drive screw to pull a carriage or traveler along a track.

The carriage connects to the door with a bracket that allows the motor to raise and lower the door.

Here's the motor --
GINA BEDNORS:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
And here's the rail.

A track comes in sections. I attach the first section to the drive unit, Gina and Dave connect the remaining sections together. This carriage which Gina is slipping into the track will move back and forth when the motor is operated.

Next, Dave attaches a bracket to the end of the track which we are about to mount to the beam or header above the garage door.

Okay, Gina. Just come up on the ladder there. Okay, all the way up. Let me put this in now.
GINA BEDNORS:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay just let me have --

Once the bracket end of the track is attached, we raise the door and lay the track and motor assembly on top where it will rest until we get ready to mount the drive unit. The motor's heavy, so it must be attached directly to a ceiling joist.

The joists in this garage ceiling are covered with drywall, so we'll use a stud finder to locate them. Next, we attach a piece of perforated angle iron, using lag screws. We attach two short vertical pieces of angle iron to the drive unit.

Now we're gonna push this up. And then I'm gonna run some bolts through here.
DAVE BEDNORS:
That's good.
RON HAZELTON:
Come down just a touch.

Once the bolts are tightened, the motor and entire track assembly is supported in place. To conceal the wire running to the wall switch, we poke a small hole in the ceiling. Then Dave heads up into the crawl space while Gina feeds the switch wire through the hole.
GINA BEDNORS:
Can you see where the hole is?
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah, I got it. I got the pliers side on it.
GINA BEDNORS:
Okay. I'm gonna send up the wire.
RON HAZELTON:
Over near the wall, we make a second hole. Gina inserts a coat hanger to help pinpoint the spot. Dave attaches the wire to the end of the coat hanger, and Gina pulls it back through. Next, we attach the end of the wire to the switch and snap it onto the base plate.

Garage door openers, especially older ones, are potentially hazardous, even fatal to small children and pets that might get trapped underneath them. That's why all new garage door openers come with these infra red beams. If anything breaks this beam, the door on its way down will stop and immediately reverse before there's any contact.

The sensors are typically located on either side of the door about six inches from the floor. A wire is run from the sensors back to the motor. Now it's time to connect the garage door to the door opener. The best way to do this, and especially on a metal door is to first install a heavy duty reinforcing bracket like this one.

Finally, we attach one of these L-shaped arms to the reinforcing bracket and a second to the door opener. Overlap the two arms, insert pins into pre-drilled holes and we're ready to put our work to the test.

Wow, look where it sits.
GINA BEDNORS:
I know. We’re very excited.
[SEVERAL SPEAK AT ONCE]
RON HAZELTON:
You got the remote controls?
DAVE BEDNORS:
We both have one and --
RON HAZELTON:
Okay, who's gonna do it?
DAVE BEDNORS:
Gina's gonna do the honors.
RON HAZELTON:
Are you ready?
GINA BEDNORS:
[LAUGHS] I'm ready, okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay, let's do it.
GINA BEDNORS:
Yaay. [LAUGHS]
[LAUGHTER]
This was great. Thank you so much.
RON HAZELTON:
It's so quiet too, huh?
DAVE BEDNORS:
Oh, I love it. What a great job. Great job.
GINA BEDNORS:
That is amazing.
RON HAZELTON:
And we did do it ourselves.
GINA BEDNORS:
I don't have to run through the rain anymore.
[LAUGHTER]
RON HAZELTON:
Think of the steps this is gonna save you. [LAUGHS]
GINA BEDNORS:
This is the greatest. Thank you so much.
RON HAZELTON:
It was fun working together.
GINA BEDNORS:
Thank you, thanks for coming.
DAVE BEDNORS:
Great. Thank you.

Installing an Electric Garage Door Opener Makes Exiting and Entering Your Garage Safer and Easier

Installing a garage door opener makes using your garage easier and safer. Mounting the automatic garage door opener is not complicated, but it is physically easier with two people. Prior to installation, perform preventive maintenance to replace steel rollers with Teflon wheels, oil the handle, and tighten the bolts. Have a professional adjust the torsion spring for optimum performance.

Attach the First Piece of Track to the Drive Unit
Step 1

Attach the First Piece of Track to the Drive Unit

Lay out the parts and sections of rail/track and attach the first rail to the drive unit where the motor is housed. Bolt the remaining sections of rail together so the assembly enables movement of the carriage/traveler along the track.

Slip the Carriage into the Channel beneath the Track
Step 2

Slip the Carriage into the Channel beneath the Track

Slide the carriage (traveler) into the bottom channel on the track. Ultimately, the carriage will connect to the door and be pulled along the track by a drive chain that enables the motor to raise and lower the door.

Join the Track to the Header above the Garage Door
Step 3

Join the Track to the Header above the Garage Door

Bolt a bracket to the end of the track and then to the header/beam above the garage door. Have a coworker support the weight of the drive unit and hold it parallel to the floor while the bracket is secured.

Open the Garage Door to Support the Drive Unit Assembly
Step 4

Open the Garage Door to Support the Drive Unit Assembly

Open the garage door fully and rest the weight of the drive unit and track on top temporarily for support until you are ready to mount the drive unit to the ceiling joist in a later step.

Locate the Ceiling Joists with an Electronic Stud Finder
Step 5

Locate the Ceiling Joists with an Electronic Stud Finder

Use an electronic stud finder to locate the ceiling joists at the location where you will mount the drive assembly. The assembly is heavy and will require attachment directly to a joist for proper support of its weight.

Secure a Perforated Angle Iron to the Joist
Step 6

Secure a Perforated Angle Iron to the Joist

Position a piece of perforated angle iron along the ceiling joist and secure it with lag screws. Attach two short vertical pieces of angle iron to the drive unit and bolt them to the piece mounted to the ceiling joist.

Feed the Switch Wire through the Ceiling to the Wall
Step 7

Feed the Switch Wire through the Ceiling to the Wall

Feed the switch wire from the drive assembly through a hole punched in the ceiling and across the attic floor. Punch a second hole at the wall and fish the wire through and attach it to the wall-mounted switch.

Mount the Infrared Beam Sensors 6-Inches from the Floor
Step 8

Mount the Infrared Beam Sensors 6-Inches from the Floor

Mount the infrared beam sensors on either side of the garage door about 6-inches off the floor. Run the wire from the sensors back up to the motor per instructions provided with the garage door opener kit.

Attach the Garage Door Opener to the Garage Door
Step 9

Attach the Garage Door Opener to the Garage Door

Connect the garage door opener to the door with a heavy-duty reinforcing bracket and the L-shaped metal arm that overlaps the arm from the carriage. Secure them with the special pins inserted into the predrilled holes.

Power on and Test the Garage Door Opener
Step 10

Power on and Test the Garage Door Opener

Switch on power to the garage door opener and test the remote controls, the manual switch in the garage, the infrared sensors, and the actual operation of the garage door opener.