You begin your morning commute the same way every day—by opening your garage door and pulling your vehicle out of your garage. For this reason, it's necessary that you take time to ensure that your garage door assembly is properly maintained. One of the most fragile components of your door assembly is your automatic opener. To ensure that your automatic opener lasts as long as possible, perform these maintenance tasks:
Regularly Tighten Your Chain
Your automatic opener's chain is tasked with transferring the power produced by your opener to your garage door. When you activate your opener, your opener's gearbox will begin winding and tightening your chain. Once your chain is pulled taught, your door will begin to open.
Over the course of several years and thousands of cycles, your automatic opener's chain can become loose due to the tension placed on the chain by the weight of your door and the power of your opener. This is problematic because a loose chain will slow the cycle speed of your garage door. Additionally, the teeth of the gears that are responsible for winding your chain can struggle to grip the gaps in your chain when there's a significant amount of chain slack. Eventually, your chain will begin to strip the teeth of your opener's gearbox.
To prevent these issues, you'll need to inspect your chain every few months. If you notice your chain sagging beneath its guide rail, then it needs to be tightened. To tighten your chain, you'll need a ladder and two adjustable wrenches.
Begin tightening your chain by pulling on the rope hanging from your trolley. By releasing the trolley, you can take all tension off your chain. Next, place your ladder beneath your trolley and locate the long bolt attached to the end of your chain. Place each of your wrenches on one of the nuts on your trolley's bolt. Loosen the bolt attached to your chain, and tighten the bolt on the opposite side of the nut spacer to tighten your chain. Continue alternating between loosening one bolt and tightening the other until your chain is sufficiently tight.
Make sure not to tighten your chain too much. If your chain is too tight, it can put unnecessary wear on itself and your opener's gearbox. You can allow your chain sag to about the middle of your guide rail without reducing your door's cycle speed or damaging your gears. For more information look at companies like American Eagle Garage Door Services.
Maintain Your Counterbalance System
Your opener doesn't lift the majority of the weight of your door—your counterbalance system does. Your counterbalance system is the series of springs, cables, and drums above your garage door. This system handles the majority of your door's weight during the cycling process.
Your torsion or extension springs provide the power that's necessary to cycle your door open or closed. When you open your door, your springs will unwind or contract (depending on your spring type) and transfer power to your cable drums. Your cables will then begin pulling your bottom panel upwards until your door rests in the open position.
When your counterbalance system isn't adjusted properly, it won't be able to provide a sufficient amount of torque to your cable drums. As a result, your automatic opener will have to exert more power to lift your door—which results in unnecessary wear.
Your counterbalance system can require several forms of maintenance. Spring adjustments and replacements, cable adjustments, and drum alignments are all required throughout the lifetime of your garage door assembly. However, maintaining your counterbalance system is an incredibly dangerous task due to the tension of your springs. For this reason, it's best to leave any counterbalance system maintenance to a professional garage door technician.
If you have trouble tightening your garage door chain, or if you suspect that your counterbalance system needs to be adjusted, then contact a professional technician as soon as possible. By doing so, you can ensure that your automatic opener doesn't sustain any unnecessary wear or damage.