How to Adjust a Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are a common feature in many new and existing homes. By pressing the button on a remote device, drivers and passengers no longer have to face rain and snow to open a garage door. Due to normal use, it may be necessary to periodically adjust the door opener. This adjustment is important to insure normal operation and the safety of those using the garage door. Most owners can easily perform minor adjustments on their garage door openers.

  • Garage door opener
  • Screwdriver (blade)
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Owner's manual

Up and Down Limits

Position the door so that it is closed. Press the wall-mounted or remote control button to open the garage door. Observe the travel of the door to determine the point where the door stops in its upward travel.

Determine if the garage door is opening a sufficient distance to allow your vehicle to enter the garage. If the door is not opening high enough, adjust the limit adjustment screw.

Locate the limit adjustment screw on the side or front of the garage door opener. There will typically be two screws, a limit adjustment and down force adjustment. Consult the owner's manual for information specific to certain models of openers.

Turn the limit adjustment screw to the left, depending on what is indicated on the unit. Make adjustments in 1/4-turn increments. Open and close the door to determine any further adjustments. Turn the screw to the right if the door is opening too far.

Down Force Limits

Open and then close the garage door by pressing the wall mount or remote button. Observe the travel of the door to determine if the door is closing completely. The weather seal should be seated securely against the garage floor.

Adjust the down force screw if the door is reversing before it reaches the floor. Increase the down force by turning the adjustment screw toward the (+) indicator. Make 1/4 turn adjustments, and close the door to determine if it is closing completely.

Turn the down force adjustment screw on the garage door opener toward the (-) if the door is not sitting completely on the floor when closed. Close the door once again to check the travel. Make 1/4 turn adjustments until the door closes properly.

Open the garage door, and place a roll of paper towels on the garage floor. Position the towel so that it will be hit by the door. The roll of towels is used to test the safety reverse by simulating the soft body of a child who could potentially fall and become injured by a closing door.

Test the safety reverse by closing the garage door. Many door feature sensors cross beam sensors that prevent the door from closing. If there are no sensors, or if they are not functioning, the door should contact the paper towel roll and reverse immediately. If this happens, the down force is correctly adjusted. If the door does not immediately reverse, reduce the amount of down force until the door makes contact and reverses.

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