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Garage Door Opener "How-to" Installation
Please find below the general guidelines on how to install a garage
door opener. Those are
general guidelines since garage opener installation manuals are
specific to the model and brand of
the manufacturer. These are but guidelines to give you an idea of what
entails installing a garage
opener, this will help you decide if you want to undertake that project
or at the very least,
understand what an installer will be doing.
The information in this installation guide have been furnished by the
National Retail Hardware
Association (NRHA) and is based on the installation of a Stanley garage
manufacturers will have different installation instructions specific to
their various respective
models. Always refer to the manufacturer's owner's manual for your
garage door opener model.
FIG.1 - The components of a garage door opener.
- There are three basic types of garage door openers:
1) chain-driven, 2) belt-driven, and 3) screw-driven. This document
covers installation for a chain-drive opener.
- The most important consideration when installing
a garage door opener is safety. Please observe the following precautions:
- Make sure your garage door is well-lubricated and
operating properly. The weight of a garage door is supported by the
door springs, cables, and pulleysnot the opener. If you can't
raise and lower the door normally by hand, do not install the opener
until the door is repaired.
- Never alter or remove the door's springs, cables,
or pulleys. Doors with torsion springs (a single coil above the door)
should only be serviced by qualified service technicians.
- Remove all ropes or cords attached to the garage
door so you won't get tangled in them during installation.
- Deactivate or remove all existing garage door locks,
so they won't accidentally engage and either damage the opener or
cause personal injury.
- Do not wear rings, watches, or loose clothing while
installing or servicing a garage door or opener.
- Reinforce lightweight fiberglass or metal garage
doors before installing an opener to prevent damage to the door and
insure that the safety reverse system will operate properly.
- Install the power unit high enough that tall people
won't run into itat least 7' from the floor if possible.
- Garage door openers have a manual disconnect cord;
it should be adjusted to approximately 6' from the floor so any adult
can reach it.
- If you need to install permanent electrical wiring,
always disconnect the power at the main breaker box before attempting
to wire connections. Always connect the power cord of the garage door
opener to a properly grounded outlet to avoid electrical shock.
- Install the push-button control 5' from the floor
so small children cannot reach it and in a location where anyone operating
it can easily see the garage door.
- Always adjust the safety reverse system and the electric
eye system properly. Refer to your opener manufacturer's instructions
- Never let children operate or play with the opener.
Keep the radio transmitter in a location inaccessible to children.
- Never pass under a moving garage door.
- Operate the door only when it is visible, and free
of any obstructions.
- Check the safety reverse system and the electric
eye once a month, and readjust it if necessary. Periodically check
the manual operation of the door.
- If possible, use the manual disconnect only when
the door is fully closed. The opener will not carry the weight of
the door, and if the springs are weak or broken, disconnecting it
could cause the door to fall.
- Always disconnect electrical power to the opener
when servicing the unit or working close to the drive chain or other
- If you see damage to any part of the opener, don't
use it until it has been repaired by a qualified service technician.
Never operate the door if the safety system is not functioning properly.
FIG.3 - Connect the chain to the traveler, loop it around through the drive sprocket and idler assembly, then back to the traveler on the other side.
FIG.4 - Mount the idler assembly to the header bracket above the garage door per the manufacturer's instructions.
FIG.5 - Mounting the power unit to 2x4s nailed between exposed ceiling joists.
FIG.6 - If the garage ceiling is finished, fasten a 1x6 across three ceiling joists, and mount the power unit to it.
FIG.2 - Run the chain from the traveler (above), then through the sprocket on the idler assembly and back to the traveler (above right).
INSTALLNG THE OPENER
- Before you install a garage door opener, familiarize
yourself with the parts of the assembly (FIG.1). To install a garage
door opener, first insert the tube into the power unit. Slide the
traveler onto the tube, then mount the idler assembly on the end of
the tube. Position the traveler as specified in the manufacturer's
- Connect the chain to the traveler, then loop it through
the drive sprocket on the power unit (FIG.2), around through the
idler assembly, and back to the other end of the traveler (FIG.3).
The traveler must be positioned according to the manufacturer's specifications,
and the chain must be tensioned properly.
- Locate the center point of the garage door, and mount
the header bracket at that point, at the specified distance above
the door. Connect the idler assembly to the bracket with the power
unit sitting on the floor (FIG.4). Raise the power unit high enough
to clear the door when it is open, and set it on a stepladder or other
- Raise the door to the full open position, and adjust
the height of the power unit with boards or other shims, so it is
the specified distance above the door.
- Mount the power unit to the ceiling with the steel
angle and mounting straps provided. If the ceiling joists are parallel
to the door (FIG.5), nail 2x4s between two joists and fasten the
power unit to it. Otherwise, fasten directly to the joists.
- If the ceiling is finished (typically with gypsum
wallboard), fasten a 1x6 through the drywall and into the ceiling
joists with lag screws (FIG.6).
FIG.8 - The linkage assembly connects the traveler to the door. It consists of a bar link, an L-link and a door bracket.
FIG.9 - Center the door bracket on the garage door, positioned as specified in the installation instructions.
FIG.10 - Lightweight garage doors must be reinforced with steel angle to avoid damaging the door and to allow the safety reverse system to work properly.
FIG.7 - The power unit is generally mounted so the tube is at a slight upward angle from the power unit to the header bracket.
CONNECTING THE OPENER
- Once the power unit is mounted, open and close the
garage door manually to make sure the door travels freely (FIG.7).
The top edge should clear the tube by the distance specified by the
manufacturer (typically 1"). Be careful not to hit the traveler when
you raise the door.
- Attach the linkage assembly to the traveler (FIG.8the
linkage assembly consists of a straight bar link, an L-shaped link and
the door bracket). Pull the disconnect cord to disconnect the door from
- Fasten the door bracket so it is centered on the
door. The center of the bracket (where the L-link is attached) should
be the manufacturer's specified distance from the top of the door,
usually 3" to 6" (FIG.9). On lightweight steel or fiberglass doors,
install reinforcing angles (FIG.10) and fasten the door brackets
to the angle. Remove the original lock from the door.
- Mount the push-button control in a convenient location
on the garage wall, 5' from the floor and within easy sight of the
door. Run the push-button wire up the wall and along the ceiling to
the power unit, fastening it with electrical wire staples. Be careful
not to staple through the wire. Connect the wire to the power unit.
- Placement and adjustment of the electric eye system
are critical for maximum safety and proper operation. Follow the manufacturer's
installation instructions carefully. If you have any questions, refer
to your owner's manual for a telephone number or a Web site for additional
- If necessary, install an electrical outlet in the
ceiling near the power unit and run electrical power to it. ALWAYS
TURN OFF THE POWER AT THE BREAKER BOX BEFORE WORKING WITH AN ELECTRICAL
CIRCUIT, and follow all safety procedures relevant to electrical
- The electrical outlet must be properly grounded.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO INSTALL AN ELECTRICAL OUTLET, CONTACT
A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN.
- Re-engage the door with the opener. Adjust the safety
reverse system according to the manufacturer's instructions, then
adjust the open position of the door.
- For added safety, especially around small children
and pets, federal law now requires an electric eye be installed with
all garage door openers. This eye will cause the closing action of
the door to reverse if someone or something passes between the sensors.
state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety
precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the
National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.
Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA,
any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages
or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.