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Garage Door Opener Repair & Safety Part 1 – Balancing the Garage Door

“A properly balanced garage door will not move up or down
when it is partially open (or closed).”


Is garage door opener repair and maintenance a do-it-yourself task? YES. Most homeowners can and should perform basic garage door opener maintenance tasks.

Unless your garage door opener is ancient, it should have the same safety features of other modern openers and it will require periodic testing. Three common tests are the reversal test, the force setting test, and testing of the photo eye or edge sensor.

If the garage door sensors or any of the other safety features is not present or not working, you should make immediate repairs, call a professional garage door repair and installation company or consider replacing your opener. The cost of a new garage door opener is a small price to pay for knowing the safety features will work when you need them.

Test the Garage Door Balance

Before tearing into your garage opener, you should first test the garage door to be sure it is operating properly. A broken garage door hinge or roller or a broken torsion spring orextension spring will lead to many problems that could also impact the garage door opener.

A properly balanced garage door will not move up or down when it is partially open (or closed). If your door is way out of balance, it could close rapidly and without warning, possibly injuring someone.

To check the balance of your door, pull the emergency release cord on your opener to release it from the door. If your garage door opener does not have a release cord, it was probably manufactured before 1992 and doesn’t have some of the other safety features of a modern opener. My advice? Replace it. Now.

After releasing the opener from the garage door, open and close the door manually to see if it opens and closes smoothly. If the door wants to close or open without your help, the lift spring likely needs to be adjusted. Before doing this yourself, take a look at mytorsion spring and extension spring pages. If your garage door is operating properly, let’smove on to the reversal test and force setting.

SAFETY NOTE: When you are opening and closing your garage door without the assistance of a garage door opener, be very careful! Keep your fingers clear of the space between the door panels and away from hinges, springs and pulleys. Pinched, flattened and bleeding fingers or other appendages are not at the top of anyone’s list.

Chamberlain Model WD962KD Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Modern Garage Door Openers like the Chamberlain 3/4 hp Whisper Drive
Model #WD962KD
have many safety and security features.


Go to Step 2 of Garage Door Opener Repair – Reversal Test and Force Setting

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